In the back of my mind, I knew one day I would be faced with writing about this incredible journey I started back in 2007 with the most remarkable gentlemen on this Earth. As much as I never wanted it to end, the final chapters of it have been set in motion. After six years and the manifestation of a beautiful relationship as a fan and a friend, I feel like it is time for me to bring everything to the table so they know that even though this band is coming to an end, that what they did and stood for meant something, and that their music played as some of the most powerful life changers not only for myself, but everyone else who supported. To the wonderful gentleman of Conditions, this is how you saved me.
Through the years, I have dealt with people constantly treating me like crap, being worked into the ground at a job I hated, my mom attempting suicide in my presence, pulling on the responsibilities of an adult at seventeen years old, the death of my friend Stephen, almost losing my home on more than one occasion, making the decision to leave my home life and deal with the ramifications, and most recently, hating myself for my sexuality and learning to come to terms with it. The list goes on and on. Conditions got me through all of this and they helped me rebuild my life from the ground up. They motivated me to find a new job and finding this new job allowed me to go to any Conditions show I wanted, and that opened up the doors to making so many new and amazing friends and memories. My life went from being stuck in Virginia Beach and dealing with the burdens of my family and piece of shit friends to getting in my car whenever there was a Conditions tour and going state to state, city to city to see my favorite band and forget about all of that, even if for one night. Because of Conditions, I have a friend in pretty much every state in this country and even some friends across the pond. Thinking about that hits me hard every time, and I am thankful for that. I made a new home in Richmond because of them, and I long for the day I can hop in the car and never look back at Virginia Beach. They opened my eyes to an incredible town with some of the greatest people and a very supportive local music scene. Some of my best friends come from Richmond, and I never would have met them if it was not for Conditions. In fact, I wouldn’t have any of the friends I have now if it weren’t for them. Anyone I am friends with now is my friend solely because of the connection we have with Conditions’ music. Everyone I’ve befriended since then has become my family and I love and cherish them more than anything in the world.
Looking back at every memory I’ve made because of Conditions knocks me off my feet every time. I am extremely fortunate to have been able to live these memories and be able to look back at them and think to myself “These were and always will have been the best times of my life and none of it would have been possible without them.” Forgive me for the long list of memories, but they’re coming. These are the things I will never forget: seeing Conditions for the first time at the mall in my hometown for an acoustic set, meeting them for the first time and knowing right there my life was going to forever change, my first Richmond show, the feeling I felt listening to Fluorescent Youth for the first time, going to my first out of state Conditions show in Philly and meeting Elle and David, traveling all over for the letlive. headliner with my friends and the car rides in between, donating to help the release of Full of War, the Full of War album release show, driving straight to Florida after seeing Deftones in Virginia to see Conditions with my best friends in the entire world, meeting the one and only Evan Knipp, showing up drunk to St. Pete, crowd surfing for the first time, the drunk guy that photo bombed our group picture, going to Taco Bus after and watching the “HE STOLE YO CAH” incident, going to Denny’s with the band and my friends, watching Brandon and Corey fail miserably at the claw machine, meeting Ryan’s father and girlfriend Hillary, meeting Corey’s mother and grandmother, meeting Brandon’s girlfriend Meghan and all words exchanged between their families, the races between shows and work on little or no sleep, watching my best friends in Inquiry open for Conditions at their Halloween show, pushing my way up front for every show, belting out every word to every song as loud as I possibly could, every other drive that consisted of crossing state lines, and honestly, hundreds more that I am equally as thankful for. This list is quite long so I think I will cut it short here.
To every friend I’ve made because of Conditions, every person I met through Conditions, anyone I’ve ever connected with through their music, and everyone that gave Conditions a try when I played them for you… I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my life and sharing the memories with me and supporting Conditions over the years. Con Men, I want you to see all the people you brought into my life, whether I became their friend through your music or you introduced me to them, here are the people you’ve brought together… Elle Fischer, Emily Chase, David Brooks, Carter Lewis, Deana Del Bello, Liz Egan, Logan Fisher Amy Wegner, Bri Jackson, Justin Piaoan, Kyle Richards, Patrick Allen, Heather Austin, Katie Fife, Lexii Deso, Josh Sullivan, Ted Whitlock, Ian Patrick Buss, Rebecca Melnyk, Claire Pope, Marisa Blackwell, Evan Knipp, Sam Wise, Meghan Schinzer, Hillary Hackett, Poppy Rose Cleere, Leanne Petchal, Aliyah Shaikh, Stephanie Broertjes, Kaitlin Calkins, Taylor Busching, Yareli Carcamo, Cassie Lord, Andrea Velez, Lydia Soriano and Toni, Paula Blue, Rachel Wuest, Rebekah Haws, Amanda Jensen, Norma Becerra, Laura Morse, Anna Del Giudice, Patrick, Joe, Castro, Shanai, Denisse, Crystal, Aaron, Sara, and so so so many more. It’s truly been such an honor to know all of you and support Conditions together as a family, the Con Army. You all as well as Conditions have been my rock over the years, thanks for keeping me grounded.
Brandon. I don’t even know where to begin. You taught me that my mind is the most powerful tool I own and that I can do incredible things with it. You, out of any human being on this Earth, have helped shaped me into the young man that I am today and will continue to develop into. I still have a lot of learning to do and can’t wait to continue to learn from you. Thank you for making me feel so accepted into this world. There have been so many nights I honestly wanted to end it all, and you saved me every time without fail. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model and friend to have. And thank you for showing the world chivalry isn’t dead. You are the embodiment of chivalry and will go down in history as THE musician who reminded the world that chivalry is very much alive and people need to stop turning a blind eye to it. I love you so much, Brandon, thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world and saving me as well as all my friends you saved. You are a legend and will always be a brother figure to me.
Alex. You taught me to never sell myself short and work hard for everything I wish to have. I’ve learned that hard work goes a long way because I’ve watched you put every ounce of yourself into Conditions and pretty much make Conditions come alive. You motivate me to do so much and helped me get over the fear of failing. Failing is inevitable in life, what matters is how you handle that. Learn from it and move on. Thank you for instilling that into my everyday life. Like you said, “No matter what you do in life, there will always be someone that is doing it better, work harder.” I love you, sir.
Ryan. You taught me not to take everything so damn seriously. I used to stress over the smallest things and worry myself to death, and over the years, you taught me to just shut up, get over it, and enjoy life. I feel so much happier with my life now because I can joke about pretty much anything. I find humor in those worrisome things and it makes it so much easier to get through. It’s like a lot of things just roll off my shoulders now. Thank you for lifting that weight from my shoulders. You are honestly the funniest person I’ve ever met. Your tweets have kept me sane for years and always made those rough nights bearable. I love you, man.
Corey. You have played such a huge role in my life and I cannot thank you enough for the lessons I’ve learned from you over time. You taught me to stand up for myself and not to take shit from anyone. I used to be that person everyone walked all over and only came to when they needed something. That’s all over thanks to you. I feel like I have so much more control over my life now because I know when to tell someone to fuck off and to not be afraid to call someone on their bullshit anymore. You are also the person who motivated me to give 100% at every show I go to. The first time I crowd surfed was fueled mostly by you, and I will never forget the moment I did it the first time in Florida for you guys. Thank you for being one of the very few and rare that are as real as can be. People like you are honestly hard to come by in this day and age. I wish there were more people like you in the world. Thank you for everything. I love you brother.
To the Con Men as a whole, I love you guys more than anyone in this entire world and I mean it. I would lay my life on the line for you all without thought and that will never change. You are all more of a family to me than my own and I can’t express how thankful I am for that. I am so proud of you guys for everything you have accomplished and fighting for so long to keep Conditions alive. Thank you fighting for your dreams, for me, and for every fan. And please do me a favor, give Meghan, Hillary, Hillary, and Marie hugs for me because I know they are the backbone to what drove you guys to keep pursuing this band. I am so thankful they have been there for you guys like you’ve all been there for us. I know how cruel the music industry can be, I’ve watched you guys go through every twist and turn over the years. You all are the most hard working musicians I’ve ever met. I wish it was you guys getting those huge headlining tours, the buses, the huge crowds… you guys deserved it all more than any band. Though Conditions will come to an end in May, I will NEVER stop loving this band. Conditions gave me something to believe in. Let me tell you, I have never felt so strongly about anything in this world as I do about Conditions and the message you guys had for the world. I will continue to spread the message and go on to show every person who hasn’t heard of Conditions what this band was about. This band will always be in my heart and pumping through my veins for the rest of my life, and that’s a promise. (At the end of this, I have a song for you guys to listen to. It’s a song about the music industry and I hope it’s something you guys can relate to.) I look forward to seeing what you guys are going to get out in the world and do next. Just know, I will support you all 110% in everything you do and I will always be the one screaming the loudest for you. I just hope that after this journey is over, I can still be a part of your lives. Thank you for making the most honest music, never selling your soul for a chance at fame, and staying true to yourselves. You guys are forever the best band in the world to me, and most importantly, you are my super heroes. You guys don’t need the capes, you have the qualities and that’s what matters. Thank you for EVERYTHING from the bottom of my heart. Nothing I ever do will ever be enough to repay you all for the impact you have and always will have on me, another shot at life, the friends, the memories…everything. Thank you and I love you all whole heart.