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TEOA Releases Song ‘Push Back,’ Transforms Grief Into Action After 12/14



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The End of America (TEOA), a band with roots in Connecticut, has released its new single “Push Back,” which was created after the events of 12/14.

Founded by members James Downes, Trevor Leonard, and Brendon Thomas, the trio channels a mix of musical influences to create a sound that combines the style of singer/songwriters from the 1970s with ’90s-era indie rock.

Downes grew up in Old Saybrook, becoming familiar with the Newtown area in 2012 when he began going to band practices at a friend’s house in town.

It just so happened that on December 14, 2012, he was rehearsing in Sandy Hook when he heard sirens blaring outside.

“I’ll never forget standing on the front lawn of my drummer’s house with my bandmates, watching in frightened awe as an endless train of first responders and news trucks blasted down the suburban streets,” Downes said.

Hours later, they learned with the rest of the world about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children and six educators dead.

His friend’s house was less than a mile from the school.

“The feeling was disbelief, hearing the news on the radio while details were still vague,” Downes said. “We had a show that night in New London and I just remember there being a collective feeling like we were living through a major change, that our lives would be divided into ‘before’ and ‘after.’”

‘Feel More Hopeful’

In the almost ten years since 12/14, Downes has continued to think about the heartbreaking and life changing day often.

“As I’m sure so many can attest, this is the type of thing that never leaves you. It’s always in there, I think about it almost every day,” Downes said. “The timing of the song is a reflection of how much I think of that day, how much I think of the people affected.”

He channeled his emotions into writing “Push Back” with the hopes of sparking positive change in the world.

“For me, the song rekindles that flame of resistance inside. I hope it does the same for others. Safer gun control legislation is an absolute must, but it can seem daunting to face the wall of anger surrounding the topic… I can’t say that the song was intended to preach a ‘message,’ so to speak, but the motivation behind writing it was to create music and words that could transform grief and anger into action, love, and community,” Downes said.

He also sought to ensure that those who died are not forgotten.

For “Push Back,” Downes penned the lyrics, “I feel their names running through my veins. I hold and repeat them. Let’s start using our hands. Let’s start using our heads. Let’s start using our hearts.”

He explained, “To me, this line is a reminder to hold on to the people, to our power, our intuition, and our love.”

Downes felt it was important to sing about such a tough subject in order to turn the pain into positive energy and create community.

“As a band, it makes us feel more hopeful, less alone. I hope it does the same for others,” he said.

See And Hear More

TEOA finished a local tour in August with shows in Tenafly, N.J., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The band will be taking some time off before a month-long stint in Germany this October.

The group’s upcoming album, Night is Alive, may be pre-ordered this month; members of the band’s Patreon page, patreon.com/teoamusic, had advance access to it.

Those interested in purchasing the full album can do so on CD or digitally from the band’s online store on BandCamp, on November 12.

“Push Back” is currently offered on all streaming platforms. For a full list, visit theendofamericamusic.com/music. The single can also be purchased on iTunes.

Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at alissa@thebee.com.

The End of America (TEOA) members, from left, Brendon Thomas, James Downes, and Trevor Leonard recently released the single “Push Back” off their upcoming album Night is Alive. —photo courtesy River Hooks
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