The Story Behind “Money Life”
I wrote Money Life the day I got a job offer for a trading job in downtown Chicago, and played it that night at an open mic. It’s about the fear of pushing aside your dreams for the sake of making money, and pretending you’re somebody you’re not, and maybe eventually getting so far along in that pretend life that you can’t get back to your true self and true passion. The monkey in the video represents any person with a passion for something who feels forced to work in any job/corporate setting/whatever. He is taken out of his native environment where he can do the thing he loves (for him, swinging from a vine, for someone like me – creating art), and he is trained to sit behind a desk and make money and eventually run some huge corporation. Whenever he sleeps, he dreams that he is back in the jungle doing what he loves, but he continues with his journey up the corporate ladder. When he is old and filthy rich, he finally decides to go back and give his dream a try – grabbing a vine and trying to swing like he used to. But it’s too late, he can’t swing from trees like he used to, and he falls to his death. In theory, he could have tried to escape back to the jungle years ago, but he bought into the “money life” and pushed aside his dreams, and died old, alone, unhappy, and unable to make his dream a reality. This is what I am afraid of doing myself, so the video helps to remind me what my priorities in life should be when I find the hunger for money and power getting a little too strong.
“Do not be fooled by the name. Molehill is more like a mountain. Combining elements of progressive rock with pop sensibilities and emotionally charged lyrics, this band delivers a symphonic listening experience.” - Jesse Menendez, Vocalo, 89.5FM Chicago
The first time Peter and I strapped in and felt Devin hit the groove, we knew we had something. We didn’t know if it was any good but it felt right. We met ‘the sunshine’ Greg. Since then, we’ve driven all over the country and experienced dirty motels, great people, missed exits, and the freedom of it all. It’s therapy, I really don’t know what we’d do without it.
So here we are, releasing our third set of songs. It’s just as exciting as it ever was to release music into the wild. ‘Hearts on Fire’ seems to be an appropriate song to put out there. I don’t think we’ll ever get over writing songs that feel good in large spaces. Greg came in with the searing lead synth, Peter wrote lyrics inspired by the Euromaidan, and Dev and I banged out a rhythm track. It’s simple and straight to the point, except for those lava rocks J threw into the mix...That’s the charm of writing a simple song. Some of them just come easily.
Some songs, or should I say arrangements, don’t come so easily. ‘Reverie’ started off as a three chord bridge in one of Greg’s songs. What followed was ridiculous in some ways. I think we have somewhere around 300+ emails dedicated to this song and its direction. Dozens of recorded versions later, we got to Nashville and threw a bunch of it away. Get away from your computer and interact, suddenly everything is more visceral and real. The process was worth it.
‘Old Soldier’ started in late November 2014 after I learned that my grandfather wasn’t doing so well. His reflections on his experience in WWII and remarkable life stay with me every day. It only seemed appropriate to use the last voicemail he left me during the outro. When I sent the music over to Pete and he returned the ‘option 5’ melody idea for the verse, I cried. This song is meditative to me. It combines Pete’s ethereal vocal with that West Coast hip hop beat we love so much.
I think we made something that’s honest. We hope you enjoy it.
Chicago, IL | January 2017