Poetic Descent’s music is marked by their absolute refusal to shy away from heavier topics. With a musical style heavy enough to match, their series of singles released over the past year have been quick to make an impact. Formed by Jared Lacey and Adam Thompson following the dissolution of their former band Mayfly, Poetic Descent didn’t lose a moment of time in reforging themselves into a force for creating impactful hard rock music.
Poetic Descent singer Jared Lacey took the time to share with Rock On Purpose about the band’s origin and their approach to topics like abuse, addition and loss.
For those who are just now encountering you guys, can you give us the Poetic Descent origin story?
This is Jared Lacey, and I sing and play guitar for Poetic Descent. We are an Alternative/Metal band from the Dayton, Ohio area.
The band was pretty much created the moment my old band, Mayfly, ended in March of 2017. Mayfly had studio time booked to record our first full length album, and I didn’t want to cancel when the band ended because we had already cancelled once before. So I took six of the songs I had written for Mayfly and went ahead and recorded them myself. I convinced Adam Thompson, who had also been a part of Mayfly, to play drums on the songs. We released the first of those six songs a little over a year later, and we put a new single out every couple weeks after that.
The name, Poetic Descent, came about after I discovered that the biblical Hebrew meaning of my first name meant “to descend,” which refers specifically to the descent of the sons of God or fallen angels to earth in Genesis. The angel/human hybrid offspring of the sons of God were called Nephilim, which has been translated by some to mean giants. In the past few years, I have become intrigued with this rarely mentioned passage in scripture, and I figured that since my name was associated with it, why not name my band after it?
The latest single is “Paperthin Walls.” Can you share about the idea behind that song and what you hope listeners take away from it?
The lyrics for Paperthin Walls were written after hearing the man who lived in the apartment below me constantly yelling at his step-daughter. The walls in my apartment building are so thin that I could usually hear him pretty clearly. He would curse at her and just say really insulting things to her. I remember being yelled at by my parents some when I was a kid and even spanked several times by my parents, but this guy just seemed to take it beyond discipline. Everything he said seemed to come from a place of anger and not love.
I am not the type of person who enjoys confrontation. I wrote the words to this song in a notebook before I ever actually said anything to the man downstairs. I wish I had said to him in real life what I said to him in this song, but I was afraid of the confrontation, so I simply sent him a text message with a Bible verse about children being a blessing from God, and I let him know that I could hear him upstairs. He and his family moved out not long after that.
I really do hope he hears the song some day. I hope this song reaches the ears of parents who are abusing their kids either verbally or physically, because I believe their kids will continue to unintentionally seek out relationships with the same kind of abuse throughout the rest of their lives if they continue to receive it from the ones who are supposed to protect them from it.
Was there anything in your own personal lives that led to choosing to write about such weighty topics, on this song and others?
Yes. I wrote the song “Consuming” after several years of wrestling with an addiction to pornography, which is something I still fall prey to from time to time. The chorus talks about feeling unsatisfied, which is exactly how porn leaves me every time I have looked at it in the past. I use food as a metaphor in this song. Porn is kind of like junk food. It tastes really good and makes you just want to keep eating more and more until you are sick to your stomach, but it has no real nutritional value. It does not truly satisfy. Only Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, can do that.
I am learning that when he died on the cross, my sin was crucified with him, and I was reborn as a new creation with him when he was resurrected. Sin should no longer have any power over my flesh, because it was put to death on that cross. As long as I keep my eyes fixed on it, I cannot fall prey to the temptation of things like pornography.
Another very personal song for me is “Fragile Frame.” I think I began writing the lyrics for it some time in 2010 after my mother died from a disease called ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) which broke down all the muscles in her body, including vital organs like the heart, lungs and brain. I was only 20 years old when this happened, and my siblings were even younger.
I think I accepted the fact that my mother was dying early on, and I asked God for the strength to bear the loss of her in my life. This disease pretty much turns a person into a child who can no longer do anything for themselves and is totally dependent on other people by the end. This gave my father, siblings and I the chance to serve her in many of the same ways she had served us over the years, which was a pretty awesome blessing.
I recall my mother’s faith in God being strong my whole life. In the bridge section I even included an audio clip of her voice that I ripped from an old family video where she is talking to me as a toddler on Easter Sunday. She asks me, “Jared, do you know why we celebrate Easter? You’ll find out in Sunday school today. It’s because Jesus was raised from the dead.” I know if God can raise Jesus from the dead, then he can certainly resurrect my mother, as well, and I will see her again in heaven where we will sing together some day.
How would you describe your personal brand of metal?
I drew influence from bands like Dead Poetic, Project 86, Norma Jean, Beartooth and Blindside for this project. I have always appreciated vocalists who can flip seamlessly between singing and screaming, so I try to do that in most of the songs I write. Staple and Chasing Victory are two bands that have really influenced my vocal style. I listen to a lot of modern metalcore bands, but don’t really like to add the chuggy breakdowns to my songs like they do. I really worked hard on writing choruses with memorable melodies for this batch of songs as well.
What’s coming up this year for Poetic Descent, and how can fans keep up with you?
We just recorded a new single called “Pariah” back in November with Jake Bryant, who used to play guitar in a band called Dangerkids. The song was originally written by our manager, Joel Holycross (Swamp Fawx Artist Collective), the founding guitarist in our old band Mayfly, who allowed us to make our own version of the song. We are hoping to have the song along with a music video released by the spring.
Other than that, we hope to do a few local shows and maybe a few festivals this summer. You can find out everything you need to know about the band by going to www.poeticdescent.com. There are links to our music, social media pages and a place where you can sign up for our mailing list there.
What do you see as your core mission as a band?
I just want to write songs that are honest. I don’t want our music to sound a certain way simply because it will make us more popular, and I don’t want to be afraid to share what God has placed on my heart, even if I know it will make a lot of people uncomfortable. I often struggle to express my thoughts verbally, so I think writing songs helps me to express those thoughts more clearly.
I have heard many Christian bands say that the only reason they exist is to make music for God. I don’t believe that’s 100% true. We make music because it’s fun. It makes us feel alive, but I do hope that God will use the songs I write to speak to someone as well. I hope our music gives us the opportunity to meet people in dark places, so we can remind them that light still exists.
Find “Paperthin Walls” on Spotify and Apple Music.