Air Traffic Controller | 10 Songs, 10 Stories

Boston’s Air Traffic Controller released Black Box in 2016, winning four Independent Music Awards. The band consists of Dave Munro + Casey Sullivan, and they’re our first artists to contribute to our “10 Songs, 10 Stories” series in 2017.

Munro and Sullivan wrote a little about each song on Black Box below, but before you get to that, please also have a view of their video for “The House.”

And now, 10 Songs, 10 Stories with Air Traffic Controller.

Get It Over With – Dave Munro

I remember two guys sitting and chatting outside a local town bar, one was upset about a girl, I hear the other one say, “people can change, but only like this much;” he held up his hand to show with his fingers, about an inch. This moment was clarifying to me. We really can’t change all that much, and in most cases, why the hell should we? Why is love is so powerful, it can make people stay together, even if they want to change each other drastically? It’s kind of a shame if you believe there is someone out there for everyone. In a perfect world, people would meet and just hand each other a list of “flaws” and their life’s agenda. When you know, you know, so congrats, you found love, but when you realize a relationship won’t work, you may be have discovered so much more for yourself. “Get It Over With.”

The House – Dave Munro

The song was written as a thank you to my parents, celebrating how being raised in the wake of a divorce ended up being kind of awesome. When I was in 5th grade, my mom married my friend’s dad, a Vietnam veteran, who was naturally more strict than we were used to, but together, he and my mom made sure all 7 of us step children always had fun under their roof. The house became the hang out spot for all of my friends and all of my siblings and step-siblings friends. To this day, everyone still refers to it as “The House.”

What You Do To My Soul – Dave Munro

Sort of an opposite to “Get It Over With,” this song celebrates being in love and just knowing it, based purely on a feeling in your soul. Who knows what the future holds, things are working, regular days, fun days, it’s all good. We should just do this forever. It’s pretty simple really: I like how this feels, I like “What You Do To My Soul.”

Creature Of The Night – Dave Munro

Some of us are night owls, and we’re very apologetic about it, to our significant others, to society, it’s looked at as an irresponsible trait. I get it, most of us have to work in the morning, but it’s unfortunate because often our finest moments, our brilliant ideas, our thoughtful conversations, our happiest of times, occur in the wee hours. I applaud those who find a way to make night time fun happen, yes even on weekdays, and those who dream while they’re still awake. We all recover eventually, it’s not a bad thing to be a “Creature Of The Night.”

This Is Love – Dave Munro

An indie filmmaker friend of mine made a movie about a serial killer and asked if I would write a song for the closing credits. I laughed and said I am not right the person to ask. He said, I know, and asked if I would try to do it anyway. As soon as I got off the phone, I started thinking about being someone else, a bad guy. Violent, abusive, sadistic, sociopathic, demons are sometimes exposed for their crimes, but others are walking among us, some right beside us, making us think they are compassionate human beings, sometimes even making us believe “This Is Love.”

Phantom – Casey Sullivan

This song is about being in a situation where you feel really powerless. It was a time when I was trying so hard to have my thoughts heard but was essentially coming up against a brick wall and had no choice but to shut up and disappear. I knew it was for the best but it’s frustrating to feel like you’re not being heard.

Warrior – Casey Sullivan

“Warrior” was written in the aftermath of a really difficult breakup. This person was telling me how strong I was and that everything would be okay, but I felt like a piece of me had been taken away and did not feel strong at all. It felt a little patronizing to hear that I was “so strong” and it pissed me off, so I wrote this song.

Water Falls – Casey Sullivan

“Water Falls” is a song about attempting to live in the moment because otherwise I freak out about the lack of control I have over mostly everything. The chorus lyrics are basically me attempting to tell myself to enjoy the ride because nothing is guaranteed and there’s only a few things you can know for sure. The rest is just chaos and it’s exciting I guess, but also terrifying.

On The Wire – Casey

“On the Wire” was written at the very beginning stages of a relationship when I was very uncertain of where things would go, but I was feeling optimistic. It was that moment where my inner optimist popped out, which doesn’t happen all the time. It’s a fun feeling. The relationship did not work out.

Island – Casey Sullivan

“Island” is a song about tearing yourself away from a situation that you know isn’t healthy. The chorus says “I could be a loner or a liar.” It’s basically like I could be alone or I could lie to myself and keep going down this unhealthy path. It’s generally good to trust your instincts, even though I don’t always take my own advice.

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