Songs for Black Days: Fit for a King's Ryan Kirby | Revolver

Songs for Black Days: Fit for a King's Ryan Kirby

Vocalist shares 5 songs that have helped him through dark times
fitforakingryankirby.jpg, courtesy of Big Picture Media
Fit for a King's Ryan Kirby, Montreal, 2018
photograph by courtesy of Big Picture Media

Earlier this year, Dallas, Texas-based metalcore group Fit for a King released their most personal album to date, Dark Skies. On the record, frontman Ryan Kirby opens up in his lyrics about his struggles with anxiety and depression, the ills of social media and, explicitly for the first time, the band members' Christian faith. The crushing single "Backbreaker" tackles Kirby's social anxiety, which used to "cripple" him, according to the singer. "I think a lot of times anxiety and depression go hand in hand because being overly anxious, it makes you not feel great about yourself a lot," he says. "I know there's no instant cure for depression or else everyone would want it.

"It can take years, but I think years of training your mind and think positively over time and take each day as good as you can, hopefully each day gets easier. Even if it takes five years for you to finally say, 'I'm fine now.'"

For our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked Kirby to share some of the music that has helped him through his dark times. Below is what he offered up.

Deaf Havana - "I Will Try"

This band has always been a staple for me when I am in a rut. So many of their songs can pull me up or give me a new perspective. This is my go-to track when I am letting things that are, in the grand scheme of things, minor, get to me. 

Sent by Ravens - "Learn From the Night"

This is a band not many people know about, mainly because they only put out a couple of records and didn't tour much, but this song has helped keep in perspective that while you might not like who you are now, you can change, and life is a learning experience. Which sometimes, I need that reminder. 

Linkin Park - "Breaking the Habit"

This song has been a staple for me since 8th grade and each year it becomes more and more relevant. Everyone has a bad habit, and I have some I need to break as well, and this is basically a song that motivates me to face those issues head on. 

Conditions -"Better Life"

This song is so inspirational and helps remind me that the troubles I face today can be building blocks for a "better life." But those troubles are only beneficial if I use them in a productive way. 

Nothing More - "Do You Really Want It?"

This is a new song compared to the others, but the line, "Everybody wants to change the world/But one things clear/No one wants to change themselves," absolutely inspires me to not just look to try and make the world a better place, but to realize that sometimes I have to change myself and how I think to accomplish that goal. 

Every day in America, 121 people die by suicide. It only takes one to break the silence — take action in your community and sign Hope for the Day's mental health pledge.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.