When we will reached out to Life of Agony singer Mina Caputo to participate in our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, she jumped at that opportunity. Perhaps not surprising for an artist whose latest album is titled A Place Where There's No More Pain, Caputo has had her share of dark times, and she has often turned to music to help her through them.
"Dear ones," she writes, "all these tracks, sounds, artists and musicians continuously have an incredible impact on my life, creative self, my soul — from my childhood, adolescence throughout my adult life. Words cannot express how these songs — among others, of course — have paved the way to my present now. They've inspired me to no end. These songs gave me the courage to live and die; to create, destroy; to empower oneself; to open my wounds to the world so proper healing can take place. Inspirationally and fearlessly giving me the courage to be loved and disliked, simultaneously.
"I express nothing, but infinite thanks to all the artists, bands and songwriters that have saved and inspired me on countless occasions throughout my wonderful and chaotic blessed Life."
Freedom, traveling within, without, being a mountain, a flower, maintaining that innocence of childhood, finding that perfect woman, realizing it was me all along — the entire time. Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin showed me the way, and continues to right up to this very moment.
At a time when I was hopeless, suicidal and very self destructive ... "I hurt myself today/To see if I still feel/I focus on the pain/The only thing that's real" Getting rid of it all: the opinions of friends, family, society, culture. Realizing it's a bunch of staged lies — the politics, religions, science and most institutions set into place for humanity.
"To kill it all away" speaks to finding and trusting the only true voice that matters — your own — and at the same time trying to keep that internal fury and rage at bay.
This track is sexy and fun. Very underrated. Makes me wanna fuck, especially with lyrics like, "And you're the shit/I'm gonna be your bitch" and "You're my joy/And I'm gonna be your toy."
Makes me wanna get down, express the submissive side of myself, take part in an orgy and dance naked and ritualistically — kinda seductive.
Scott Weiland and Martyn Lenoble were always a great musical combo for me: Dark, sexy, especially on Scott's solo debut, 12 Bar Blues.
Craving outer-worldly dimensions, gateway portals; wanting to escape, to exit this 3D physical realm and being completely OK with it, because you know deep down death is just another charismatic trip into the unknown worlds of trust and love.
It also has a special meaning because of Bowie's literal reference of Coney Island — it's been a lifelong stomping ground for me besides NYC's LES.
When those words drop off his tongue, it's like everything to me, sends me chilling vibrations within.
"Don't forget/To keep your head warm/Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd/Watching all the world/And war torn/How I wonder where you are/Oo-o/Sailing over/Coney Island/Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd/We were dumb/But you were fun, boy/How I wonder where you are/Oo-o"
This is all about throwing those boots on, roughing – toughening the fuck up. "I couldn't kill it/I hit the city/I hit the city/Ghost arrives at its bitter end/To the promised land and the dark descents" is about believing in your stride, walking the walk, and fucking-off the talkers. Mark's soul, voice and endless works are incredibly important to me. He's influenced me so deeply, especially now as he's recognized my musical presence, writing me on Twitter that I "brought a tear to this old man's eyes" when I sang "Candy Says" with Lou Reed's band/crew in NYC. As lame as that sounds, I wanted to die, and felt that I could. I could give a fuck because I deeply admire the man and couldn't be more honored and indebted to his warrior soul.
Chaos, anarchy, sex, altering-consciousness, poetry in motion with the word fearlessness. Going after your dreams; reminding me of all the countless nights I've spent in Los Angeles tripping on heroic doses of mushrooms on Venice and Zuma Beaches involved in the infamous "drum circles" that took place; channeling Jim's higher self, acting out The Joker, clown and the howling 12th century dervish soul in me. It also forever reminds me of the time I sang about five to six tracks at SIR in L.A. with the surviving Doors members in the summer of 2007 while recording my solo album, A Fondness for Hometown Scars, with my friend Martyn Lenoble (producer), Flea, Vincent Jones, Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and many more incredible creators — what a fucking great year that was. I've been so blessed with life, which the Doors constantly remind me of.
This entire album [1992's Dirt] doesn't need any more accolades, merit and praise than it has already received. Any musician in their right mind knows exactly what the fuck is up with the flow of these songs. And if not, they should give it up right now and go bury themselves alive.
The chorus in particular — "Into the flood again/Same old trip it was back then/So I made a big mistake/Try to see it once my way" — gave me the strength to fight, and live for life, while ironically showing me how fucked I really was in my twenties. This song gave me air and courage to fight for my dignity — for a healthy future, if there ever was one.
Invisibility; reminding me to live; that my unique and authentic life experience was and still is worthwhile. It makes me feel that I wasn't or am not alone anymore — and even if I was — being totally OK with it.
"Maybe I just wanna fly/Wanna live, I don't wanna die/Maybe I just wanna breathe/Maybe I just don't believe/Maybe you're the same as me/We see things they'll never see/You and I are gonna live forever"
This track allows me to accept being an outlaw, outsider, rebel; not giving a fuck about people's ideas and opinions on gender, sex and how one gets their freak on; truly lives, roams. It makes me wanna slap the shit out of small-minded, un-enlightened, fear-based deadbeat idiots that roam Earth.
This track speaks to me on the romance of life, the city streets; the poetry of life, death, of sounds; expanding mind and heart, wandering aimlessly through the LES in a deliberate, dream state.
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.