I’ve been listening to Streetlight Manifesto since I was 13 years old.
The entire reason why I started listening to them was because a boy I had a crush on introduced them to me. I solely wanted to impress him. Instead, I ditched my middle school heartthrob and found my favorite band. Over the years, Tomas Kalnoky and his several projects have affected me in so many ways.
I’ve gained friends from all over the place, some living in places like Oregon, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida and so on and so on… and others living in the United Kingdom. I know them all because we have the same connection to and love for Streetlight Manifesto. Tomas’ songwriting is influential in different ways to different people, and that’s why I love it. We all have different interpretations to each song, and different reasons why one song might be more important to us than the other. I can still visualize 13-year-old me, sitting on my twin sized bed with my headphones plugged into my flip phone, listening to the first song I heard from Streetlight; One Foot on the Gas, One Foot in the Grave. To me, that song is one of my favorites because it reminds me of where it all started.
I wasn’t in a good place in my life in middle school. I mean, it was middle school and I was struggling with everything it had to throw at me. Looking back at that moment, I can see how much I have grown, and Tomas’ music has been with me through all of that. Having Streetlight Manifesto, BOTAR, and Toh Kay through those years was so detrimental to my growth process. I was an angry, depressed teenager who could turn to these upbeat, intricate, meaningful songs for, in a way, some kind of peace and understanding.
Now as a 21-year-old, I thank Tomas Kalnoky’s music for a lot of things in my life. Most importantly, I met a wonderful person through Streetlight Manifesto, who happened to live 20 minutes away from me. We’ve now been dating for almost 3 years, and that’s something I can wholeheartedly thank Tomas’ music for. I met my best friend because he brought up ska music to me when we first became friends, and if Streetlight Manifesto didn’t get me involved more in the music community, I would have had no clue what he was talking about.
All of the friends I’ve made, all of the friends and fellow fans I’ve gotten to meet, and all of the places I’ve been able to go to see a show have provided me with the best memories in my life thus far. I’ve hit a lot of lows in my life, and I am grateful for Tomas and his music for keeping me here. I am grateful for everything his music has done for me and I’m excited to see what comes next for Tomas Kalnoky and his several projects.