Today I’m excited to bring everyone a stream of the recently reissued LP by The Co Founder, called Gymnasium. The reissue of Gymnasium, previously released in 2018 on Slang Church, features two live acoustic versions of the singles from the record that were recorded and released by Slang Church via their Brunch Tunes sessions. The band will also be recording new music next month with producer Jordan Krimston (Oso Oso, The Obsessives, Weatherbox). I was able to catch up with songwriter Hayden Eller for an exclusive track-by-track look at this reissue. If you’re enjoying the LP, please consider purchasing it here.
”Sink/Swim” – This song is about self fulfilling prophecies and self induced failure; knowing you have the chance to succeed but struggling to actualize that potential into tangible outcomes.
”Full Stop” – This song is about the emotions that come with being a DIY touring musician. Specifically the difficulty that comes with self promoting and the fraudulent feelings that come with that. Trying to hype up your fan base while dealing with the realities of independent touring.
”Already Know” – This song is about a person I used to know in Seattle. I felt he was a perfect encapsulation of the self serving musicians that poison DIY with dreams of money and grandiosity. I don’t think he knows the song is about him, so mums the word!
”16 miles” – This song is about living in a small town where everyone knows everything about each others business. Co Founder was founded in a really small town, Bellingham (WA), and I initially struggled with what I felt was the gate keeping that was in place within the scene.
”Downstairs” – This song is about attempting suicide when I was a teenager. I tried to hang myself in my parents living room, but my belt wasn’t long enough. The song is my attempt to hug my younger self and provide the protection I so desperately needed at that point in my life.
”Lullaby” – I have a deep love for acoustic music, and I’ve always loved albums that can meld full band rock and roll with softer mellow songs. This song was our attempt to accomplish that, kinda in the vein of Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace by Foo Fighters.
”Stoic in Sand” – This song is about having ADD and not being able to stick to one plan. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to recognize that consistency is key to success, which is something I very much struggle with. So the line “all you needed was to stick to a plan” was an attempt to shake myself into consistency.
”Alderwood” – This song is about my wife, who is an outspoken survivor of sexual assault. I wanted to write a song in the vein of “Wounded” by Third Eye Blind. A song that was built to empower survivors and offer a big fuck you to those that choose to take advantage of others.
”Quarter Mile” – This song is about my little brother Travis. I love him dearly, but I had never written a song for him previously. “Quarter Mile” is meant to be my anthem for him, a big middle finger to anyone who says he isn’t enough or that he can’t accomplish everything he sets out to accomplish. He’s badass and I wanted to write a song that encapsulated that.
”Rooftops” – This song is about my Dad, who has worked in education my whole life. Gymnasium is a concept album about my Dad and I’s relationship, and “Rooftops” is the capstone to that story. It’s meant to touch on the strife we have experienced together as well as the deep love we feel for one another. Love isn’t always easy and I wanted to make it clear that my relationship with my Dad has been a journey, BUT has always been rooted in love.