Nashville. The Nashville Predators made it to the Stanley Cup Finals and Tennessee’s own, Free Throw, not only released their new album, Bear Your Mind, but they also kicked off their first headlining tour! We caught up with the band who talked of their love of the Preds, the recent addition to the team, P.K. Subban, and the inspiration behind some of the more personal songs on their album.
On May 26th, Free Throw debuted their 2nd studio release, Bear Your Mind, with prior single releases of “Randy, I am The Liquor” and “Better Have Burn Heal”. After learning more about the inspiration behind the lyrical messaging, the timing of the album release seemed fitting, given that the month of May is National Mental Health Month. Cory Castro (vocals & guitar) decided to write “Better Have Burn Heal” while struggling with his own body image issues. After going on medication for Anxiety, Cory, who had been in shape and very active all his life, rapidly gained weight as a side effect from the medication. Body Dysmorphia quickly became an everyday battle. Cory told ESPN Music, “I decided the best way to try and make myself feel better about it was to work towards the goals I have set in mind for myself and to write a song about it. I tried to write it in a way that was more relatable than just anyone who has struggled with weight issues - I wanted it to be relatable to people who have had any kind of identity issue or self-issues in general. I’m just trying to make people realize that no matter who you are, you can find a way to love yourself.” He spoke of the positive reactions from fans and how thankful he is, saying “When fans thank me for writing music like this, I always like to thank them back because most of the time I’m writing about my own personal struggles, and one of the worst things about struggling with anything personally is feeling like you’re alone. Knowing that you’re not, is one of the most helpful things.”
With this album, the band had a different subject in mind, focusing more on personal and internal struggles rather than drawing inspiration from relationships and break-ups, as they had in previous releases. Cory described this album as “Louder, a lot louder.” He went on to say, “We used a lot more overdrive. When we play live, we try to amp up our sound anyway, so with this record we really wanted to translate that live sound onto the record rather than just adding that element on stage after the fact.”
Throughout our interview with the band, their love of sports quickly became apparent. Even with their busy touring schedule, they always find time to go to as many Nashville Predators games as possible. “Bridgestone Arena is like my second home,” said Cory, “I love that place. I can’t get enough of it.” When the trade for their former Captain, Shea Weber, for Montreal Canadian P.K. Subban was announced, the band did have some mixed feelings – but not for long. “Losing a Captain is always a weird ordeal to go through, but honestly I love P.K.’s playstyle. He’s a lot faster and a lot less stationary than Shea was. To me, he’s just really good at the blue line and that’s something that’s always needed in a core defense in Hockey,” said Cory. Larry (guitar) recalled seeing the headlines, “The first line was like, oh my god, we lost Shea Weber and the next sentence was like, oh my god, we got P.K. Subban now!” Larry went on to say, “I’m also super excited to have him be part of the Nashville community. He’s such a charitable athlete. He seems to love it so far. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him not smiling.”
Nashville Predators defenseman, P.K. Subban, was recently featured in an episode of ESPN’s E:60. We asked the band what they thought about P.K.’s over the top personality. Justin (bassist) told ESPN Music how they love his larger than life persona, “We’ve never really had a personality like that on our team. We’ve always been a more laid back kind of team. It’s nice to have someone that really shines through as a superstar.”
With the release of Bear In Mind, kicking off their first headlining tour, and having their beloved Preds make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, we’d say it’s been an awesome few weeks for Free Throw, who left us with one final remark: “Go Preds. Go Titans. Go Vols. Go West Ham.”