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  • Writer's pictureNick Hartkop

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

I spent some time the last few days writing, but haven't written anything concrete yet. I have recorded some demos with ideas that I like, but I'm waiting on equipment I ordered to mess with as many different sounds as I can. It 's nice not feeling any pressure to release anything, and doing it in a healthy way.

I’ve been working with multiple drummers, some of whom have been on the road. We have booked November 15, 2021 to start recording the EP. I am excited for them to return and to enter the studio in the fall.

I am thankful for the messages people have been sending, and for the interest in merchandise. Unfortunately, I was not capable of handling the pressure of mass producing merchandise, and I don't have any plans to do merch. I have a company who is interested, but I don't feel right about it. If I were to do anything, maybe a very limited release of the new EP in the fall, but even typing that makes me feel scared and not want to do it. I am going to focus on continuing treatment and working on songs when I have free time.

The weather out has been getting cooler and the clouds are grey here today. I like writing in fall weather, its always been the visual I use for McCafferty. I think my music is best streamed in the fall, because of that melancholy feeling that goes along with the season. I feel most depressed in the summer, and happier in the fall. ___ I've been listening to a lot of the P5R OST lately, and I think the song Beneath the Mask has a relaxing atmosphere. It's a song I listen to when I go to public places because it helps ease my social anxiety. You can check it out here:

  • Writer's pictureNick Hartkop

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Being cancelled is an interesting thing to experience. When everything happened I was a coward and took a bottle of Xanax and crashed my car in a suicide attempt. It left me hospitalized for an OD and then sent to involuntary rehabilitation where I spent a long time. I was without a phone or access to the outside world as everything was crumbling. When I got out of rehab, it was hard to see videos and documents being made celebrating my demise.

I wanted people to like me, but I wasn’t a good person and deserved the opposite. The part that’s hard is the feeling like my self worth is determined by other people and my past. I feel like I will never be able to move forward because every time you look into me, I’m defined to a certain point in my life where I was not the person I should have been. No matter how much I could post advocating that I’m a “good person” and “have grown” the bad that people say about me would overshadow it. So the only way to truly grow from my past is to do so privately, not for an audience. But the scary thing to me is that there seems like there is no room for growth.

The thing I learned through therapy is that the internet is a wild place and public figures aren’t really seen as people, making them easy to hate. Sometimes people project their own anger and frustrations from their own lives onto them. I did that my entire life to other people who didn’t deserve it, so I understand that feeling. I also understand the idea of “being held accountable” to stop despicable behaviors, and I am glad I have been held accountable because of my cancellation. There is positivity in the purpose of “cancelling” other people, but it’s harsh and hard to process, as it should be.

The idea of being a public figure was terrifying because I was scared of other people judging me, but I’m accustomed to it now and know it comes with the territory of having music that is known. I thought all the shaming and humiliation would stop me from ever wanting to make music again, but it did the opposite.

McCafferty is my story, and it’s all the good and bad of me as a person. It shows my journey through my life since I was 17. I like that a lot now. The way you have to look at something like this is like someone who used to be addicted to a substance. I craved the substance of attention and acceptance on social media, so that’s how people knew they would hurt me most when they decided to post about me. I understand their anger and don't have ill will towards anyone. People are rightfully entitled to their opinions of me.

It has been healing not being on social media. As someone who has been toxic for the majority of their life, social media causes more harm than good a majority of the time. I don’t think it’s good for anyone’s mental health to see comments putting them down, it doesn’t matter in what social circle. It makes me feel sad that people are so angry all the time, but I am happy the worst parts of me are seen because I have nothing to hide or try to be something I’m not anymore.

It doesn’t matter how much I am shamed or humiliated, I'll keep writing McCafferty songs and putting out music. What that looks like has changed significantly in my life, and it’s for the better. I cannot handle being a public figure, and because of the judgment I faced growing up from an abusive religious mother, it further projects my feeling of damnation, and I projected that feeling onto other people in my past.

I am thankful I have had my life dissected because It has allowed me to get help and start my life the way I should have been living it. When I first started treatment and came to terms with my behavior, the amount of guilt I felt towards hurting others was overwhelming. I have many regrets in my life.

I also am coming to terms that I am more than the things people say about me. I used to think I had to have this overwhelming acceptance from others to be happy. I thought if I had confirmation from people I didn’t know, that meant I was doing well.

I have found happiness the opposite way, because I was incredibly unhappy before I was cancelled. It’s been a year and a half since then, and the experience has caused me to grow more than I was ready for, and that’s how I know it was a good thing. I am content with not being seen, but just being heard through my music.

Craving acceptance from people who don’t accept you is toxic, and I was a weak person. I have a lot more perspective on the world now, how interactions stick with people, how people are hurt, and how our words and actions can leave permanent scars. There are still times where I get overwhelmed with it all and feel taken advantage of and helpless, but that’s normal. Nobody likes when people talk poorly about them, but it’s the ability to look past those criticisms and be a genuine person that I lacked. I festered criticism and it made me hateful. I think that people enjoy cancelling because it gives them control over someone they don’t like. I see people who are hurt and need that collective approval of the disapproval of someone because it creates a bond between the people cancelling. I see it as a collective healing and airing of grievances. I am glad people are able to do that, but the difficult part of being cancelled is that there is no universal pathway for growth, and the people posting these things are still allowed to grow and evolve into the best versions of themselves, despite the mistakes they have made behind closed doors. They aren’t defined by a certain time in their life, which feels hypocritical to me. However, I understand as a public figure, I am held to a certain standard that isn't common for most people.

I finished up writing an opening song for the EP, but I need to spend some more time with it. I am excited to be making music again, and look forward to sharing more with you. Life is a complicated thing, and having a past is awful, but all you can do is change if you truly want to change. I have a lot to give to this world, and to my family, and I love that. I have to make the choice to not let my borderline personality disorder, toxicity, and my past define me. But it does shape my future. People are always going to hate me, and rightfully so, but there will always be people who accept me. That’s something that’s taking me time to become accustomed to, but something I accept. Nick

  • Writer's pictureNick Hartkop

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

I am writing a new song, and I have been spending a lot more time with it than I usually do with my music. I recently went through my discography reflecting on what songs have connected and which haven't, and I feel like I really fell off lyrically in my music after Beachboy.

When I was younger, it was easier to tell stories that were relatable because I was an awkward, depressed teenager who was in love with the beauty of adolescence and feeling vulnerable. When I started writing music I made the decision to make it as raw as possible because I figured if I truly poured my heart out and wrote about all of my insecurities, maybe someone with a heart like mine would feel how I felt. When I struggled with things that were uncomfortable, I wrote about them.

I think Trees is a good example of that. I figured there were people out there who felt like I did, repressed and confused, angry, and judged by their parents. If you've listened to Trees, my mother is pretty accurate to that song. It was a really hard thing to hear and be brushed off about or not taken seriously. Not everyone will accept you, but at the same time there will always be others who accept you and see that beauty in you.

I remember when I first started writing, I would write songs that would make me cry as I wrote them because it was everything that was hurting me pouring out. I think that changed after Beachboy and the charm and happiness I had ended when I started becoming increasingly mentally ill.

My music and words took this dark cryptic turn that is hard to relate to, and incredibly different from my other material. I think Yarn was too dark and angry, and I regret it as my second album, but I was just projecting so much of my anger into my music, and I think if I would have been in treatment that album would have turned out much better.

I think it's by far the weakest album of mine, with Westboro Sadness being my favorite track off the album. I was so manic when I made that CD and I had convinced myself it was an incredible album, but I was wrong about that.

I enjoyed working with Mike Sapone though. I was in the room with him when Brand New was cancelled, and it was really tough because Science Fiction had just reached number one on the Billboard a couple weeks before. It was a unique scenario I never thought I would witness. I also think THWNDB was boring because my heart wasn't in it. That's my main gripe with that album, it's boring and all sounds the same.

I miss writing lyrics I am proud of because I haven't been good at anything, but I am able to put words in a certain order that brings out something in myself and other people.

I have re-written my latest song twice because I need to put something out that I am proud of and can confidently listen to and say I did my best. I've revisited that old style, and am now trying to use healing and regaining my love for life in these songs.

I'm insecure and always picture people saying my music sucks and I suck, and it makes me want to try my best. I know not everybody will like me and accept me, but I am writing for the opportunity to feel happy with my music.

One of my oldest and favorite songs, "Is your shirt inside out" has always held a special place in my heart. I think the line, "I bet you that your brother is stronger than mine, it's a two punch swing in a fistfight, alright." was one of my favorite lines I've written. I think that song in general is good lyrically and I want to tell stories like that again, and escape this weird depressing fog that's surrounded my music since BB. I don't mean depressing as in content, but just the general feel of the life behind the music. I hear hope in the old songs I wrote as I navigated adolescence alongside the frustrations of feeling misunderstood. My writing after that sounds like confused, lifeless anger to me when I listen back. I think it's possible to do better, so I'm going to try.



My friend, Mark, the former guitarist for Moose Blood has started a new band with Lee, the drummer from MB. They are two of the best musicians I've ever met, and they have shown me incredible kindness even though I dropped off their tour. They are good people and deserve the best for their music. The name of their band is Hurtless and you can check it out here.

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