• Nick Hartkop

Updated: Mar 13

Salish thematically deals with various things that have taken a long time for me to process from when I was a teenager. Hatred that I had towards my parents, insecurity regarding my sexuality, jealousy, and ultimately my own reflection of who I am now and the question of how I move forward to be the person I want to be.

When I was a teenager, I was grounded for a majority of the time because my parents found a note from my partner at the time wanting me to do something sexual. It was my freshman year of high school and puberty and feelings of attraction were new to me, and it was reinforced that it was a negative thing. I remember my dad coming home from work early because my mom found the note in my room and he was so angry at me and it made me feel so shameful. They wanted me to not see that person anymore but I didn’t understand how those things were worth punishing over, and the anger in my household festered. I felt like having relationships of any kind was a bad thing and I felt like I was wrong for feeling those things. In reality, it was a natural part of adolescence.

It was something that caused me to see my parents as my enemy and I hated them very much for it. I carried a chip on my shoulder because of it, and it even carried into my adulthood. I was always stand-offish because I felt like they didn’t love me and looked down on me for wanting to have relationships and be in love. There was a time when I was grounded when I wanted to go to a movie with my dad and he told me that if I beat him in a chess match that he would take me. It ended in a draw and I remember being heartbroken that we didn’t go because I felt like there was a rift in our relationship all because of my sexuality. I felt like I had to earn his love and It seemed like I never could. I wrote this song about a year ago when I still wasn’t in communication with my family and it’s something that’s helped me process those feelings of resentment alongside my therapy.

I have started to rebuild my relationship with my mother and father and, in my heart, I forgive them for the pain they caused me and the isolation and shame I felt because of their judgment. They are good people and I care a lot about them even if I don’t agree with the way they raised me. I look up to my dad and he tells me he loves me all the time now and it is the best feeling in the world, but there was a long time in my life I felt like he didn't. As an adult, I realized my father was dealing with a lot behind closed doors and I always wish I could have been his friend. I feel like if he would have gotten to know me as a friend when I was growing up that I could have been there for him more and maybe he would have seen me as a good person beyond my sexuality and loved me more. I know he did love me, but that part of my life was so traumatic that it still bothers me to this day when I think about it, and I still do a lot.

Salish, also deals with things a lot of teenagers experience. Sneaking away to get high, being made to feel imperfect by people who aren't perfect themselves, and reflecting on relationships that have fallen apart and wishing you could move on from them and not have to think about them anymore. Another uncomfortable thing the song deals with is that I have always been very jealous of sex and have felt like I am bad at it and that I am worse than my partner's past partners. It’s something I’ve worked through in therapy but is relevant to the song because I felt like that my entire life. In my life now I am blessed with a partner who loves me and accepts me and I love and cherish them and it is amazing to have them sing on the song with me. The song also deals with where I am in my life currently and have been for a couple years: Who am I as a person and how do I show the good of my heart to others? How do I become the person I want to be and show the world I am a good person? I don’t think it is possible because I can’t live my life waiting for the approval of other people. I have fucked up and made a lot of awful mistakes in my life, but I truly am more than those mistakes and I think that’s something a lot of people feel. We are better than the worst parts of us and our lowest moments. I hope this song resonates with people because I think pain, resentment, isolation, jealousy, and wanting to be loved are all things we experience. Thank you to anyone who checks the song out. It is currently on all streaming platforms. On a side note, I will be answering emails these next couple days so if you want to send a message I’ll make sure to get back to you. It may take me a couple days but I’ll make sure of it.


You drove off your college campus

so you could go get high

in your mother's Tesla,

let me ask Alexa

how to fix my partner,

so they aren't disgusting,

so they never hurt me

maybe you could love me

I was playing dress up, beautiful and flirty

put my favorite dress on, pocket full of posies

Ashes on her tombstone, dancing in the basement

drunk with all the lights off, I hate this

My dad's working at the grocery,

he was always pissed off, Never said he loved me,

unless I fuckin earned that

told me to learn patience, my mothers sick and dangerous

she's manic and she broke my brother's bones again

could we go and see a movie?

Made me play a chess match, just to prove if I lose, we won't go

Felt bad,

but he never told me

I think I could have helped him

I think he would have loved me more if I did

And I was sick in the head man, but you were sick too

The only difference is I can't drown my problems in alcohol like you

and I'm at the bottom of that bottle, and your brother is too

and you're the end of the joint that I smoke in my room

And you're the things in my past that I want to forget

and you're the thoughts in my head that cause pain in my chest

and I get sick when I think about them both in bed

but it gets easier with time and with love said a friend

and I drowned

Away away

in a ship that sank

away away

from my own words

away away

How do I become who I want to be, not who they say I am?

Theres a change here

in the air here

could you hold me close?

Will you hurt me too?

Will you love me true?

We finished recording Salish a few weeks ago and will be uploading it later today. Out of all the songs I have made over the last two years it's my favorite one. To be honest I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever made and it means a lot to me and I really hope it connects with people. We went to a new studio for this one because I was looking for a fuller sound for the song. It was a really good day and I hope that people enjoy it. I finally feel like I've made a song I love again which is hard for me to do. Over the last two years I have felt like I was struggling to find my talent again and while I've enjoyed the other songs I've put out, this one is the one I have been trying to find and love dearly.

After its release I will be taking a break from recording for a while. I have been struggling mentally these last couple months and need to take time off from thinking about McCafferty and being active with it. I wanted to release this song before I took a break because I think people will really enjoy it and I feel good sitting on it until I feel like I want to start making music again. Doing McCafferty only works now if I remain healthy, and I need to continue to focus on my treatment and growing as a person. I will still update my blog and respond to messages when I can and I want to thank everyone for listening. This blog means a lot to me and I am grateful to anyone who takes the time to check it out. I want to be a good person and a healthy person, and managing my Bipolar and BPD is a daily struggle, so I need to take time off to focus on those things and being with my family. I have grown a lot as a person and am regretful and feel shame for my past, but I am thankful for the education, therapy, and medication I have been given these last few years and for finally trying to become a stable person. I hate that I was a narcissist in my past, but am thankful for my failures because they led to me finally receiving the help I needed. It sucks looking back at my lowest moments of hurting myself and others and feeling like they define me, but I need to come to terms with the fact that they don’t define me but are a part of my journey of becoming the person I want to be/need to be, even if I wish I could go back in time and change things. I can be better, and am better than the person I was, and I want to start focusing on my future and not obsess over my past anymore. My therapist says I am stuck in a cycle of wishing I could change my past and not focused enough on my future beyond that point in my life, and I want to try to do that. I have had a lot of external struggles and failures, but I will continue to hold myself accountable for the things I say and do and be the best version of myself. I hope it is possible for me to find peace, redemption and happiness. It is something I am actively working towards and I won’t give up on and I want to make other people happy too. I want to use my voice and kindness to help others feel understood. I will post again when the song is up. I think it will connect with people so I’m excited. Feel free to send a message through the site or email nickhartkop@mccaffertyband.com, I will always try to make sure to get back to you. I know there have been a few inquiries about merchandise and we will try to look into that later in the year. -Nick


Salish Artwork

  • Nick Hartkop

I've been feeling really lost in my life and having an identity crisis because I am getting older. I am at a crossroads of trying to figure out who I am as a person and what my future looks like. Do you know that feeling you get right before you fall? Like that weightless feeling in your stomach as you prepare for impact--that is what it feels like for me. It feels like I have a bunch of copper wire in my stomach that I can't untangle and my brain feels like I am a failure. I have a lot of dreams for myself as a writer and a person and I am worried I am running out of time. Sometimes I feel like my life is over and I am just wrapping up what I have left before I die.

I have been struggling with self-harm and wanting to kill myself and sometimes I feel like I have no choice but to kill myself. Like I am just surviving day to day before I finally say, "Today's the day." I get scared of being forgotten because I don't want people to forget about me because it makes me feel meaningless. I wish I could flash forward a couple years and see if I am happy and content with my life. I had an issue of sleeping all the time because I liked being in my dreams more than the crushing weight of reality, but I have been waking up earlier because I am afraid of the dark and want to be in the sun as much as possible.

I have all the blinds open in my home and sit by the window a lot because the sun makes me feel like it's not time to kill myself. The worst is when it's nighttime and I can't sleep and my partner is asleep. I usually just stare at the ceiling recounting all my failures and thinking about how much of a failure and useless I am. I wish there was a straightforward path to redemption for me so people would know I am a good person who has had a lot of external mental struggles but is good in my heart. Alongside my medication for BPD/BP and my treatment I take Prazosin for PTSD. It helps me but sometimes I feel so scared.

I have been crying a lot and want to be a strong person. But I don't know how to be strong and I feel very weak and pathetic. I don't want my life to be meaningless and to just be a cog in the machine of some company I have to work for to survive. I have never been good at work and holding a job. I had a problem of creating issues where there were none and being externally aggressive because of my own insecurities. I am such a paranoid neurotic person and used to be incredibly narcissistic. It's something I have worked on in therapy but I am still struggling with internally. I am just so afraid of being forgotten and disappearing into nothingness.

I know I want to have a family, but I still feel like I haven't accomplished what I want to as a young adult. The years have gone by so fast and I feel like I have been left behind and everyone else my age is successful with families and careers and I am still sleeping cuddling stuffed animals crying. It is a really embarrassing thing to admit but I still feel like a little kid. So I am asking the universe for the strength to be the person I want to be. I want to own the failures I have had and be the person I want to be. It has been two years of treatment that has allowed me to change as a person, but I am not the person I need to be yet. I need to be strong.

I just want to find happiness and peace and help people. I want to be a good person and live an adult life filled with purpose and love. I am a good person in my heart. I am not just a bunch of failures and hurtful words. I don't want to kill myself and I want to figure out how to stop the countdown to it. I want to have children and give them the life I wish I had growing up. I want to be strong for the people around me and I feel selfish feeling this way. I feel embarrassed of this blog because I don't feel like I am able to come across professionally today because of the struggles I am having in my head. I want to find happiness, is it possible to find happiness?

I'm recording my next song, Salish, on March 5th. Out of the 3 songs that I will have done for the album so far it is my favorite. I think it's the best song I've written in years and I am really proud of it. It makes me cry when I listen/play it and I hope it connects with anyone who listens to it. I think it has a good mixture of acoustic, drums, synth, electric guitar and horns. I hope to have it out mid-March. I have been focusing on finishing up my screenplay that I will be submitting for publication and self-publishing. It is 117 pages, so about a minute per page making it around a 2-hour film. I will be making a post dedicated to discussing it the closer it gets to release, I am on my 4th rewrite of it because I want to make sure it is the best it can be.

I hope anyone who is struggling and reads this blog knows that I understand the darkness and pain you feel. I also hope you know your life has meaning and I am glad you are here. I will continue to try to show the world I am a good person and that I have love and life to give. I know everyone wants to find happiness and I hope I find mine. I don't want to feel this way anymore.