– Madeleine O’Connell
September 29, 2020
Even though Brad Brooks is just now releasing “Why Do You Hurt,” he originally wrote it with Robert Tepper several years ago. After putting the song aside for a while, Brooks realized a revamped version would fit perfectly with his upcoming album, “God Save the City.”
During a trip to the dentist, a lump was found in Brooks’ throat and it left him wondering if he would be able to continue his music career.
“In the beginning of finding out, I went in the studio with my band to start this record because I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I felt pretty positive that I would be okay, but you just never know,” says Brooks.
This soulful song was recorded right before Brooks had to undergo an operation and 30 days of radiation for the cancer.
“I was really focused on staying positive and doing what I had to do to get through it, whatever that was. The radiation was optional, but I’m glad that I did it.”
Five years later and he’s happy to say he is cancer free. He is also back to making music and has finished his next record.
“This record is about fear, both personal fears and the fears that everyone is kind of going through right now. There’s so much that’s been going on and I feel like this record speaks to the times.”
Some of the tracks were actually written awhile back, including “Why Do You Hurt.” Brooks thought it was finally time to put the song to use, but there was one problem, he couldn’t find the cassette it was recorded on. So with a little memory and the help of a chord chart, the band was able to pull together a newer version of the song.
“It definitely turned into something different, but I am really happy with how it came out.”
Now both the sound and the meaning of the song has shifted for Brooks.
“When I first wrote it, it was more of a personal song, but since then, it has taken on a different connotation. I think now it’s much more about the current state of the world and confronting and overcoming things … It’s taken more of a broader view than a personal view.”
This journey has given Brooks the opportunity to help other musicians and friends through similar situations of their own.
“I’m definitely the living testament that you can get through it and be even better for it. I think I have so much more appreciation now for singing and for life. Anytime I get to sing or perform, it’s a blessing for sure.”