When I first step on a stage exclusively to sing a song I was almost 40 years old. Not going to lie, I was nervous as fuck of course because any artist would be, the same way I was nervous for all my ironmans. However this time was different, I was in fear. Fear because all of that had a meaning to me, like a metaphor. But thanks to weed, I able to chill and thanks to coffee I had the energy to do it as well. Which by that way, I just learned this is called Hippie speed ball! LOL!
The metaphor is simple, singing represents gaining my voice. So, in a way that show was my step out of depression something I have been dealing with for a long time now. Something that started around 7 years old with guilt, that I carried for years without even realizing. Anyways, that is a long story that became a book. Now, there is a sentence in the song I sang “all apologies by nirvana ” that really touch my soul: “Everything is my fault”. That explains everything in depression, at least in my depression. For ages, I really thought everything was my fault, and I never even had a chance to defend myself. I had no voice, I couldn’t speak, I was afraid of speaking. Now, I can recognize and deal with it using my “voice”. So yeah, that was a huge night for me, and I was only able to do so because I am a punk.
I have so many reasons why I needed to step in that stage and rock. Truth being said I was only able to do so because I am a punk and that is why I teach my kids to be punks. Funny thing is, when I said that only a few people got it because nobody really know what it means to be a punk.
First, being a punk is about being authentic, being true to yourself and embracing who you truly are. Quite simple!
Second, is about following your dreams. Nothing to do with money, I mean your real dreams, you know, the dreams of your heart. That sparkle of light that we all have inside. That something that makes your soul light up! (Note: sometimes might be a real dream)
Third, being a punk is recognizing that we are all souls. I mean we are very similar in the biological level, however in the soul level we are all unique. We all have something to learn and something to teach in this life.
Now you just have to keep in mind is that life will challenge you no matter what, so you can either enjoy the ride by following your dreams (heart) or you can make the challenge of life miserably challenging. I choose to follow my dreams. For example, I have been wanting to do my philosophical YouTube channel show but never had the balls, so this week I finally launched the coffee with weed talk show. I talk show with myself, you know, when you need an expert opinion you have to ask yourself.
The best part is that the show is in English and Portuguese, just like the punk rock songs for kids. Therefore today I am launching my cover song in Portuguese called a barata (the cockroach).
So be a Punk, ambrase your assholeness and shine were the light doesn’t shine. I choose religion for many reasons, but most because they are the first ones to fail in reconize souls and our uniqueness. Ironic, right? Because they sure preach about it, but actions speaks lauder than words.
For years I believe I was doom for a life of surfering and pain. For real, was a feeling that I couldn’t enjoy life, and if I did I would be punished. Everything that gave me joy was going to be the end of the world. Like, everything was my fault. Heavy metal thought me that the easy way out, ending life, was not an option.
Yes, it’s true, the feeling was that I was wicked. Like in my dreams is it was always there, demons faces saying I couldn’t enjoy life. I didn’t know what those demons were until I picked up the guitar to play at 39 years old. Not only that, it only started to make sense on my 40th birthday! That’s when I realized I was battling my own existence.
At age of 39 is when I told my wife, I wanted to be the one who stays home with the kids and learn music. Not only because I didn’t want to work. I mean I don’t want to work, because the truth I can’t have a boss. I think from all the bosses that I had, there is a very few that I didn’t say fuck off. Me out there is a menace to society. It’s true, cause I have an attitude and I know how to use it, like the guy from office space. The scene where the guy from office space, says fuck off and got promoted actually happened in my life a few times. Or that scene with George Costanza, when he does everything the opposite way. Anyways, I said I want to stay home and say fuck you to the Pope and rock. I also wanted to stay home mostly because Luke is as sensitive, if not more than I am, and now Amber. She is also super sensitive.
Scaping hell (depression) is about learning about my sensitivity and using, and as I do that I want to teach my kids how to use their strength in life, after all my sensitivity is my strength. This way the story won’t repeat itself. The crazy thing is as a sensitive person I became very angry inside due to not exploring my sensitivity, and swallowing my feelings. Didn’t look like I was an angry person because like the movie Anger Management he says there are 2 kinds of people: the one who explodes and the one who listened quietly day after day. Well, I am/was the one who listened day after day. Felt like I was grounded for 33 years.
Hell and fire was spawned to be released and that’s when the other day I made the video of saying fuck you to the Pope. As I released all this anger in form of art I noticed that things actually started to workout in my life, and the paranoia is gone. Things are no longer heavy and the energy is flowing. Not only that, by doing this, it creates a positive effect in the people around me, my family. Maybe not the devoted catholics since my story make them uncomfortable, but it’s what they say, life begins at the end of the confort zone.
Now I planned to release my first kids song in portuguese this week, however since we are moving (we got a house, see how choosing love/joy things workout?), I decided to wait and record the video in the new house. I believe this will have a much deeper meaning. Because the reality is, on January 20th, Saint Sebastian day the Padron of my hometown (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) we bought our first home. That day was when the world turned around for me, that day was the day I realized I was not doomed, and I finally found my place under the sun. Yeah, I escaped hell, and it felt like a slapt in the face of destiny. Well, maybe not a slapt, but more like a mooning to destiny. I always loved mooning LOL.
Here it is the first chapter of my book with the release on EASTER 2021! -Chapter 1- It was a recurring dream. Buildings, trees, and people stretched in size in a fraction of a second while I shrunk. All that grew in me was the despair of not being heard in that distorted world. My screams echoed through the giant legs of my parents and brothers, but did not reach the parabolic ears. The worst was realizing that they didn't miss me. Family members, friends and colleagues showed no concern for my whereabouts, as if there had never been a Richard Wygand in their lives. When I remember the loneliness I carried in my chest when I awoke from the nightmare, I feel deep compassion for that frightened boy. Ah, Rirou, my man! How I wanted to be able to go back in time and hug you. Sit next to me and say that a man cries too and that you can cry when you feel like it. I was also going to teach you that you can say what you feel and listen to the music that moves you. Heavy metal, punk rock, reggae, samba. Does not matter. Try all styles, kid, that's what I was going to defend. Then, I would invite you to go skateboarding until the sun meets the sea in Rio de Janeiro. A meeting like this could take away that bad dream from the lonely room of the apartment at Cosme Velho, in Laranjeiras, once I lived my childhood and pre-adolescence as the beginning of a trio of energetic boys, children of a marriage that ended when I was 3 years old. We lived with my mother and grandparents in a middle-class condominium that was two kilometers from Christ the Redeemer, a symbol of faith similar to the giants that drowned out my pleas for help while sleeping.
It took me decades to realize that waking up from that nightmare didn't mean relief. My voice also did not find any attentive ears in the real world and, just like in the dream, I kept shrinking until I became an introverted, depressed child, with binge eating and bursting with aggression. In the first fight at school, I remember crying. My colleagues didn't understand anything, because I had hit the boy. The disagreement started with a soccer crash, a trigger to vent the toxic masculinity that many men carry. The boy cursed me, I snapped, and he tried to kick me. As I was already beaten by two much bigger than me, I managed to defend myself. I reacted by reflex, grabbed my leg, swiped the other for support, and my colleague fell on his back, running out of air. We still clung to the floor and I started punching him, while crying.
I cried a lot until I was 7 years old. Any change in a place’s energy or a person’s mood was enough to tighten my grip. Soon, thick tears were streaming down her face. My brothers, their friends and my own made fun of me when I reacted crying to a disagreement on the playground or suffering from a stupid joke. I remember singing “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure and laughing in my face. As any child would, I ran to the nearest adult who could protect and comfort me from that tightness in my chest. But the giants did not seem to hear the little one and preferred to ignore what was happening to me. So, after hearing so much that I was a big boy and that a boy shouldn’t cry, I ended up learning to swallow my tears and hide my feelings. Ah, Rirou, my man! It didn’t have to be that way. Yes, a man cries, and it is very good to cry, see? Several generations of boys have been manufactured by this violent way of relating to themselves, to others and to the environment in which they live. The result was billions of insecure, frustrated, depressed, unhappy and destructive men.
After 33 years and thousands of kilometers traveled, after countless therapy sessions, of all kinds, and meeting wonderful beings that allowed me to conquer the freedom to enjoy my pleasures without censorship, I can say that I am closer to healing than who never imagined little Richard Wygand, so frightened in his world of oppressive giants.
In that unlikely encounter, in addition to comforting you from the bad dream, I would show that the Rirou 2020 version has grown enough to face the internal and external monsters. I'm sure he would be proud to know that in the future he would become an accomplished man, husband and father. Such a return to time would be so incredible and important that I would not hesitate to tell you that we are now strong enough to declare war on the greatest dehumanizing of human creations: the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church.
Yes, because I do not blame my parents or grandparents, nor any adult who contributed to my education. My mother, poor thing, recently divorced, trying to return to the job market, without time to watch three big guys. In that chaos, saying that a man doesn't cry was the easiest way to create a shell on me to withstand the world outside.
The problem is that out there was a society based on religious principles, poisoned by limiting truths about what is right and wrong and ignorant enough to threaten children to hell just for not following Christian moral standards to a T.
Swallowing my feelings was the first armor I was put on to deal with the world of real giants, but no one protected me to absorb the raised fingers in my direction who thought I was a bad boy for listening to heavy metal, punk rock or skateboarding.
I was eight years old when I heard from a friend of my brother that the Slayer undead poster, which he had in his room, was the certificate that the final judgment would not be easy for us rock'n roll lovers. "You listen to these songs of the devil, know that Jesus is going to return with a train, take whoever believes in him, and burn everything else," was what he said.
For those who liked the style, like the three of us at home, hearing that sentence caused me a lot of fear. That boy knew something that I didn't know. I could be right, I don't know.
Unable to cry and terrified of suffering the judgment of others for being who I wanted to be, I ended up withdrawing until I deserved a good guy pat on the head. The reward came in calories. I devoured all the food I saw in front of me. Half a packet of white bread with honey or ketchup was a common snack in my afternoons. At birthday parties, no one exceeded my count in the number of hot dogs. Overweight, at the age of 7, I became a boy who knew he was a good person, but who anesthetized himself with sodium and sugar to fall asleep without fear and guilt. The worst of it is that none of this saved me from encountering the giants and loneliness in a nightmare.
Before we got pregnant with Luke, my wife and I talked about my depression and I knew it I had to get my shit together. On that time, I already had a feeling my depression was related to my spirituality. Well, I think most depressions are related to spirituality. I know mine is and many other people as well.
After Luke was born he woke me up. I mean he brought back all my sensitivity. I do believe he has a power to turn on Love on people, I have seen so many times. Anyways, once he was born I started to look for answers, so one day I knew it I had to go to a full moon drum circle there was happenning near my house. There, I met Tecia one of the most spiritual persons I know, also a punk rocker and she was the ritual organizer. Nothing was planned, I just knew I had to go, when I got there for my surprise my friend Rafa was there. Rafa and I have shared many punk rock concerts, a few joints and a few good talks about existence.
After the circle I was talking to Tecia, and she looked to me and said “you are a medium”, and in my mind I was; “whatever!”. After that, life got a little crazier and we moved to Colorado. Once we moved here, I was struggling a bit with work and what to do with my life. I tried to go back to school but that was making it worst. One day talking to my wife, she said “the issue is you think you are over your depression but you are not”. She was right.
A few weeks later Slayer was playing the final tour here in Denver. Since I have always wanted to see Slayer live, I couldn’t miss the opportunity. It was also full moon that day, and during that concert I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. The energy was super strong and I was like, how? How is possible? I always heard Slayer was one of the most “evil” bands of all times. How was making me feel that good and giving me that many insights. Well, that night after the concert I finally unpack my guitar. But I also, felt that I needed to repeat what was echoing in my mind. Wait, what? Repeating what was echoing in my mind, meaning voices? Than I said, I need therapy!
I restarted therapy and that is when I started organizing Rock-it-ology listening to those words echoing in my mind. 2020 came along and I started connecting the dots, I finally stopped to listen to my inner voice. Being away from people was a good thing. That is when I realized I was in fact I am medium, a seed planted by a punk rocker back in 2016. A punk medium, but a medium. Well, if I am a medium this is definitely divine intervention. The crazy part is that by telling my story, my truth it does pick a fight with Religion because I was judge by day 1 for being different. The thing is if I don’t say it, of if I don’t write it I get angry, frustrated and a shitty old man and I don’t want to be like that. Especially around my sensitivite kids.
There are 2 things I want to teach my kids: one is to accept themselves, and two is to love themselves for who they are. Well, in oder to do that I need to accept myself, and accepting myself is about accepting my love for music, for the guitar and my sensitivity.
Bottom line is if you want to change, you need to face your fears, and love yourself. Depression is about waking up for love, and love is the absent of judgement. In order to understand that we must stop and listen to our inner voice. How? With meditation! Now, there are many forms of meditation, which one of them is listening music and also skateboarding. The truth is in order to love someone you need to love yourself, cause you can’t pour from an empty cup.
For me the way out of depression it is an inner child revolution. Now how excited I was to watch Slayer live? Like a child! Even my wife was like, what the hell is wrong with you today? Wanna proof?Check out the video I made going to the concert, a video that I never post even though I really wanted to, but I was afraid. Going to that concert really tapped into my innerchild. Do you know what it’s cool of all of this? The idea or facing my fear and learning the guitar came when I was building Luke’s room and listening to Iron Maiden Piece of mind album. In fact, in my first email for Luke during the pregnancy I sent him the link of the album on YouTube.
“Oh, God of Earth and Altar
Bow down and hear our cry
Our earthly rulers falter
Our people drift and die
The walls of gold entomb us
The swords of scorn divide
Take not thy thunder from us
Take away our pride” Just a babe in a black abyss
No reason for a place like this
The walls are cold and souls cry out in pain
An easy way for the blind to go
A clever path for the fools who know
The secret of the Hanged Man, the smile on his lips The light of the blind
The venom tears my spine
The Eyes of the Nile are opening
You’ll see She came to me with a serpent’s kiss
As the Eye of the Sun rose on her lips
Moonlight catches silver tears I cry
So we lay in a black embrace
And the seed is sown in a holy place
And I watched, and I waited for the dawnThe light of the blind
The venom that tears my spine
The Eyes of the Nile are opening
You’ll seeGoBind all of us together
Ablaze with hope and free
No storm or heavy weather
Will rock the boat you’ll see
The time has come to close your eyes
And still the wind and rain
For the one who will be king
Is the watcher in the ringIt is You, oh
It is You