Bored Again

The Story behind the song and why it's all about courage

Had you asked me on the 15th of June, the day I turned on my phone for the first time in 30 days, what one could learn from my little experiment, I would have told you something very different than today. It would have been something practical, like to put your phone in your backpack rather than in your pocket etc. But this was no satisfying answer, at least not for me. So I asked myself some different question:

What had created the situation that made me want to escape in the first place?

Tonight, as I sit by the open window right next to my desk, the first cool breeze on this hot day evokes memories of the time "Bored Again" was written. Those were the cold and dark days of this last winter. I was sitting in the exact same spot, heavy blankets over my shoulders to protect my neck from getting stiff in the icy wind blowing through this very, very leaky window. Finally the lack of sunlight added up to the immense workload I was facing: The former leading to recurring phases of depression, the latter to my mind racing through possible solutions I had to come up with in my daily obligations. The two only being united in the escape I found for both: my phone.

I was looking for boredom, this liberating state of mind that makes the creative juices flow and helps you get everything into perspective again. But what the constant checking of emails, swiping through pages of Instagram pics and YouTube videos really did was the exact opposite: it was even more exhausting. As a result, the moments I felt the urge to escape were accumulating, at one time even into a song - this song - by imagining supposedly simpler days of communication: the mid 90s. Back then, E-Mail had already arrived but mobile phones took some more years before they conquered our worlds. So I dreamt of a life without the constant temptations from my smartphone.

But this simple mind-game wasn't satisfying either and - since this wasn't the first time I would escape in such way - I felt like a coward to only think about it instead of really carrying the whole idea through. So I decided to give it a try, not just tip my toes into the pond my mind had created but really dive into these black unknown waters. And as ridiculous as it sounds to me today, I really was scared a lot to go offline, to not be available for everybody at any given time or place, to not be able to look up things I thought I'd need to know instantly.

I bought a conventional telephone equipped with an answering machine, then some pen and paper to put in my pocket for memos and ideas, and a bunch of other stuff my iphone would have provided me with otherwise. And so I turned off my phone for 30 days to come starting on may 15th. But how did I even get here?

By fear!

Sometimes it's frightening to sit down and face the things that really need to get done in order to move forward. Because the more you invest in something the more it makes you vulnerable to criticism and failure. There are two obvious choices at hand: do it or leave it. Right? No, because there's a third, much trickier one: Do something, but let it be only the soft version of the hard work required to get going. Something that feels like work but isn't. Something that's maybe even connected to the real thing but won't get you any further than you are now. This can be anything from a simple work situation to a difficult personal decision or telling someone that you love them, but instead of actually saying "I love you" you would just put a lot of effort in helping the person out with something, or instead of making this difficult decision you'd actually carry through with a less hard one that only feels like you've really achieved something but won't get you anywhere close to where you're actually headed. So why not just do it?

In the end it's all about courage.

The courage to say no to something tempting but essentially wrong. Or the courage to trust - some friend, some higher power or even yourself. Or the courage to chose a path you feel right for yourself but is dismissed by others. Or the courage to jump into the unknown*. For me it meant sticking to a good plan while acting deliberate and calm at times when nothing seemed to improve or move forward. I tend to quickly fill such a void by adding obligations that may give me the feeling of progression, while in reality they're oftentimes distractions from my original plan.

And then I'll write a song about it ;-)

* (I expanded on some of those subjects in other songs I wrote - "No", "When Elements Collide", "Let Loose")

The Music Video

Click here to watch on

The Lyrics

I lost my phone
to my subconscious
Really I’m prone
to stay quiet

When you, me, her
had nothing better
to do but sit and wait
nothing else mattered
to us - ever

I wanna be bored again
ask you what the time is now
I wanna be bored again
never set my thoughts on fire

I wanna be bored again
stare but nothing more

His name escapes to me
I wanna stay clueless
Don’t need a schedule just some luck
to catch my train out of breath

And if you may try to call
and I can’t pick up the phone
cause it’s hanging on the wall
while I’m out all on my own

I wanna be bored again
ask you what the time is now
I wanna be bored again
never set my thoughts on fire

I wanna be bored again
stare but nothing more
I wanna be bored again
floored again by all this time
that’s running through my hands

The Credits

Music & lyrics written, performed, recorded and mixed by Martin Rotheneder
Mastered by Martin Scheer
All artwork and fotos by Martin Rotheneder

"Bored Again" is released on June 30th 2017 as a digital single on Violet Noise Records. You can stream & download it on all available platforms.