Blind Faith Books was inspired by a Foo Fighters song: “Congregation.” It, like so many Foo Fighters songs, speaks so directly to my soul. I have always had a profound connection with the band since I was a kid—and in high school, I was the weirdo who liked X-Files and the Foos instead of whatever I was supposed to like that everyone else was into.
One day I was sitting in my car in the parking lot before work watching the sun rise, thinking about spending the rest of the foreseeable future waking up while it’s still dark outside, scraping ice off my windshield, teaching the same introductory writing lesson over and over, 5 times a day, semester after semester. It’s not that teaching isn’t rewarding, but it’s also often thankless and frustrating, it’s extremely hard work, and the pay is low. When teaching, I’d help other people create something. I still wanted to create things.
But I have all this student loan debt. I have bills. I was trying to buy a house at the time and having difficulty getting a mortgage, and saving every penny so I could be independent and not living with my parents at 30. It was too risky an endeavor—one that might not ever succeed or make back the money I’d need to put into it.
But that one day, having a few minutes before my 8am class, I listened to the end of the song on the radio. It was “Congregation,” and Dave sang “But you need blind faith.” He asked me, “Do you have blind faith?” And I remembered the episode in Sonic Highways where they wrote this song, and thought about bands, and artists in general, and how what separates the great ones from the unknown, is blind faith. If you have blind faith, you’re going to go out there and make a name for yourself, and it’s GOING to work. Failure is not an option. That’s how people without blind faith think. They make backup plans (like teaching) and inevitably fall back on them rather than pursuing their passion and fulfilling their true purpose. I feel my purpose in life is to write, and use my writing skills to help others and make a positive impact on the world.
So even though it was irresponsible and reckless, I got every book I could from the library about small businesses, and publishing, and I learned about finance, marketing, and law, and did it all while still getting my lesson planning and grading done, and maintaining relationships because women are goddamn superheroes!
And of course, I had to name it Blind Faith Books. We represent stories that demand to be told and focus on people. I love the freedom Blind Faith has given me to produce projects like I AM STRENGTH. I can do it my way, the way it’s meant to be, having complete control over everything from the book cover art, to the layout of the words inside. It’s extremely hard work, but I’ve never been prouder of anything. –Alyssa
You can learn more about the song that inspired Blind Faith Books in this Reality Sandwich interview where Tamra Lucid asks Alyssa this very question: http://realitysandwich.com/322950/i-am-strength-an-interview-with-alyssa-waugh/
And you can learn more about Alyssa’s love for the Foo Fighters below:
The Foo Fighters are my favorite band. Yes, my favorite. Ahead of The Beatles–GASP (I know, but only slightly. I’ve seen Paul McCartney live the past few summers and he still rocks harder than ever. He’s the man). But the Foos are MY band from my generation. I loved the song “Smells like Teen Spirit” when I was a kid, and remember seeing the music video at a friends house because we didn’t have cable at mine. I also used to sneak into my parents’ bedroom at night when they’d watch The X-Files on Fox. So by Kindergarten, I was already a grunge rock X-Phile nerd, and now, at age 31, not much has changed. The X-Files is still my favorite show of all time (Game of Thrones was in the running there for awhile. Sigh.) And the Foo Fighters are my favorite band.
The Foo Fighters appeared on the first X-Files soundtrack and again for the movie Fight the Future, and this is just one of the many reasons I feel they truly understand me and speak to my soul. Sometimes, I listen to the Foo Fighters so much I’m like, okay, time for a break, and listen to the radio or some other bands for awhile. And then, inevitably, my iPod shuffles back around to a Foo song and I am TRANSPORTED. Yeah, it sounds corny, like that “Desperado” guy Elaine dated on Seinfeld, but it’s true. FF songs affect me in a way no other music does. Every melody, every lyric, speaks directly to my soul. I feel understood when I listen to them, and like I understand others, and the universe. And the world seems happier, more beautiful with one of their songs playing in the background. There’s one for every mood: angry as hell and not gonna take it anymore, ready to kick ass and take names, ready to lie out on the grass and look at the clouds, ready to break up, ready to fall in love again, ready to walk again, you name it. Foos songs have made me laugh, cry, think, sing, dance, and have been with me through every stage of my life. I would love to some day write a book about it–a memoir in Foo Fighters songs.
Oddly, while I’ve been a Foo Fighters fan since I was a kid, I never got to a live show until my late 20s. I had planned to go so many times and something would always fall through: I wouldn’t have enough money and/or needed to work, didn’t have a way of getting there, etc. But I have no regrets because my first live show ended up being July 6, 2015 in Camden, New Jersey—the second show Dave performed with a broken leg from his epic throne. (I have the t-shirt of Dave’s blueprint drawing that says “lasers and shit” as well as the “Break a Leg shirt with his cast). I don’t know if it was because the crowd was so pumped to see Dave power through his injury, or if he was stoked because of that and played even harder, or what, but that show was ELECTRIC. There was a storm in the distance and you could just feel something special in the air—a thunder storm, rock n’ roll, and thousands of excited fans all screaming their energy into the ozone. I sang every song at the top of my lungs and strained on my tiptoes on the lawn to make sure I saw everything. I’ve never had a better time.
My boyfriend, who was there with me that night, plays guitar and loves playing Foos songs (I know right? A match made in Heaven). We have the best time in the evenings after dinner, he playing guitar and me singing and/or dancing.
Needless to say, this band is a significant part of my life and always has been. It’s a little strange, having this profound connection with people in a band you’ll never meet, who will never know you even exist–at least not as an individual, just part of the overall fan base. But that’s also the magic of art and writing. You can connect with someone on the other end of the earth and relate to them without ever meeting. You can let them know they’re not alone in whatever they’re going through.
I know I’m never alone. Not as long as I have my headphones on and a Foo Fighters song in my pocket.