Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Everyday Visuals

Christopher Pappas, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter for Boston indie band The Everyday Visuals, has suffered from ankylosing spondylitis since he was 15, the Boston Globe reports:

"It's painful, it's debilitating, and it restricts motion," says Pappas. "But I can't let it win." Remarkably, he's kept his affliction mostly to himself. Until now.

"I never want to be like, 'Oh, the Everyday Visuals -- that's the one with the crippled lead singer,' " explains Pappas over drinks at a local pub with his bandmates -- Zembower, drummer Joseph Seiders , and Eli Scheer and Kyle Fredrickson , who alternate between guitar and keyboards. "But on the other hand, I can't ignore it. When I get up in the morning, I need help putting my jacket on. For me, the disease is not the tough part -- it's walking that line of, how much do I let the disease into my life?"

Indeed, despite his predilection for writing wistful, bittersweet songs that hover at the edge of heartache, there are few clues about Pappas's condition to be found on either the Visuals' self-released 2004 debut, "Media Crush," or their new disc. It is his way, perhaps, of exerting a degree of control over something that otherwise infiltrates and permeates his daily routine. A rare exception, however, is an arresting new track, "Two Birds." "I am just a fading spark, hiding out and bending my straight lines," Pappas sings softly as a lean rumble of guitars, bass, and the crisp snap of drums propel the song. Despite the forward motion of melody, Pappas confides, "I'm the boy who can't get out of bed." The tune, he agrees, " is definitely an example of feeling overwhelmed about the disease and dealing with it."

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