If you’re not yet familiar with the name The Difference Between, you may be familiar with some of the faces. Spearheaded by Chris Wethington of Softspoken, and Cody Frain of A Scent Like Wolves, The Difference Between is a masterful collaboration that has culminated with the release of the band’s debut EP Old Ghosts, which is out now via Theoria Records. Since their groups toured together in 2017, Wethington and Frain have discussed forming a new band and writing together, motivated by their shared influences and musical aspirations.
To supply vocals for their musical creations, the guys tapped singer Chris Roberts to join the fold, the original vocalist of post-hardcore band Emarosa, when they were called Corsets are Cages. Many years ago, Wethington and Roberts were in the band Thwomp in the House of Boo, so he knew that Roberts would be an ideal fit. Rounding out the quartet is guitarist Garrett Harper, who was also a member of Thwomp, as well as Softspoken.
Now that Old Ghosts is out and we’ve all had a chance to sample it, it’s time to discuss these songs in greater detail. We recently connected with Chris Roberts and Chris Wethington for a special track-by-track rundown of the EP, wherein we discussed the songs, their motivations, and their inspirations.
1. “Cold Comfort”
Chris Roberts: “Literal meaning: a recurring nightmare I had for a few weeks where I’m infatuated with this female ghost that only wanted to kill me. I would wake up super weirded out and have to shake it off. As a metaphor, ‘she’ is my weakness, my vice. No matter how much I try it’s like she’s always coming for me. An overwhelming sense of dread becomes all I can feel. Ghosts and demons are the things I should let go. That haunts me.”
Chris Wethington: “This track is meant as a Segway to blend the ‘Cold Comfort’ and ‘Be Treated: Be Cured’ together as one very eerie, dynamic, and ghastly soundscape.”
3. “Be Treated: Be Cured”
Roberts: “‘Be Treated’ is more of the isolation phase of the two songs. Picture a guy who nailed his doors and windows closed to keep something out. Or to keep himself in. Doesn’t want to be alone but the only company he keeps are the vices. To him, he’s (for all intents and purposes) dead already. He accepted his vices/her/his demons as his own. Basically locks himself in his home with them.”
4. “Half Life”
Roberts: “‘Half Life’ is (in a way) a confession to my mother. As a child she was married to a very violent career criminal and the unspeakable things I saw him do to her really affected me as a kid. Something I buried inside myself for a long time and really never had a way to express to my loved ones. The first few lines in the track are my interpretation of my mom not understanding why I sleep all day when I can. She never understood it was my only escape.
“The rest of the track is from the perspective of a very misguided angry man. I spent a very long time thinking of what I would do to my stepdad if I ever had the chance. All the times I looked up his address, where he lives. What he’s doing. Ironically becoming what I hated the most. This track to me represents if I had followed through and found him. Making him feel like a helpless child.”
Wethington: “Similar to the other interlude ‘Apparition,’ I wanted to find a way to smoothly blend the tempos and keys of the songs so that each interlude resolves the story of the song it follows, and builds tension into what comes next.”
“‘Versions’ is lost hope. I no longer recognize myself and feel like a ghost of my former self. It’s like wearing a mask of who I used to be, and I feel myself becoming more and more numb the more I hide behind it. Doing everything in my power to spite what I once thought was morally good, justified, or acceptable. These are the words of someone who doesn’t want to be here anymore. I just want a truce with God before I go.
“The song is about denouncing my faith and being frustrated with trying to do the right thing when it constantly feels like I’m being pulled back into the dark. It is also about finding peace in the dark that I created and coming to terms with the fact that i might not be the hero of my story.”
7. “Secret Wounds”
“‘Secret Wounds’ is kind of the prelude for ‘Versions.’ It’s a track about losing hope, and a battle with my spirituality. Feeling abandoned by the light I turn to my dark because it’s always there. I am aware that I am the reason I am alone, and if I’m going to be alone then I’m going to drink. Drinking so much that I allowed some really great things to pass me by. This is that conscious awareness that I am my own worst enemy.”