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Chapter six

Today was my last day in London for fall break. All my bags were packed inside the car and I was saying goodbye to the lads. I spent my break back down in London, my hometown, with my childhood friends. We all wanted to start a band so we spent the majority of the break writing down songs and getting the rhythm in. Everyday we met at my house at 18:00, or 6 o’clock for that matter. Luckily we finished three songs; Playing the Blame Game, Underdog, and Contagious Chemistry. “Are you sure you want to go back to lousy Sheffield?” Matt asked as he handed me my jacket. He always has been the funny kid of our group. Well, him and Max, to be honest. “We could get so much more things finished if you still lived here.”

“Calm down, Matty!” Dan spoke up, “Give Josh a break, he’s coming back in May. You’re coming back, right?”

“No need to worry, guys, I promise I’m coming back after I graduate so we can start our band and hopefully get a record label.” I said, smiling. Starting a band has always been my biggest dream ever since I was a kid. A lot of other bands, such as Pink Floyd, really inspired me. Writing song lyrics was something my mum wasn’t able to stop me from. Ever since I started writing poetry when I was eight, that’s all I was doing in my freetime.

“How are we going to start a band if we don’t even have a name?” asked Max. Giving a band name is a hard decision. Once you all agree with it, there’s no going back. “I’m serious about this, too. I don’t want to have us write really good songs but have an embarrassing band name. It has to be something we all agree on and a name that won’t make us think twice about.”

“I’ll start thinking of band names while I’m in the car back to Sheffield. If we’re able to write three songs in seven days, then we’re able to come up with a simple band name just as fast.” I said to them. Max let out an exaggerated sigh at my response to him. He didn’t take a lot of things seriously but I guess the band name happens to be #1 on his list.

Just then, the car horn honked and broke our few moments of silence. Mum must’ve been a little impatient since it takes approximately three hours by car to get there. The lads and I all had a group hug before I headed into the car. “Don’t worry, Maxy, we’ll have a good band name!” I called out as I opened the passenger door and got in.


Three and a half hours of nonstop driving went by and mum pulled into the parking lot of the boarding school. “Are you sure I don’t need to sign you in?” she asked as I got my suitcase out from the back seat.
“Yea, I’m sure. They didn’t say anything about parents signing in students before the break so,” my voice trailed off. Even if parents were to, I wasn’t required since I was graduating this year and I can basically take care of myself. “Bye!”

Not many students were in the dorm building when I came in. Guess a lot of them either are already back or on their way. Alex was able to find me heading up to my dorm, I invited him in to hang out for the remaining of our freedom. Oli wasn’t in when I unlocked the door, sadly, but I had Alex to keep me company so I brushed it off. “So how was your fall break?” he asked while I was putting away my clothes.

“My break was quite lovely, actually. Seeing my old friends and hanging out with them everyday was most definitely the best part of my break. We plan on becoming a band after graduation so we spent a lot of time writing down songs and we finished three of them.”

“You plan on forming a band? Cool, my friends and I plan on doing the same! We’re in a band right now, actually. What’s your band name?” No. No, no, no, no, no. Why did I mention the “becoming a band” part?

“Uhm, we, uh,” my voice was stuttering. “We haven’t got a name yet.” Now I feel like I shouldn’t even be thinking about it. “Do you have any tips on coming up a good name? What’s your band called?” I feel like I’m pushing Alex at this point.

“Our band name is All Time Low.” he said, “We got it from a song called Head on Collision by New Found Glory. I’m lead vocals, Jack being lead guitar and backup vocals, Zack is bassist and backup vocals, and Rian is the drummer. There’s no right and wrong way to come up a good name for your band. The name can have no meaning or it can have a really deep meaning. Whatever makes you happy and the rest of your bandmates happy, you’ve got yourself ready to sign a record deal and become famous.” Alex’s information gave me high hopes for my band, actually. “Now, do you want the name of your band to be deep or not deep? Since you’re away from your friends, it’s a little hard to confirm it since you’ll have to call them.”

His question got to me. Did I really want to have to a story behind it or just a random name out of nowhere? “A meaning behind it sounds better.” I said. Great, now I have to do a lot of thinking for this to happen.

“All right, what’s something that you and your bandmates have in common?” he asked.

“We're all.....English?” I’m so done with myself. Alex let out a chuckle at my answer. At this rate, our band is going nowhere. “Uhm, we put a lot of effort into our music and we don’t rest until it’s perfect.”

“Okay, okay, anything else?” Stop asking me these questions, Gaskarth, you’re making me nervous.

“This is more of a personal one but I want to be in the band to enjoy creating music, not for the fame and money.” I said, he nodded.

“Trust me, just think back about the band, not the members, and you’ll definitely get the name by tomorrow morning.” he stood up and stretched his body out. “I’ve got to go check up on Jack so we’ll talk tomorrow, alright? See ya.”

I said my goodbye to Alex and went into deep thought about his advice. A notebook was laying right beside me. Grabbing a pen, I sat down on my bed and made a list for the band name.

1. Simple Sleep
2. Shelter of Me
3. Classical Bang
4. Arcane Sinner

Only four names and that took me around 45 minutes to think of. Coming up with a band name on your own in literally impossible for me. I didn’t want to have a stupid name that people would think “Oh, they’re just another one of those people.” when they heard of us. I scratched out ‘Classical Bang’ and wrote ‘Throne of the Downhill’ right beside it. I was thinking of Game of Thrones, okay? What am I thinking, I’ll never be able to come up with a decent band name on my own. I reached over at my iPhone to call Dan for some help, I could always trust him.

Before I could even find Dan’s name in my contact list, the door unlocked and a small figure stood in the doorway from the corner of my eye. I looked up immediately and saw that it was Oli standing pigeon-toed, smiling at me. “Hi,” his voice sounded nervous for some reason. He closed the door and slowly walked towards me. “I missed you.”

“We can both agree that I missed you more,” I said, wrapping my arms around him and resting my head on his shoulder. “Did you enjoy your break?”

“Uh, sure,” his voice trailed off, that made me a little bit suspicious. Then again, he’s not the chatty person so I’ll let it slide for now.

“Have you been recovering lately?” I asked him. Oli didn’t give me an answer, he sat there, looking at the floor showing no emotion. “Oli? Would you be okay if I looked at your arms? It’s alright if you think that seems a little bit personal.”

“No, you can look at them.” he said and slowly rolled his sleeves up. Bruises and cuts were all over both of his arms. You could even tell where he burnt himself so that told me his break wasn’t the best.

“What’s causing you to do these things to yourself? You’re so much better than that, you and I both know it. Is something going on at home? Please answer me, I’m starting to worry for you more and more.”

“It’s nothing. I just....fell, that’s all.” Obviously, he’s lying. How can you get burn marks from just falling? Since he’s not going to tell me anything, I won’t be rude and pressure him to giving me an answer.

“Oli!” I spoke up, causing him to jump a little.


“You should be in my band! That’s what I did for basically all my break. I’ve got three songs in my notebook and you’d be an excellent addition for us. Would you like to join?” Having Oli be in the same band as my other friends would be so perfect.

“Thanks for the offer, Josh. But I’ll feel like I’m taking up too much space. How many people are in it, anyway?” he asked.

“It’s me, Matt, Max, Chris, and Dan. Do you want me to show you one of the songs we wrote?” I offered. He nodded and I flipped to one of the song pages without looking and handed it to him.

After a minute or two of silence, Oli handed me back my notebook. “The lyrics are really good. What’s the song about?”

Looking down, I noticed I gave him the lyrics to Underdog. “Oh, it’s about a boy who cheated on his girlfriend and a lot of drama happens. Hence ‘Underdog, just look at the mess you made.’ In the stanzas.”

“As much as I would love to join, I’m going to have to say no to it. Hopefully you can understand it.” he said. It saddened me since Oli denied my request for him to be in the band, I was really looking forward on performing with him.

“Don’t worry, I’m not mad at you.”


The rest of the day was just me writing down different names for the band. I was really focused on it at this point since I want to make all of this happen. Alex was kind enough to come back in and help me out with different names and scratch out the ones that wouldn’t fit. The lads and I already agreed that we were going for an alternative rock genre so we don’t want a name that sounds like it could go in the death metal genre. My notebook was pretty much filled with scribbles and writing at the end of the night. I tried to see if I could see any connections with the three songs but nothing came to mind.

“Are you sure you don’t want to call one of your friends for help?” Alex asked as I paced around the dorm room. “That Dan kid seems pretty chill from how much you said you trust him.”

“No!” I snapped back. “I’m doing this on my own without their help.”

“You said you were going to call Dan a few hours ago and-”

“Zip it, Gaskarth!” I cut him off. “I will chuck my phone out the window to prevent you from calling any of my friends, kapeesh?”

“Someone’s being a diva tonight.” he said in a mocking voice. Oli couldn’t help but let out a chuckle from the small fight Alex and I were doing right now. “How are you even able to share a dorm room with him?” he asked to Oli.

“He’s something else, isn’t he?” Oli said.

“I’m literally going to pour acid on an orphan’s face if I don’t come up with a good name for the band tonight!” My voice was starting to get loud each time I spoke.

“Calm down, Fransassy, are there any other facts about the band?” Alex asked.

“Well, we always meet up at 18:00 everyday to write songs and practice instruments.” I said, sitting down on the floor.

“Always 18:00? No matter what?”

“Yea, it’s kind of become a daily routine for us. We did it everyday during fall break and our location was my house if that helps.” I explained to him.

“Meeting up at 18:00 was a big deal, so make your band name from that!” Alex said. That’s where my brain finally started thinking. I stood back up and began pacing around the room, brainstorming for a good name.

“Eighteen hundred? No, that’s stupid. Meet Me At Eighteen hundred?”

“You’re getting there! Scratch out a few words and replace them with other ones.” Oli said.

“Meet Me At Six?”

“Josh, you’re so close, I can feel it! Come one, think a little bit more and you’ve got your band name!” Alex said.

“Uh, uh, augh, Christ almighty!” I groaned. That’s when the four words came to my mind shortly after.

“You Me At Six!”
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Please don't snap at me if I got any facts wrong about their bands. I wrote this at 2 am and finished at 5 and I'm really proud of this chapter.