Making Meaning: The Mixus Brothers on “Lost Cause”

Today we’re Making Meaning with Jebbh Mixus! Jebbh sings and plays guitar, banjo, and bass in The Mixus Brothers.

Jebbh Mixus of The Mixus Brothers. Photo by Melissa Shontz Photography.

Let’s make some meaning…

Making Meaning: The Background

The Mixus Brothers is an alt-country, folk band from Pittsburgh, PA. The two founding members – Jebbh and Red Mixus – met in 2011 and quickly found that they had similar musical interests. Since the band’s formation, they’ve had six releases in which they explore their Bluegrass, Country, psych-folk, and Americana influences.

On December 1, 2018 The Mixus Brothers released Instrumental, which features 12 songs from their catalog with the vocals removed. The Lonesome Gods (part 1 of 4) will be released in February 2019 with the remaining three parts being released throughout the year.

Check out all of their releases on Bandcamp and keep track of their upcoming shows through their Facebook page.

The Mixus Brothers is: Jebbh Mixus (strings and vocals) and Red Mixus (percussion, keyboards, and vocals). Additional live and recording artists join them from time to time as well!

Red and Jebbh Mixus. Photo by The Mixus Brothers.

Making Meaning: The Song

Listen to the song “Lost Cause” from The Mixus Brothers’ album The Trail to Crazy Man and learn what meaning Jebbh makes:

“Lost Cause” was written and produced by Jebbh Mixus (Jacob Stempky) and Red Mixus (John Willette) in Red’s basement in the Swisshelm Park Neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The album Trail to Crazy Man was released in March 2015. Jebbh would like to especially thank Red Mixus who played an integral part in the writing and production of this song and without him it would not have been possible.

Lyrics to “Lost Cause”

Nothing lingers like a lost cause / Can’t move on but you must, you must / In a dormant state you take a pause / and find some solace in the tepid thoughts / It can hold you, it can rock to sleep / not much to it but it won’t come cheap / no remorse only friendly fire / can leave you hoping that you don’t tire / of all the crazy asides / of the attempts to confine yourself / you can find all the ways and means / when all you do is survive

Let’s go for a ride we’ll stay right here / dim the lights for some atmosphere / hold you close I can hear you breathe / just be more cautious of the strange things

Please don’t leave me alone / Just don’t leave me alone / I don’t want to be alone / so alone, so alone

They can catch you they won’t keep you safe / It’s up to you so go find a place / Just tread lightly don’t get lost somehow / and end up losing more than you know / to all the crazies inside / to all the voices that try to yell / who can find all the ways and means / when all you do is survive

Jebbh Speaks

The lyrics are rather melancholy as during the writing my very close friend and family member was suffering from full blown Schizophrenia which had progressed from PTSD to Schizoaffective Disorder to full blown Schizophrenia. My friend was hearing multiple voices and was being inundated with negative thoughts and his actions were making all of his friends and family very concerned.

“The whole album of The Trail to Crazy Man touches upon this subject and I was lucky enough to have The Mixus Brothers’ music as a way or means to survive while this was happening.” – Jebbh Mixus on “Lost Cause”

I was being very personally affected and had to find a an outlet…the song starts from the viewpoint of an outsider and then morphs into the viewpoint of the person suffering. It was such a devastating disease and I had witnessed the slow progression of one of my best friends living with this mental illness. The whole album of The Trail to Crazy Man touches upon this subject and I was lucky enough to have The Mixus Brothers’ music as a way or means to survive while this was happening.

“We did not want to make light of mental illness by using the word ‘crazy.'” – Jebbh Mixus on “Lost Cause”

The damaged mind was inspiration to help me repair my damaged mind…so to speak. What was incredible was that (on a side note) all of The Mixus Brothers’ band name and albums are based upon the Western writer Louis Lamour’s books. So we had been naming our albums after his books as well as a song from each album. When we went to find a name for this third album from the list of his books, low and behold he happened to have a book called The Trail to Crazy Man. We did not want to make light of mental illness by using the word “crazy,” but we thought that since it really was the name of his book, it would be in context and make a lot of sense [since] a lot of our songs were touching upon this subject. It was rather serendipitous. – Jebbh Mixus of The Mixus Brothers

Thanks to Jebbh for sharing the meaning he makes from their song! Mental illness affects not only the person directly suffering, but also family and friends. Art can be used as a means to cope and process overwhelming situations, as it was in this case. Thank you for making meaning with us.

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