Song of Toledo: Purpose couldn’t stay awayWritten by Julie Ryan | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Toledo Free Press and FOX Toledo are profiling, in random order, the top five vote-getters in the “Song of Toledo” contest. The winner will be revealed May 20.
When Matt Heart thinks of Toledo, he thinks of good, honest, hardworking people.
Yet, Heart left his hometown in 2005 and moved to California with fellow Purpose band member John Davis for four years. They thought a move to Los Angeles would help them capitalize on the success of their debut album, “Eve of Temptation.” But Heart and Davis missed the quieter streets of Toledo and changing seasons.
Finally, Heart, the lyricist, couldn’t keep thoughts of Toledo out of his head and wrote “Oh Toledo” in mid-2006.
“I just sat down and tried to think about what it is that people really enjoy about Toledo. It all boils down to family, friends,” he said.
Heart said, while writing the song, he thought about the things he used to do in Toledo.
“We used to have party in the park all the time; we used to go down by the rib-off and all that stuff,” Heart said. “So I thought about party in the park and, you know, ‘holding hands in the dark and loves first spark’ because everybody fell in love by the river.”
Although Heart and Davis remained friends while in California, the two pursued projects other than Purpose. Davis said he wrote a novel, “Legion,” and Heart worked on a solo album. Davis returned to Toledo in mid-2008 for family reasons, and Heart said he “followed John a month later.”
“What’s really cool about Matt and I is something I’ve never had with other writers: We’ve always been in tune with each other. Other writers, you kind of fight with them: ‘No, it’s not the vision I have for the song.’ But Matt and I have never been like that,” Davis said.
Heart said he heard about the Song of Toledo contest and called Davis. They began recording the song originally started in California. Davis said initially the song had a country, acoustic sound to it. But after recording it at Heart’s home in Toledo, they sent it to Rusk Sound Studios in Los Angeles where it was remastered. The song was given more “pop” and backup voices, Heart said.
“I know they said you can submit just an acoustic or something, but you want to put the absolute best you can do because people don’t get your vision unless they’re a musician,” Davis said.
The duo is working on a second album and plan to give $1,000 to 10 people who purchase it as part of the “All-Purpose Media Stimulus Package.” They will also continue to donate profits from the album to breast cancer research.
“I just always want to give back,” Davis said. “We play for kids who are sick. It’s almost like we have to, you just feel the need you have to give back. God’s blessed you with something so you use it to help people feel better.”