-I don't belong in the world but that's what it is. Something separates me from other people. Everywhere I turn, there's something blocking my escape- (John Clifford)
No one suspected that they would get big, but by sheer will and determination, The Drama Brothers became the most popular boyband in the Western hemisphere. After Total Drama Action ended, the contestants were released from their contracts, with an option to come back for later seasons if desired, and were allowed to go home. While some went on to become famous, others choose to stay out of the spotlight and try to resume a normal life as much as they could. In this period of transition, Trent got an idea to form a band from some of the guys from Total Drama and quickly asked all of the contestants if they would like to join. He only managed to get Cody, Harold, and Justin on board with the idea, and so, with just four members, The Drama Brothers were born.
It didn't take long for them to get picked up by a label and started recording songs. The first six months were spent recording demos and writing songs that were considered for their debut album. But their management didn't like any of the material, so they spent a month re-working songs and scrapping ideas that none of them agreed on, but even that didn't impress the label. The songs were still considered to be too non-pop and so, they spent another two months just listening to songs from different genres and artists from the past twenty years in order to figure out what mainstream sound they wanted. After deciding on modern pop, they went back to the drawing board, and three songs that were performed during their time on Island, "Summer Bummer", "One Woman", and "Girl Blues" were recorded and became the first songs to be included on their yet to be announced album.
In order to get hype for their album, "Summer Bummer" was released while more recording sessions were being held, and the single was met with general acclaim, though it reached only to number fourteen on the music charts. Despite it not being a smash hit, it was more than enough to give the band attention. "Gone", "Your Pawn", "Ask Me to Dance", and "Baby" was also added to their upcoming album, but it was a last minute idea before the album's mixing that would bring the beginning of their fame.
The night before the album's mixing, they had finished up four tracks and were about to leave when Justin was messing around on the guitar and sang, "When I cry, my eyes are wet." and stopped mid-string. He quickly grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote the lyric down, but changed it to, "When I cry, my eye is wet" before adding, "I swear it ain't guy sweat" but crossed it out and wrote, "And I swear it wasn't guy sweat". The other three quickly took turns writing lyrics down and within a half hour, they had the song finished. They went to the recording booth and with some improvised beats from Harold, did a demo in one take. When their managers heard it, they were so impressed that other than adding background music, left the demo untouched and it was the last song to make the cut of the album. The producers were so blown away by it, that they asked the band to release it as their next single. The guys were reluctant to at first, but after thinking about it unanimously agreed to do so.
"When I Cry" took airwaves by storm and debuted at number one on the music charts, quickly becoming the band's first single to both debut and peak at number one. Soon afterward, the band's prior single re-charted to number three and "When I Cry" became the song of the summer. While not an official single, "Baby" also managed to reach number one, giving the guys two number one hits before their album even dropped.
A month after "When I Cry" was released, The Drama Brothers announced that their debut album, Ask Me to Dance, would drop in September. When the album was finally released, it went straight to number one on the album charts and sold over half a million copies in its first week. They released "Ask Me to Dance" as the album's third and final official single (fourth single overall) and it became their third consecutive number one single. By the end of the year, the guys had been nominated for a large number of awards, including Best New Artist, Song, and Record of the Year at the Grammys. After winning most of the awards from numerous award shows, along with Best New Artist at the Grammys, they announced a tour that would last a year and would start in Europe, go through the States, followed by a month-long break before finishing off with a concert in each province of Canada.
The tour went off without a hitch and when they weren't performing, they were out partying and having fun while thinking of ideas for their next album, but they didn't realize that they were about to hit a bump in the road that would change the course of the future.
While most of the band was preparing for their final concert of the tour, Cody was backstage resting up for the concert that he wasn't looking forward to doing. Being with the guys was fun and exciting; they had been going on non-stop for over two years and it was reaching a point that he was starting to get exhausted and overwhelmed from the non-stop touring, performing, and working. The fame was great and the awards were amazing, but he wondered if this was worth it all. If it was worth being tired and drained all the time.
When the guys came by, Cody was sitting on the couch so they all flopped down next to him. "Are you ready for this last concert?" Trent asked with a hit of excitement.
"As ready as I'll ever be," Cody mumbled. "though I do wish we take a few months off to relax and casually record the album."
"I don't see the need to when we're at the top of our game," Harold added.
"I know that we're at the top of our game, but we shouldn't let that get to our heads and work ourselves to death." Cody reasoned.
"Cody, you have nothing to worry about. Why rest now when you can party now and rest later?" Trent asked.
"He has a point," Justin added.
"Are you guys even seeing the point I'm trying to make?"
"What point?" Harold replied, puzzled.
"The point that we shouldn't move too fast. We should develop ourselves and mature, not keep pumping out materials about the same cliches which are in most modern songs."
Harold was about to explode, but luckily, Trent saw what might happen and stepped in to do damage control. "Guys, let's not blow any gaskets now. We got plenty time to iron things out but please, it's our last concert. Do you want our tour to end on a bad note?"
"I guess not."
"I guess that settles it. We better go and get changed. We'll be having fans back here soon."
Cody just sighed and headed to his dressing room. He couldn't believe that their conversation went nowhere and would be pushed back to later. He didn't understand why the guys kept pushing his point back for a later date? That's not what he wanted to do. He wanted to prove his point now instead of later, but he always had to go with the flow. That's what the guys wanted.
While he got ready for his show appearance, mostly finding his hat, gold chains, and sunglasses, Cody thought back to the interview they recorded for "Celebrity Manhunt".
Cody and the others sat together facing Josh while the camera crew started recording the interview which would air when their stadium tour across each province of Canada started. Josh took a deep breath, "Good evening everyone. Tonight, we're doing an exclusive interview with The Drama Brothers about their rise to fame, their appearance at the Grammys, and a few other items of interest."
Josh pauses while he gets his cue cards together. "First off, thank you guys so much for this interview. Tell me, when you guys started, did you expect to become this famous?"
"Well," Trent replied, "not really. We never expected all that's happened too much. Forming the band and getting a year's worth of revisions to our first album Ask Me to Dance was challenging, but we weren't expecting the global hit we've become."
"You guys have sold over two million albums, had three number one hits, won a Grammy for Best New Artist, and got a new record deal all within a year. How did this come about?"
"It all started when we released "When I Cry" as a single. Justin wrote the first draft of the song and we all pitched in together and our management loved it that the first take was used on the album, and was released as a single. We had no idea that it would launch us to stardom and make us successful from our first album." Harold stated.
"You guys seem to enjoy the spotlight, especially at award shows. Is this due to the time you spent on Total Drama Island?"
"I think so," Justin added.
"When you all were at the Grammys and won Best New Artist, how did it feel to be recognized for that achievement?"
"It was awesome. Like, we had just performed and was backstage and I had taken my shoes off when they announced us. So here we go running to the stage and when I realized that I forgot my shoes, I said, 'Aw shit, not how I wanted to be introduced accepting an award' while everyone laughed it off. Just receiving that honor from such a prestigious award show is something that we will always cherish. I say that we'll be back again." Cody promised.
"You guys are on tour right now. How has the tour experience been?"
"How can you describe it? Like, you see a stadium full of your fans performing, dancing, and singing along with your music and it becomes a moment you never forget. And getting to meet the fans is amazing, though sometimes overwhelming." Justin replied.
"When Justin says that meeting the fans are overwhelming is he correct?"
Trent commented, "He is. Sometimes, they're not bad, but they hound you down if you ever step out on the streets. It was so bad in New York that we could only go out late at night, but then there wasn't that much to do so it was kinda disappointing that we didn't get to enjoy New York as much as we hoped to."
"Speaking of New York, there was a lot of media coverage when Cody tweeted that he had written a song when you guys were there and it had been recorded. If it's not too much trouble, could you fill the audience in?"
"Well," Cody hesitated,"while the guys mostly went to Manhattan, I wanted to see Brooklyn since that was where part of my family came from before moving up to Canada during the twenties. There was just something about seeing it at night that drew me away so I wrote lyrics on our way home and had the music composed when we arrived back in Toronto. While we spent a month off, we went and recorded this song and thought of some other ideas for songs, made a few demos, that kind of work."
"If it's alright, could you guys sing a sample verse for the audience watching this?"
The guys thought for a moment and wanted their fans to get pumped for the concert and what else would come down the road, so the four of them paused and started singing together,
"We thought that it was you
Yet we thought that it was me
We both seemed like a perfect fit
Though it was never really lit
Those Brooklyn Nights made us seem free."
"Wonderful!" Josh cried out as he clapped. "Just wonderful! I'm guessing that the song is called Brooklyn Nights?"
"Correct." All of the guys answered.
"Since our time is almost up, I have one final question. From that fact that you guys have recorded a song and are working on something, does this indicate that a new album is being made?"
"Nothing is being revealed right now. We're just recording and writing new stuff for down the road, however long that may be. More will be revealed when the time comes." Harold commented.
There was so much that Josh had no idea about. They were making a new record, they had spent the last few months writing songs, doing demos, and recording final versions of a few songs, but the whole process turned out to be a bigger mess than intended.
While on the month-long break, they had recorded "Brooklyn Nights" and a few other songs, but the theme and intention of the album remained unknown. Harold wanted a more hip-hop and rap influence while Cody argued that they should focus on more contemporary sounds. This lead to them recording demos and writing lyrics that made enough material for two albums as well as a disagreement over the direction to head in. Cody wanted them to have a more mature sound while Harold wanted to keep it at the band boy sound they were made famous for. Harold wrote more songs overall, but Cody wrote more songs for Justin and Trent to work on, which resulted in hardly any songs being recorded except for the five they did prior to the disagreement. While damage control was worked on, a simple disagreement soon turned into a full out feud between Harold and Cody that was about to come crashing down.
Cody just ran his hands over his face. He was tired of the non-stop work, the arguing, the disagreements. Perhaps if they just took a break then all would be well-
His train of thoughts was stopped when he heard a knock on the door. "Cody, time for us to meet the fans who're backstage."
"Coming!" He replied while grabbing his hat and putting it on.
Most of the concert went off without a hitch. Considering that this was the last concert of the tour, the stadium was full and there were more fans outside, all of whom came to see The Drama Brothers close their tour off with a bang. Everyone held up pretty well, the numbers went off without any issue, and things were beginning to look up until they reached the last, and their most popular, song "When I Cry".
The Drama Brothers sang this as the closure to each concert they performed at since it was their most well-known song and it had to be saved for last. As the guys started to sing the lyrics, the audience roared and they knew what was coming up, but while everyone was in the zone, Cody was starting to cry. He was trying to focus on the music, but his mind had reached his limit. He was just too tired to keep up with everything. As the song progressed, he kept crying until he broke down into sobs and his emotions overtook him.
The guys knew something was up when they didn't hear his vocals in the background, but they didn't want to stop the song so they kept going, without Cody or the keyboards, which the fans noticed but the remaining Drama Brothers did not. As soon as they finished, the confetti for their closure opened up and while the audience roared, they were still confused as to what happened with Cody. As they left, they were filled with more questions than answers and the guys noticed that he had left the stage since when they walked toward their dressing room, they saw that he wasn't at the keyboard.
When the guys went into their dressing room, they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary until they heard sobbing from the bathroom. Moments later, Cody came out with tears running down his face and his eyes were red and puffy. "I'm sorry guys." He mumbled as he cried even more.
He tried to speak to them, but he was a mess and just sobbed as he sat down. "God, I don't know what's wrong with me." He mumbled dejectedly.
"Are you okay Cody?" Trent asked, crouching down next to him. "I've never seen you like this before and it has me worried."
"I agree with Trent. I'm concerned about you." Justin added.
Cody just looked up at his two friends while wiping the tears from his eyes. "I wish I was okay. I've been overwhelmed and tired and everything's been moving too fast. I just wish we had a break. We need rest!"
"Maybe you're like this because you're the only one who worked on anything while we were having fun." Harold pointed out.
Cody shot his head up and looked straight at Harold, taking it very wrong. "What does that supposed to mean?"
"Look, being on tour was a time for you to relax and to have fun, not write new songs and get music ideas."
"A time to relax?! I was always the first one to bed and last one up every day! I didn't come back drunk or had sex every night with the fans! I was responsible! I was manageable! I was simple! I worked on music so that we could have time to unwind and rest after going non-stop for two years! And this coming from the guy that has encouraged us to move at a fast pace without giving us time to allow our bodies to adjust."
While Harold was normally calm during these disagreements with Cody, this one had gone too far and so, Harold exploded.
"What the fuck is your deal man?!" He yelled. "Are you trying to create drama?"
"I am causing drama? Have you not looked in the mirror lately, you asshole?! You used to be a likable guy and I enjoyed being around you, but fame has made your ego larger than life! It's about time that someone brings you back down to reality." Cody replied.
"At least I'm not the one who was born rich!"
"At least I'm not the one who acts like white trash!"
"At least I got a girlfriend!"
"At least I have more talent than what you have!"
"Guys, can we just calm down and settle this in an orderly fashion?" Trent asked, standing in between the two to avoid physical conflict.
"No, and stay out of this." Cody barked. "There's no room for you in this argument."
"Yes, there is since I'm the lead singer and enough is enough!" Trent yelled after finally losing his patience. Normally, he was the cool one of the band, but after seeing this fight between Harold and Cody, he just couldn't take it anymore.
Trent's outburst stunned Cody and Harold into silence they never recalled him exploding at them, ever. Meanwhile, Trent just took a calm breath and sighed. "Look, fighting isn't going to help solve this issue and we can't afford to have all this negative drama on us. So, with all of the circumstances, I only see one choice."
"You don't mean-"
"Yes, Justin. That."
He slowly turned toward Cody. "Man, I love you, but-"
"Please tell me this is not what I think it is," Cody said quickly while trying to wipe the tears from his face.
"It is what you think." Trent replied, "And while I love you to death, seeing that you're suffering from a small nervous breakdown and that you have a feud with Harold, I see no choice but to let you go."
"Cody, you're no longer a Drama Brother."
For a while, after Trent spoke, there was a silence between the four guys that none of them knew. It was unfamiliar and quiet, but at the same time, it was a burden. The friction had been completed and there was no going back.
"Is it because I'm not a good artist?" Cody finally asked, breaking the silence.
Trent hesitated to reply. "Well…"
"So it is true! I knew it!" He yelled back.
"Knew that you and Trent never thought of me as a legit artist." Cody snapped at Harold. "You two have been trying to get rid of me since you never liked my ideas or my music or my song lyrics. You just want to make me look like a fool."
With this, Cody got up and grabbed his bags. "Honestly, *** you both. I will reinvent myself and prove to you all that I have what it takes to be in this industry."
As he left, Harold snarled, "You'll never be a true artist."
Cody started to reply but just shook it off while walking away. He was just tired of the fighting and all he wanted to do was go home and try to prevent his life from spiraling further out of control.
When news broke out days later that Cody was out of the band, it took the media by storm. No one was expecting this, so it made quite a buzz. Although there were a lot of questions, The Drama Brothers issued a statement that plainly said that Cody was removed due to creative differences within the band. The press tried to get a statement from Cody, he refused to talk and fired his managers since they were doing more harm than good to him during this time of uncertainty.
As the days passed, Cody never left his apartment. He drunk and got high on dope, primarily heroin. He never drank or had done drugs before, but they were his escape from the reality that was outside his doors. Days turned into weeks, and Cody kept spiraling out of control with his addictions until he had a more severe nervous breakdown than what he had the night of the last concert. This one resulted in him trashing his apartment while drunk and after he became sober, he realized the mess that he was in and decided that he needed help. His life was out of control and if he didn't get the professional help that he needed, it was going to kill him.
He drove out of Toronto and didn't stop until he reached Montreal and voluntarily checked himself into the Douglas Mental Health University Institute voluntary. News outlets gathered outside the hospital to see if any information could be revealed and when it was, newspapers all over Canada and the world printed headlines that received his nervous breakdown and addiction in a negative light.
For Cody, it was a horrible time to be alive.
Surprise everyone! I'm back and better than ever. As you guys may have seen from my profile, this fanfic is my swan song on here, but I believe this is the best work I've ever done. The goal of this story is to make it ten chapters, plus a conclusion from Lowland Warrior, but it may get up to twelve chapters (thirteen max with the conclusion). I won't say much more about the story. I'll let you all do that for me.
And special thanks to Lowland Warrior for once again helping me out and being the beta reader for this story. This is for you and for everything that you've done!
Until next time! Please read, review, favor, alert, and spread the word.