First of all, let’s get the obligatory/very, very exciting news out of the way!
We have two new splits up fro pre-order with two bands that are amazing. One of the bands we met two years ago on our first foray into Europe, and we became fast friends. They are called Rika, and they are absolutely amazing. We played a few shows and hung out a lot/slept in the same hostel, and made plans to do a 7″. It took a long time to happen, but we were both really intent on it happening, and we are so glad it finally is on it’s way. It’s currently streaming on Punknews, but the stream is still not fixed, so Count Your Lucky Stars is hosting it on their Bandcamp for the time being. We will let you know when the stream at Punknews is fixed. You can pre-order it at Count Your Lucky Stars and God Damn Records, who are based out of Europe.
The second split is with a band called Arrows, and this 7″ has been planned for what seems like forever as well. Arrows are based out of Australia, and they are an incredible band too. It’s an exciting split for a lot of reasons, like the fact that Arrows can gain some new listeners in the US and we can gain some in Australia. The most exciting thing is it is a precursor to what’s to come. A lot of people guessed it when they saw the split, and they are right- we are planning on making our way out to Australia to do a tour with Arrows next year. It is still very much in the planning stages, but we wanted to let you all know that it is something we have been looking forward to for a long time. Alternative Press is streaming it now, and you can pre-order this split at Count Your Lucky Stars as well or down under on the excellent label Hobbledehoy Records.
Another bit of exciting news, the new four-way split with Mountains for Clouds, Two Knights, and Driving on City Sidewalks is now out! All of the pre-orders have been shipped, you can get it online.stream it at all those fancy retailers like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Rdio, etc. So get check it out!
The last item on the agenda before I get serious- Right now I’m sitting here while our friend Mat at Studio Minx is going over the files and mixing When the Sea Became a Giant for vinyl. It’s both very exciting and very exhausting to listen to this, partly because it’s so old and I’ve heard it so many damn times in my life that my ears are all but exhausted on them, but it’s also exciting because Mat is breathing new life into these songs. A little bit of history of When the Sea Became a Giant, I recorded these jams starting back in late 2005/early 2006 all by myself at my parent’s house. I wrote all these parts, mixed all these parts, agonized over these parts years and years ago. It was eventually released on CD in early 2007, and essentially kick-started our career as a band. That was over 5 years ago now, and I’m glad it is getting a chance at sounding like it was supposed to, on a format that I’ve always loved. I think by the time you hear this, you will hear a lot more than you could have on the original record. The guitars are panned, the songs are more open, and everything is just cleaner and clearer. We also are adding in a bonus track recorded at the same time as these songs called “Make me young, make me young, make me young, make me young”. All of this from the original files! It’ll be out before the year is over, so we can get it in the 5 year anniversary window.
Which brings me to something that has been on my mind a lot and something people take for granted. It’s more recently highlighted by some of our good friend’s bands that are breaking up, like Hightide Hotel, Snowing, Boris Smile, Joie De Vivre (lol)- and now it seems Algernon Cadwallader. I think it’s important we talk about band mortality.
One of my favorite bands of all time is Mineral, and I never got a chance to see them. I was too young, really, and I got into them just before their last album came out by the time they were already done. But I did do a lot of research and read stories about them online, and a few years back I even met Chris Simpson and have played with him since and he is still an incredible musician. I would kill to see Mineral live. I would do anything for a reunion, or to have seen them when they were a band. And this wasn’t a case where I could have ever, really, because I got into them when I was like 14 or 15 and they were already done touring.
I remember reading a bio on some website that said something to the effect that Mineral was a band for only 4 short years, but they did this and that, etc. My thought was immediately “4 short years?!”. Whoever wrote that clearly has never been in a band or understood what it means.
Here is a fact: Every band you love will break up. Sometimes tragically short, sometimes tragically long, but they will break up. But let’s face it- 4 years is a long time to be a band. In those same four years, you could graduate high school, college, find and marry your significant other, have a child, move and put down new roots, lose someone close, etc. And none of those things would be considered four short years.
What is it about bands that the average fan doesn’t understand or take for granted? Bands live short lives. If we make it a year or two, that is a major accomplishment. The only other band that I have been in that lasted over two years was in college. And that felt like a really long time!
Being in a touring band is hard. It requires a lot of sacrifice. You give up any stability. You give up real jobs, you put off starting a family, or school, and a lot of other things. You put all other things in life on hold. You put your life on hold.
Your fans don’t have to. They fit you into their life when they can. Sometimes that is a lot, sometimes it’s not at all. I don’t expect them to understand what it means to sleep on a floor night after night, surviving on little to no money, fighting off sickness and sometimes fighting with bandmates. Tour is very, very fun, but it can also be stressful and tiring. Bands lose members over it. Bands lose money over it. Bands break up over it. It’s almost better that fans don’t see that side of things.
I get how special it is. I know that this could end tomorrow and Iwould have been extremely lucky to have done some of things I’ve done, to meet so many great people, to see so many amazing places. We are fortunate to have played with so many good bands- many of them already deceased. I’ve had such good times touring with my band and tour mates.
So it always upsets me when a band breaks up and the first things people say are things like: “Play my town before you break up” or “Don’t break up, you are my favorite band, and now I’ll never see you live”. The thing that is most upsetting is many of you had a chance to see that band in the ‘X’ amount of years they were together/touring. But you forgot when they came. Or didn’t pay attention. Or you wanted to leave the show early or you had work the next day. For those of you who had that chance, it’s gone. You fucked up, and you can’t take it back. And the band could have really used that support when they were still a band.
I’m not getting into issues of why bands break up. It isn’t important in this context. What is important is appreciating what you have, when you can. There is an actual scene, an actual community now. When we started as a band 6 years ago, there wasn’t one. Not one that we belonged to, that all of the bands we are friends with belonged to. This is something special. But it will come to an end. It will die out.
One day, you won’t be able to see your favorite band. Or you already can’t, and you know how it feels. If you had the chance, I hope you are kicking yourself now.
Don’t wait. Make the effort. We appreciate it. All of us. To the people that come to our shows and make the effort, thank you. You are keeping this alive. You are the community. Please, go see the bands you like if they ever make it close enough for you. Keep this thing alive as long as we can, because one day it will be gone.