The other day I was quoted in a thread about my band breaking up. In my post, I had 'seconded' what my friend/guitarist had said and then added "thanks for the love AP". The kind gentleman who quoted me and Robert said "I love you guys. Thanks for the fantastic album."
I've been in a mood lately that is best described as nostalgic, thankful, accomplished, and lucky. Overall in life, I'm happy to be where I am today. I have the best friends in the world. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life, but I'm trying not to worry about it and take each day as it comes and have as much fun as possible. There have been a lot of significant changes in my life recently, but it's all working itself out. Obviously, my band of 4+ years broke up. We didn't max out our potential or talent, we had big opportunities and offers on the table, we had the chance to do something, but we didn't. At least it was on our own terms and I think it was the right decision in the long run, but it still is disappointing. But this small thread on AP in which 28 other people expressed their appreciation of our music and sadness for our absence made me really think about what we did and how proud and lucky I am.
Ever since I was 13, I've read absolutepunk.net almost every day. It was my Bible for finding new bands, keeping in touch with the scene, etc. etc. My sophomore year in college, Eagle Scout started writing decent songs and recorded a fun EP. Junior year I had submitted our music to the self-promo thread, just hoping to get some interest within the thread. One evening I log on to AP and see Eagle Scout on the home page, as a self-promo spotlight. Just like that I feel like I'm 13 again, and parts of my dream are coming true. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement, knowing what it could lead to. We got a great review and several encouraging comments. In the big picture, it's such a small accomplishment, but was a HUGE launching point for our band. That's when we started believing in ourselves, started working harder than ever. For me, I could now use this as enticement to get other people (labels, review-ers, etc.) to check us out. And that's exactly what happened. Dan Phillips at Cavity Records was kind enough to read my e-mail and check us out and things blossomed from there.
A year later, we find ourselves in Atlanta, GA recording a full-length album with Matt Goldman, the genius behind some of our favorite and most listened to records. We live and record at this amazing studio for an entire week for a very gracious cost. February of 2010 our record is released and things blow my mind. Exclusive-homepage feature on AP again. Feature on iTunes. Decoymusic homepage. And our playcout on myspace is going up suspiciously quick. Turns out Mike from The Devil Wears Prada had streamed our album, loved it, and posted a myspace bulletin telling their 8 million fans to check us out. What the hell?!
Things didn't last much longer, we did a full month tour in the summer to Florida up the east coast and back home. Got some management/booking/label offers, and broke up.
BUT, how lucky am I! Every kid who reads AP wants to be in a band. Some want to be famous, but everyone wants to at least spend time in the van with their best friends and play a few shows. And that's exactly what we did. We never hit it big. We never made any money. We never had a bus or a greenroom. Hell, we hardly ever played for a guarantee bigger than $20. BUT, I traveled to most of the US east of Kansas. Went to places I've never been before. Spent countless hours in the van and sleeping on punk house living room floors. Ate cold ramen and peanut butter sandwiches. Met amazing people and bands. And just had the time of my life spending time and connecting with my best friends. The times that I felt happiest aren't when we were in Rocksound or Alternative Press. It's the times we were doing madlibs in the van, playing football in the parking lot, etc. This band wasn't about opening for the Arcade Fire on some arena tour. It was about the gang vocal in Arms Length Apart, or the breakdown bridge in The Decay - connecting musically and being a part of something bigger than each of us individually. It was about meeting people, having discussions about religion, punk, tour horror stories, boobs, sharing meals, etc. It was about shows with Renae, Montez, Wind & Sail. It was about the kids in Macomb, IL going completely nuts every show. It was about the rad houses like in Champaign, Rome, and Willimantic. I would've liked to have heard what we would've done next. I don't know if any new bands will come from this. But for now, we've got Pandamonium and New Hands to listen to and remember what was. I've got pictures and youtube videos to remember what was. We didn't revolutionize the music scene, but we had a damn good time. And I'm damn lucky.
So seriously, I know you don't think much of it, but the comments from AP users mean a lot to me. Because its a community that I believe in and its the community that launched our band's career that allowed me to have these great times and lifelong memories. That's why it's so important to support bands. Maybe you can't buy all their merch. Maybe you torrent everything you listen to. But you can at least post. Share a message that you dig their jams and encourage them. That's what will help keep bands alive and make the music scene and the AP online community better.