Monday, March 1, 2010

G Turns To D

Chances are that most of you reading this were re-directed here by Ed’s announcement on the Beth In Battle Mode MySpace blog that we’re calling it a day. It seems like a good opportunity to just provide a few personal thoughts about the run we’ve had, and share a few memories. And give you a hint of what’s coming up!

Funnily enough, I never intended to join Beth In Battle Mode; I had just wrapped up my old band The Gardens Faithful and asked Ed and Dave if they needed an organ player for a few songs at an upcoming show. I played the second half of the second BIBM show ever, and we had so much fun that we kept doing it. For their part, I’m not sure they ever thought that it would last as long as it did. We were a band without a plan, which is how we ended up with our unique “garage-prog-disco” sound; we didn’t set out to be any kind of band, we just played what made us happy. In fact, we’d often go with whatever made us laugh the most.

Over five years, we definitely laughed a lot. We played some memorable shows: cramming into the Embassy with a future-star-studded lineup including Born Ruffians and The Rural Alberta Advantage; a joyous 16th birthday party in Whitby; being bolstered onstage by a passing soul singer in Guelph; and pretty much all of shows we played at Rancho Relaxo and C’est What. Our first album was bizarrely popular in bootleg form in Russia and Greece; our second album was, I felt, unfairly dismissed. And we just did a three-track EP that I think is some of our best work.

However, there’s a reason why most bands feature people in their early 20’s. It’s an advantage to have a lame job you can ditch at any time, a willingness to couch surf after playing in front of 6 people in Hamilton, and no mortgage payments to make. For us, we all have other priorities at this point – especially Ed, a new father as of two weeks ago. That’s why we’re calling it a day as a regular, working musical entity.

We may play the occasional one-off show sometime down the line. We may not. At very least, I’m positive the three of us will play music together again, even if it’s just for ourselves in a rehearsal space. Because don’t think for a second that the band is going on the shelf due to any kind of personal or musical conflicts; I will miss the band, but I won’t miss Ed and Dave – because we’ll still be hanging out. They are two of the funniest, smartest, trustworthy and just plain best friends a guy could ever have. I wish all musicians could be so lucky.

So, what’s next? Well, obviously our farewell show on April 9th is going to be a whale of a time. I’m also playing with a band called All Night Long, and we’ll be opening for the reunited Thrush Hermit on March 26th. And, I’m finally getting around to doing some solo stuff the way I planned to before Beth In Battle Mode led me happily astray. So as one chapter closes, another begins. Now, if I could just remember to blog more often…