You’re probably here because you’ve heard the recent announcement that I have decided to leave Good Luck Varsity. The East Coast tour that we just returned from will be my final tour with the band; the show in Pittsburgh on Sunday night was my final show. The purpose of this post is to provide an explanation for my decision to those of you who have been so loving, loyal and supportive of myself and Good Luck Varsity over the course the of the past 7 years. I have no interest in demonizing my former bandmates nor victimizing myself, and it is my goal to share this information with all of you in such a way that any of the three remaining members of Good Luck Varsity could read this post and agree on all the facts.
I made the decision to leave the band prior to the tour we just returned from. We all agreed it would be best to keep the information private until the conclusion of that tour, and this was very difficult as I did not want to intentionally mislead anyone by having conversations about future plans, upcoming albums, upcoming tours, etc., so I hope you’ll excuse me if you were at any of these shows and you felt like I was being unusually distant.
The roots of this decision can be traced to early September. We had just returned from a full summer of touring, which had been preceded by a week together in the studio, and 3 months together in Wasim’s basement writing 10 songs for a new full length album. Needless to say, we had spent an immense amount of time around each other, and it had become obvious to me that relationships within the band were starting to suffer and arguments were becoming more and more frequent. I called a meeting to address this, and as we talked, it became clear that we simply have fundamental, irreconcilable differences on nearly every level imaginable - artistic, procedural, personal, business - you name it.
Once we realized this, the conversation turned toward trying to find a way to deal with this. Several options were discussed, including various forms of compromise that would allow us to continue as a band. But the other 3 members also strongly considered whether or not it might be better to simply ask me to step down so they could continue on without me. This option received the most attention during that meeting, and over the course of the next month, the possibility of me being asked to leave the band came up several more times. With my position in the band in question and with no way for the remaining members to provide me any assurance that I wouldn’t eventually be asked to step down, I decided it would be better to leave of my own volition.
Once the decision was made, I offered the remaining three members my services for the October tour because I had already committed to it, and because I couldn’t stand the idea of disappointing kids in cities like Williamsport and Pittsburgh who have shown me a lifetime worth of love over the last year and a half. The remaining members accepted my offer and we completed the tour as scheduled.
I want to make something very clear to everyone reading this: in no way is this meant to cast a negative light on Good Luck Varsity. I’m not drawing a line in the sand and asking you to pick a side. Neither myself nor the 3 remaining members of GLV are asking you to divide your loyalty. While I’m sure all four of us have felt like there were times when we were extremely justified to feel angry with the other members, this really isn’t about right and wrong. We just simply weren’t on the same page on a lot of very important issues, and that was making it very difficult to be in a band together. But I’m proud of what we accomplished together musically, and the lives we were able to affect in a positive way. I’m also proud of the music that we wrote together that hasn’t been released yet, and while it’s definitely going to be weird to hear my lyrics and ideas on the record of a band I’m no longer a part of, I’ll still be able to share my heart with everyone who listens in a round-a-bout way.
I want to say thank you to everyone who made my time in GLV something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you for always being so supportive, and for carrying me through some very difficult times. Thank you for the stage dives, for the floors you let me sleep on, for the cookies you baked and brought to the show, for screaming the lyrics back in my face, and for every show that ended in an emotional a cappella version of “Mountains.” I will never forget the love I’ve been shown.
I could never dream of repaying all of you for everything you’ve done for me, but if I could make one final request of anyone reading this, it would be this: don’t give up on me. If “Wretch” ever made you reflect; if “Mountains” ever brought you to tears; if “Liars & Thieves” was ever your anthem or “Clear Eyes” ever made you feel invincible, then don’t give up on me, because the fire in my chest isn’t flickering out anytime soon. It’s going to take time, but I’ll come back to Williamsport and to Grayslake and to Pittsburgh and to Muncie and even to The Barn, and while the lyrics won’t be the same and the name won’t be Good Luck Varsity, I can promise you that I’ll put the same fire into this new endeavor as I did into all the songs you’ve come to love.
Up here in Michigan, the leaves are falling and winter is on it’s way in, but the end of every year is the beginning of another. This is not a goodbye - I’ll see you on the other side.
Bittersweet but exciting news from my big brother.