Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dreadnought Hiatus

Dearest friends, fans, and assorted dirty rotten little bastards all over the world,

Since forming in 2007, this band has made 5 recordings, played close to 400 shows, toured to 22 wonderful countries and Belgium, and even got on the radio once.  It has been, all things considered, one hell of a ride.  But we're here to announce that as of right now we're going to seriously scale back our show schedule (from 140 shows per year to like, maybe twelve). Also, Uncle Touchy Goes To College will probably be our last recording.

There is, unfortunately for you gossip queens, nothing very dramatic about it. With all due respect to the "old guys" in the rock/punk world, we'd rather not end up like them. 

Let us explain: we've seen older, more famous punk bands fill 2,000-person halls all over Europe then paint houses 6 months of the year just to make ends meet. We've seen A-list Epitaph-signed bands who are so sick and tired of touring that their live shows are almost a joke.  But they gotta tour, or they (and their kids) don't eat. We've seen countless older guys in the industry--managers, musicians, promoters or what have you--who no longer give a shit about music and who would literally not be able to make it through each year without cocaine. "Living the dream", they call it.

So we're each off to get educations or start jobs or explore the world on our own, and trust us, there is absolutely nothing sad about that. 

First, we're extremely proud of the music we've made and we think that it stands as something that is both (1) true to its roots, and (2) hopefully somewhat unique.  If one band out there has been inspired to do things just a little bit differently because of us, we're fairly happy with that.

Second, music has given us a chance to see places we would never have dreamed of seeing.  Eastern Poland, Western England and Chicoutimi, Quebec have become new homes for us all.  We've seen the Kremlin and the Ukraine and Barcelona and Porto, been stuck in crazy latino-only American polka bars and slept at the top of colossal mountains in the Swiss alps.  Not too shabby, eh.

Third, we have met the most incredible people and made lifelong friends on our various adventures.  If we tried to name you all we would never be finished.

Anyway, we do have one major regret we'd like to mention.  As of 2009, we started trying to do the "building" thing. We toured internationally, built our reputation and got to play for lots more people, but in order to try to get some stupid contract with some Canadian booking agent, we basically stopped playing Vancouver. The idea is that if you play one big show in your home city per year, you can fill a huge hall and the fucking big-fish booking agents get impressed.

We've had a few people complain about this to us, and they were right to.  Vancouver wasn't just our home city, the place we cut our musical teeth, it was where we got that first "push" to get bigger in the first place.  Our friends and fans at home supported us like crazy but we basically abandoned them in order to try to get a booking contract that never materialized, probably because we didn't pretend to be Irish. (Trust me, really, if we'd pretended to be Irish I fucking guarantee you that this particular agency would have signed us.) That sucked, and we're sorry, Vancouver.  Um... it won't happen again?

Anyway: One reason folk and punk go so well together is that each of them is about community.  A "scene" is just a community of friends, and the whole idea of folk music (and punk music) is that performances should be friends playing for friends.  There are no rock stars, no egos, no fucking "images" and no-one is better than anyone else.  Even if we joked around and occasionally pretended to be rock stars, we hope all of you knew that we're just your friends who happen to know how to play polkas very fast.  That's it.

We'll probably play a few more shows here and there, and no-one knows for sure what the future will hold, but this Polka-punk train is gonna sit in the station for a while.   We have a few more things to say about our time in "the biz", and we'll post them in the next couple of days.  But for now, we'll leave you with one last recording we made during the "Uncle Touchy" sessions, a song that means so much to us and that is dedicated to every last one of you.