One Year On

Today is the first anniversary of the last ever Million Dead show (and in fact the 5th anniversary of the first MD show, but whatever). This puts me in a pretty weird reflective mood, understandably enough. All the cliches about bands being like relationships are depressingly true; we all had a lot emotionally invested in MD, and even with this much distance it’s hard to know what I think about some things. There’s still some unsettled issues, niggling doubts and so on. But hey, that’s my problem. Looking back on it now there are a few things I can say for certain – it was a shame the way it ended, but I don’t think it realistically would have lasted much longer anyhow; I’m immensely proud of all the music we made and everything we achieved.

This post is more about the last year though, since MD broke up. We made the decision to go our own ways about a month before our last show, so we all had time to consider our next moves. I decided to try my hand at what I’m doing now, which was simultaneously a very easy and a very hard thing to choose. It would have been so facile to form another shouty / angular / post-HC band, and to get snapped up by a label and release an album which the fans would always say wasn’t a patch on MD, but to be secure and comfortable. But my heart wouldn’t have been in it. On the other hand, while my heart has very much been in my music in the last year, there have been times when it’s been really fucking rough. No matter how friendly and positive people are, if you’re on the road on your own, no money, little prospects, playing a pub with 20 people in it and then sleeping on a stranger’s floor a long way from home, dreaming about playing Reading / Leeds to thousands of people… it’s easy to get disheartened. I have to admit there have been times in the last year when I’ve considered jacking it all in for an office job. I feel a lot more vulnerable on tour on my own, there’s no support network. Sometimes I just want to go home.

But I shall moan no more! The last few months particularly have seen things really shift up a gear. I had a meeting yesterday with the powers that be which really drove that home – we discussed singles, videos, mastering, artwork, touring with a band, agents, lawyers, accountants… and I’m feeling pretty fucking vindicated. Allow me my two seconds of victory here – it’s coming together, and I worked my fucking arse off to be here, and I’m proud. Plus the album is going to kick you all in the nuts (figuratively speaking). So, in conclusion then, a strange and often very difficult year, but, dare I say it, I’m starting to feel like I’m out of the woods.

So today I shall toast MD with a tear in my eye, and then I shall play my own songs and rock the fucking house.

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