Well, here I am with quite possibly the biggest news in a hot minute. As some of you may or may not know, I've decided to step down as the drummer for Ha Ha Tonka. I wrote a letter to everyone that we posted to the bands facebook page. There's not much more to say, so I figured I'd post it here as well. It reads as follows.
Most of you know that we (Ha Ha Tonka) have been at this for what will be 10 years this November. November 4th, to be exact, was the first day I joined the band back in 2004. I showed up to a stinky college house in Springfield, MO when a Boston terrier by the name of He-Man came running at me and proceeded to nip me in the arm as one Lucas Long told me to "Watch out, he'll bite your ass…"
I had spent the last 4 years touring with a drum and bugle corps through the summers, and knew that I wanted touring to be a big part of my life for a while, so when Brian informed me that the guys were about to hit the road for the first time and needed a new drummer, I was sold. I moved in and we began writing and recording our first album, and from then on, it was one foot in front of the other down a rabbit hole that took us on one wild and amazing ride.
As rides and life tend to do, ten years later life has changed for me, and I have made the decision to step down as the drummer for Ha Ha Tonka.
I know... This is going to be the age old story of babies breaking up bands, but not long ago I was brought a little gal who, though she’s not yet good at it, intends to call me dad. This has brought a whole new level of expectation for myself not only as a musician, but as a person. Those of you who are parents will understand what I mean. Those of you who aren't, please let me tell you…for me, this is the BEST type of expectation. Given the family life that I was brought up in, I know that this is the right thing for me, to be here now for my family, and for me.
For the past ten years I've lived some of the most fun times of my life. I've seen (quite literally) the world with 3 dudes that have become my brothers. We've loved each other and hated each other, but we’ve always given everything we had to the next experience. I have stories that I'll tell over beers for a lifetime to come. I love these guys more than they'll ever know… and will never take for granted how lucky I've been to be a part of this group. Brian, Brett and Luke… thank you. Thank you for letting me a part of such an amazing thing. I love you guys.
Everyone should know that there isn't one drop of bad blood that exists in this situation. Yeah.. it's going to be strange seeing someone else helping drive the ship, but I know in my heart that this is the right thing for right now. I'll still be at shows, and we've left all ends open. Knowing the relationship we all have, we don't want to rule out coming together again.
I also want to thank YOU all. The whole lot of you. If you're reading this and have ever supported our band, THANK YOU. Despite what the music industry has become, we've always been able to do so many things that many other bands have not, and will never have the opportunity to do… because of you. Despite the statistics on concert attendance and record sales, labels folding and bands who can't afford to do it, you, our fans, have helped us along. You’ve payed for our van when we busted a head gasket. You've come to shows over and over again. You've bought our albums. You've come up and shared your stories with us. You've brought your friends and your kids to see us. You've housed us. You've partied with us.
You've become our friends.
All I can ask of you is that you continue your support. Not just for Ha Ha Tonka, but for all the artists and bands you love. You are all amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
As for me personally, music is the only thing that I’m decent at, and though I'm giving up the road for now, I will continue striving to be a professional in the music industry no matter what, and I plan to teach my little girl to always go after the things she loves as well.
So, that's kind of that…
As I will not be at the shows in October, we knew this would be the best time to let you all know what is happening, out of respect for your loyalty and friendship. If you're a midwesterner, please come out to our annual Thanksgiving shows, as those will be my last big hurrah with you and the guys. I'm sure it'll be an emotional weekend, but one that I look forward to. If you see me around there or elsewhere, don't hesitate to come say hey.
Thank you for sharing this experience with me.
Thank you all as always for checking in, and for your support.