Well friends, it’s been fun. It’s been amazing at times and a let down at other times. When we finished our first tour across Canada in the summer of 2008, i described touring with the Painted Birds like a roller coaster ride between the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There would be a good show, and then a terrible show, and then a mediocre show, but there was always that great next show.
That same year we embarked on an even longer tour across Canada in the fall and i discovered that the lows could last even longer. I recall a 12 to 15 day stretch of around 9 shows where there were no highs. No positive points, nothing amazing to lift our spirits. We were in the desert.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the Painted Birds 2009 was a return of that desert. While i’m only now reporting our demise, some among us believe that it actually happened about a year ago. Last February, for emotional reasons perhaps, I neglected to report to you, our friends and followers, that TPB had parted ways with one of its key members; Shane Lynch. While we’d parted with drummers before, Shane had worked his way into the fabric of the band. We told ourselves we could carry on but i don’t think we truly believed it, and some, perhaps at times, didn’t really want to.
The rest of 2009 was basically a front. For show. Like a married couple putting on the happy face to make it seem that everything is happy and ok, but behind closed doors we truly weren’t happy or ok. The Peak Performance Project seemed to offer some hope. Shawn recently explained to me that to him the contest was like a window in a jail cell; the last chance for escape. Josh had announced his possible departure from the band long before we didn’t place in the top 3. When we were included in the top 20 bands, Josh let us know that he would stick around to see if we could win it, but he hadn’t found the Painted Birds creatively stimulating for quite some time. If TPB was a struggling married couple, it had just become pregnant, and the Peak Performance Project was the baby that we thought we could make it work for.
All of this is not to say that we as people don’t get along anymore. On the contrary, Josh, Shawn and I are still great friends, and all wish the best for each other in our future pursuits. We just agree that this project has run its course. We were ok with being economically broke for a while, but something is gone. The dream of standing out and making it that brought Shawn and I together 4 years ago has died and all the B.S. of this industry with its too many promoters who, too knowingly, screw over band after band just toss more dirt on the carcass.
To draw this to a close, we’re done with this dream. We’re grateful for everything that has happened along the way. We met so many amazing people and are thankful for everyone who believed in us, let us sleep on their floor, listened to our music, and came out to shows. We’ll never forget that. I’m so thankful that Shawn was and still is my best friend, and i’m extremely grateful that we chose to pursue this exciting path together. It’s sad to him and I that we need to now choose new paths but i’m so happy that we can keep our great friendship and share all the memories. I’m writing this into our closing agreement right now, that though we as a band have retired, we will still be forced to play songs for whoever cares to invite us over for dinner as long as there are a couple of guitars or a piano around.
I will continue to make music and will let you know soon as to where and under which name it will be posted. I’m not sure whether Dominique Fricot is the best performer name…;)
Thanks for the ride.