And then there were four...or possibly 5 still, we don't know yet. Let me rewind by the events of the last few hours. This one's a doozy.
It's not an easy life. It is a super fun one and a very charmed one if you really think about how people on normal life time work and then realize you're in an ocean you may never have otherwise touched, or seeing a good friend you wouldn't ever have even crossed paths with and sleeping on their familiar couch whole worlds and countries away from where you started - and getting to do your favorite thing (kick out the jams, motherfucker) everywhere you go. But yeah, fuck - it isn't what you'd call easy. It strains your relationships, your jobs and the logistics of your life for as long as you do it. And it takes a certain self-punishment to get out of the van at your house at 6AM at the end of tour and say Ok, so jam tomorrow?
Whether or not you ever make it, whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean - your life still boils down to the same day, be it grandiose or depressing. It's all just one sound check or another (whether in a concert theatre or a punk house basement), one avoidable argument with your bandmates or another (whether they are still your friends or now simply business partners), hours staring out the window of one vehicle or another (whether it's a half million dollar tour bus or an illegally unsafe $680 camper van that you had to fudge the safety on), one floor or bed, squat or shitty motel, or expensive hotel - or another. Et cetera. So you have to love what you're doing more than you can ever expect it to love you back, and you have to believe that it's for a reason even when you can't expect that reason ever to confirm it's own existence outright, even when you could use it the most. Morale? It's a real son of a bitch. You have to learn to laugh in the face of genuine disaster and eventually come to mean it (Things I Have Learned From Dan Dunham). Hell, in the last 10 days alone we managed to kill a van (our 3rd in as many years), have a band member hospitalized and miss a show, and come home sick as dogs as we went from whiteout blizzards in Quebec to the soaring heat of the American south in a matter of hours.
All of this is to say - people stick it out as much and as far as they can, but there are always some casualties along the way. And I can never begrudge anyone I care about and have gone through some shit with, for having to make the call that is best for their life, whether I agree with it or not.
Andrus has decided he needs to get off the Burning Love ride about here, as of all the upcoming tours. He'll be playing the Nasum/Brutal Truth shows with us in TO & MTL (which we just got added to as Dropdead sadly has had to cancel), and he'll still be playing the Rotten Thing To Say LP release show in Toronto, but that will be his last stand for the immediate future, while we scramble to get our game plan together in time for a full US and Canada tour that starts exactly five weeks today. We have some ideas which we still have to work out logistically, starting today.
Needless to say we're keeping to all existing plans - Southern Lord Tour, Australia in August, and The Fest & Fun Fun Fun run in the fall. But, also needless to say - Burning Love is definitely not going to be the same without Andrus, without his sleazy School of Rock riffs, his morbidly dirty Andrus white undershirts and gifted dexterity as a guitarist and songwriter. We love you Andrus...you fuckin' sleepy dick. Please don't stop doing the thing you were born to do.
05.20.12 Toronto @ Annex Wreckroom w. Nasum & Brutal Truth
05.21.12 Montreal @ La Salla Rossa w. Nasum & Brutal Truth