the future of While We’re Up
First of all, I love you. I think every serious discussion should begin like that.
This band started with Zach and I playing songs on acoustic guitar late into the night, coming up with two-man versions of our favorite songs and then versions of our own songs too. Everything we did, we did together, and that was key to all that we wanted to be as a band. As part of my senior honors thesis at Arizona State University, we had to come up with the key points that were going to make us different from every other pop-rock-punk-whatever band out there (thousands of them, many of them the same), and the number one difference we came up with was the two of us. Pretty much every band has one person as the singer out front, and the bands who have two or more don’t have the two of US — a dynamic duo, the “lovely lads” (thanks Mama Booher), whatever people called us, it was a bromance crafted so perfectly that the universe probably had a good chuckle when we were born. People sometimes didn’t know me from Zach, and most of our friends didn’t think about us without thinking about While We’re Up too. One person (and probably more) even thought we were dating each other (which, for the record, we weren’t — we wrote songs about girls for a reason). I’m sure it was pretty annoying at times to always hear about the band, and I’m incredibly thankful for everyone who stuck with us for so long.
Your brain does really weird things when your entire life changes in thirty seconds and you lose one of the closest friends you’ve ever had, so for whatever reason these were things going through my mind in the days after the accident that I lay in the hospital bed. The full emotional impact of it didn’t hit me until later, and it probably still hasn’t, but it was in those moments when I realized that it would no longer make sense to continue While We’re Up. WWUP without Zach is like The Beatles without McCartney, it’s like an &J sandwich. Also, what a lot of people don’t realize is that at the time of the accident the band was made up of just me and Zach. We’ve had a couple really great people play with us in the past, like Nick (who drummed for us in the Someday video and at local shows) and Gilbert (who played bass with us for a while), but us graduating and going on tour meant that it was just the two of us for a while — the same as how it all started in the first place, so we were good at that. But by myself, I’m not While We’re Up — Zach and I together, we were While We’re Up.
There’s really just one more thing that has to be done as While We’re Up, and that’s to release the CD of demos that Zach and I were working on before the accident. A lot more work has to be done before that’s ready, but it will be worth the wait — trust me. After that, the While We’re Up pages online will be used to let people know about important events and updates about Zach’s memorial fund and things like that, but I will no longer be releasing new material as While We’re Up.
BUT… I told you yesterday that I’m not going to stop doing music, and I completely mean that. My life has been defined by music through the good and the bad, and the times when I have been completely overwhelmed are the times when I spill my heart into the words and melodies that become the songs I sing. This has never been more true than now when my life has been completely turned upside down, and when my brother in music gave his life for the dream we were chasing. I owe it to him to keep trying, I owe it to myself, and I owe it to anyone who has ever been moved by the music we created. To you, if you’re reading this sentence right now. I don’t know exactly when, and I don’t know what, and I don’t know how, but at some point in the coming months I will be starting a new music endeavor on my own, and I would love to have you come along with me in that.
For now though, there’s work to do! There’s the CD to finish, and a benefit concert to plan — which, after much thought and discussion today, it has been decided to move the benefit concert back to early next year (probably the second weekend in January) in order to better organize and publicize it. Zach’s memorial fund has around $9,000 left before Arizona State will start giving out scholarships in Zach’s name, and ideally we would like to raise a large part of that money with this concert. Oh, and if you know anyone who knows anyone who knows Jimmy Eat World, please tell them that we would love for them to play at this concert since they were one of Zach’s all-time favorite bands. A long shot maybe, but you can’t hit a distant target if you don’t pull the trigger.
The final thing I want to say is a thank you to every single person who has ever supported While We’re Up in any way — from our family and friends who have spent countless hours, tears, sweat and dollars to support us, to the people who just listened to a song or two. Zach and I poured all of our efforts into this band in the hopes that someday our music would change lives, but I’ve seen that the day we waited for has been every day that one of you shared a story with us of what the music meant to you. Like a good friend of mine once said, today is better than someday.
as always, all my love.
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