On Sick Puppies and the Space Between

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vegawriters
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On Sick Puppies and the Space Between

Unread postby vegawriters » 25 Oct 2014 11:43

Leave it to the guys in Sick Puppies to get me blogging again.

I used to do a lot of pop culture commentary/music writing. That's fizzled over the last few years, but the change in the band this week got me thinking about a lot of things with music and storytelling within music and so this came about. Hopefully it will get me doing more of the pop culture stuff again because it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Anyway, this will be posted to my website tomorrow. But I thought I'd give the World Crew a preview.

When we think of bands, we think of longtime friends gathering together in garages and empty warehouses and coffee shops, lugging gear and crowding into minivans with everything they own, setting off on a journey that will bring them not just fame and fortune and the adoration of fans but will also bring them a deeper, wiser understanding of the universe itself. They, after all, do what so many of us cannot. They bring those confusing instruments to life, the ones we all started at as kids, knowing (because our teachers told us so) that the vibrating strings made noise and that noise became music but in the hands of some of our peers, those instruments became oracles of the gods themselves.

When we think of bands, we don't like to think of success. Success means selling out, right? It means fans who have been there since the beginning challenging every single move they don't approve of, it means new fans fawning over every single solitary thing ever because they have so much time to make up for. Years have gone by and communities have been formed and fan bases are so hard to break in to and dammit, but dammit, the music has saved a life.

When we think of bands, we think of music. Radio. Record labels. Youtube and Myspace. How often do we stop to think of the individual fan, the individual band member? How often do we stop to think of the story?

This week in the rock world, there's only been one story on many people's minds - the split inside the band Sick Puppies. And it's just the latest in a long line of fascinating stories for these three musicians. After all, how many bands, how many people actually manage to live the "American Dream"? How many of us would be willing to put everything, absolutely everything, on hold as teenagers and take jobs to save up money, all with the sole purpose of leaving our home country and flying all the way across the world to hopefully make it big in the American Rock World? How many? I know people who wouldn't do that for love. Now imagine being eighteen and doing it for a dream.

And Sick Puppies did just that and came to the states with two numbers in their pocket and their instruments on their backs and somewhere along the way, people started to pay attention. Somewhere along the way, people noticed the heartbeat that Mark Goodwin's drums provided and they noticed lead singer Shimon Moore's wild and doofy frontman stylings, and they noticed that soft-spoken bassist Emma Anzai was anything but quiet on stage.

And the story become one of how Youtube videos can go viral and change everything for a band. It became one of how women in rock music are becoming more and more respected. It became one of number one hits, fan communities, and inspiration. And now the story is "What the f*ck happened?"

See, when we think of bands, we also don't like to think of them splitting up. We don't like to think that these friends who used to keep the neighbors up until all hours of the night could reach a point where working together is torture. We don't like to think about how if a band is like a marriage, how half of all marriages end in divorce.

But that's what happened this week when Sick Puppies announced that lead singer Shimon Moore was no longer with the band.

For me, as a fan and as a writer, I find myself wondering what happened. Of course I want to know. I want to know why choices were made and why things couldn't be worked out, but I find myself wondering these things as a writer. Because, as any writer will tell you, the truth is always found in the spaces between the words.

Why did public statements use words like "time apart" or "instead"? Why were announcements made the way they were? Why did some people become active on the fan boards out of nowhere? And those will be questions that at some point, a smart reporter will ask. I'd hope.

But more than those questions, it's the story that calls to me. Sick Puppies, a group known as much for songs like You're Going Down and War as they are for entreating challenges to the world in softer tunes like Maybe and Run, I wonder where the story will emerge.

As a music fan, I hope it won't be through social media snipping. The trio has been reasonably professional throughout the split, but it's clear there are deep seeded hurts that are starting to bubble to the surface (as now-former lead singer Shimon Moore's facebook post about the situation made clear.) There's a part of me that hopes it even won't be through any blogging sites or interviews (although I'm always available). But, instead through the songs that are inspired by the next chapter of this band.

Because when we think of bands, we have to think of their stories and what the music is telling us. Rock is a culture of blood, sweat, and tears. And even bands at the top of the charts, the ones who so often feel like they are cranking out the same riffs and the same lyrics over and over again, even they have their own messy story to tell. They've sat in rooms and pondered the end of the very life that feeds them. They've walked away from love, from stability. All to get on a bus and go from town to town.

Over the next few months, fans are going to start to be able to say the signs were there. And they were. See, that's the thing with music: it's part of the soul and our souls direct us. Or, if you prefer, that instinct tells us something is up. Because in the end, it won't just be the story they write that stays with us. It'll be the story that Emma tells on stage with her bass every night and the tales that Mark bangs out on his drums and the webs that are spun in whatever new project Shim finds himself doing.

Speaking as a fan: I hope it's a good one because sometimes, new blood keeps a band alive. But sometimes, the story just has to end.


Pick up a pen and fight a war for the right to dream.
- Live/The Sanctity of Dreams

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March 12, 2014/HCIRT/SLC, UT

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schmiegol
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Re: On Sick Puppies and the Space Between

Unread postby schmiegol » 26 Oct 2014 13:55

I like this a lot. There are a lot of very true statements. You my friend have a great gift with writing. We will see how the next chapter unfolds for both parties, whether its and ending or a new beginning. I'm honestly hoping for a new beginning for both. They all find what they're looking for and find success in their endeavors. Maybe one day their paths will even meet again. But that is the beauty of watching a story in the making, you get to watch it all happen. With luck, you'll even have fond memories tied to it. I know the concerts I made it too, I will never forget.


Shows: Cincinnati,OH-10/25/13, Fort Wayne,IN- 12/21/13, Columbus,OH-2/28/14, Fort Wayne,IN-7/19/14, Franklin,OH-7/25/14, Indianapolis,IN-8/4/14

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Re: On Sick Puppies and the Space Between

Unread postby vegawriters » 27 Oct 2014 11:38

schmiegol wrote:I like this a lot. There are a lot of very true statements. You my friend have a great gift with writing. We will see how the next chapter unfolds for both parties, whether its and ending or a new beginning. I'm honestly hoping for a new beginning for both. They all find what they're looking for and find success in their endeavors. Maybe one day their paths will even meet again. But that is the beauty of watching a story in the making, you get to watch it all happen. With luck, you'll even have fond memories tied to it. I know the concerts I made it too, I will never forget.


Thank you. Thanks for reading and for commenting. It means a lot. :)

:rock:


Pick up a pen and fight a war for the right to dream.
- Live/The Sanctity of Dreams

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March 12, 2014/HCIRT/SLC, UT

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Song of a Phoenix
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Re: On Sick Puppies and the Space Between

Unread postby Song of a Phoenix » 28 Oct 2014 06:11

Nicely written. I never thought I'd see Sick Puppies break apart. Shim no longer being part of the band is the last thing I ever thought would happen after all he and Emma have been through together.

May an exciting new story come out of all of this.


"Taking that choice, taking that leap of faith and what you wanna do with your life. And everyone's tellin' ya coulda, woulda, shoulda, what they would've done back in that day, and what you should've done blahblahblahblah, c'mon man. From us to you, do whatever the hell you wanna do with your entire life and just make sure it works for you." -Shim Moore before performing Maybe.

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vegawriters
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Re: On Sick Puppies and the Space Between

Unread postby vegawriters » 28 Oct 2014 13:24

Song of a Phoenix wrote:May an exciting new story come out of all of this.


I hope so. Either way, it's a story that has touched a lot of people. :)


Pick up a pen and fight a war for the right to dream.
- Live/The Sanctity of Dreams

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March 12, 2014/HCIRT/SLC, UT

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