I thought I was old when we started the band. Twenty-one, facing growing up, and trying to preserve some youth in songs – The Young & The Desperate, Young Offenders, Young Lions, etc. The “Constant Teens”, you know… In a lot of ways, the eleven years that we were active as a band was a suspended adolescence. At our best, we consecrated youth in the true rock and roll spirit. Wild, ecstatic moments, pure physical and spiritual energy, free of any past or future. We held on to that for as long as we could.
Gradually, an awareness of the passing of time, the changes occurring around us, and personal physical and emotional needs crept into the songs – Soon Enough, Our Age, Windy Road (Best get new dreams – these old dreams won’t last). There were some heavy times in those last few years – each member of the family was being pulled in their own direction, trying to figure out who we were apart from each other. Every family comes to this at some point, and everyone deals with it in their own way.
On a cold night in the winter of 2010, walking down Mont-Royal, I called Doug, who I’d been playing in bands with since early high school, and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” I was unsure what kind of response this statement would get, but Doug was kind and understanding, and we spoke as brothers do. That was a basic fact with the Cons: we were as real with each other as people could be. The band played a few shows that year, fulfilled what responsibilities we could, and then we went our separate ways.
I believe it had to happen this way. We each had to figure some shit out on our own. The six months after the Cons stopped playing was one of the most fucked up periods in my life. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t really know how to play music outside of The Constantines. We had learned to be musicians together. There were no real goodbyes, but there was a complicated mourning process, figuring out that there were other things to devote oneself to. Trying to write a resume was a nightmare. Life went on.
A great irony in all of this, is that I’ve become more aware of what the Cons meant to people in the years since the band last played together, than I ever was while we were active. I suppose that’s no grand revelation – you often have to get outside of something to get a picture of what it is. We are grateful that people love this band so much. We love it too. In the past year, we’ve had perfect occasions to reconnect with one another, to play together in various forms, and to talk again as brothers do. Timing has never been the Cons’ greatest strength, and as we watched the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of Shine A Light pass by, we joked together, saying, “well, maybe we’ll do something for the 11th…”
True to the Cons’ decision making process, the more something made us laugh, the better an idea it seemed. And support came in from some wonderful places. We’ve been talking a lot lately, and we’ve made some plans.
What it all comes down to is this: There is too much love and too much life in this music for it to only exist in the past. We’re happy to announce that The Constantines – Will Kidman, Steve Lambke, Doug MacGregor, Bry Webb and Dallas Wehrle – will be playing some shows this summer, leading up to the 11th Anniversary Reissue of Shine A Light.
Details will be coming your way soon, but we wanted to give you the news ourselves, and say thanks for everything. Your kind words have meant a lot to all of us, and we look forward to seeing you again.
Time can be overcome,