The story is very common in musical circles, and it goes something like this:
- Band forms.
- Band gets really good really fast.
- Band tours a lot, makes a great first album.
- Band does not make a lot of money.
- Band hooks up with cool producer, releases more records, goes on more tours.
- Band still does not make a lot of money.
- Band changes members.
- Band tries to keep things going, but sees the writing on the wall.
- Band breaks up, and moves on.
When you’re 19 or 20, it’s pretty easy to be in a band, to live in the van, and to not worry about making much money. When you’re in your 30s, though, the earth shifts a bit. You’re looking at your friends who are successful in their careers (either as musicians, as accountants, etc.), and you really start thinking “Is this the right path for me?”
As much as Two Hours Traffic has had a great success, the simple fact of the matter is that they don’t have enough success (read: money) to really make a living off of their music. So, as a thank you to their many fans from the past 12 years, they’re going on a short farewell tour before heading home and then figuring out what to do next.
I chatted with Liam Corcoran (founder, vocalist) before they headed out on their tour to ask about their decision to walk away, in spite of just having rebuilt the band with a killer record in 2012.
“We weren’t making the living to justify doing what we were doing. I really admire the people who say ‘I’m going to be a troubadour, and I’m just going to go out and do it. They sleep on couches and they do what they have to do, and that’s amazing. We’ve taken this as far as we could take it in trying to be a full-time band.”
Partially, it’s a progress issue. The band just hasn’t hit that “next level”. But also, it’s about age and experience: “You want to have a life at home, too. If you really stay at it hard, it’s hard to keep a life at home, and you have to make the call.”
You can hear our entire conversation here. We didn’t just talk about the end of the band. We spent 10 minutes or so chatting about the days working with Joel Plaskett, and the history of the band.
Folks in Toronto, Kingston, and Ottawa, you can check out Two Hours Traffic’s final shows (for now, I suspect) on December 12, 13, and 14.
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