Breaking Up is Hard to Do

On our way home from Japan, during a layover at Vancouver International Ariport, our signer, Gab, told us that he was leaving the band. He being somewhat of an odd man out, we were relieved. In the months leading up to that moment, the division had become exacerbated and a wedge was driven deeper between him and the rest of the band. While the rest of us felt, at the time, that this was a new beginning, it would set forth a string of events that would spell the end of The Fully Down.

 The Fully Down Reformatted 

The Fully Down Reformatted 

We took time off from the road to audition new front-men, finally deciding on a singer named Justin from Detroit who had a powerful voice. I respected his talent immensely. We started demoing new songs, but as our new singer’s bond with my band-mates tightened, I felt myself gradually being pushed out of my role as songwriter in the group. The seed was planted. It was time to move on.

As my discontent grew and the band’s sound began to evolve, the record-label took notice, and they didn’t like what they heard. We were eventually dropped from Fearless Records. Our management and booking agents held on for a while, but inevitably followed suit. This didn’t fare well to keep us together. Divides grew; members announced their resignations and the band finally broke up.  

How it all came to an end for us was as unremarkable as it is for any band. Things tend to fizzle out rather than erupt. But good things came from this gradual disintegration. I started The Bad Ideas. I came into my own as a songwriter and became a front-man for the first time. Some of the others took jobs in the industry, as sound or lighting guys; still on the road, but no longer needing to worry about record contracts and the ugly business end. For me, however, this newfound freedom proved dangerous.

My rock ’n’ roll lifestyle continued with The Bad Ideas, but I found myself back at square one, playing small shows on east-coast tours and acting / drinking like we were twenty again. Therein lay my mistake. Playing in a real band is exciting and unlike any other experience, but when it ends it’s hard to let go and so you often don’t for too long. I don’t regret any of it, but I wish I had started college before twenty-eight. I wish I had simply thought ahead. 


Alex Newman

is a 28-year-old student of Professional Writing at Algonquin College, in Ottawa, where he is Co-Editor in Chief at Pulp Free Magazine. ­In addition to being a writer of fiction and non-fiction, Alex is an accomplished songwriter and a former touring musician.

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