This is something that we’ve been wanting to clear up for a long time now and I am thankful that a fan has asked so that Kerry could do just that.
"Is the dude from whirr still playing for you guys? he was really good. I saw you guys in Seattle with Russian circles and like the lineup of musicians you had then (aside from the outstanding performance) but have seen pictures of what looks like different people now."
This was all supposed to be announced in the next Sunbather press release, but I guess now is as good a time as any. Many people have noticed that Nick hasn’t toured with us since our February European tour, and before that the 2011 SXSW tour. Joey, who’s another guitarist from Whirr, did our US tour with Russian Circles, the SXSW 2012 run / Alcest east coast tour / Russian Circles European tour, and the three dates with Russian Circles in September, Gary of Black Monolith did our 2011 US with Ken Mode and our Pitchfork Northside showcase, and Mike from SQRM did our japanese tour. They’re all great guitar players and great dudes for going on the road with us.
When I asked Nick to join Deafheaven after our demo had come out back in April 2010 (?) Whirr (then Whirl) had already been a band for quite some time. None of us had any idea that Deafheaven would be given the opportunities that we’ve been fortunate enough to have, and one of his conditions for playing with us was that Whirr would have to come first, seeing as he was the main songwriter for that band. I told him I understood completely, as I feel the same way about Deafheaven. This band is my baby as much as Whirr is his.
So while it was a bit of a bummer, it didn’t really surprise me when in April /May (I forget the date, but we were at a venue in Stockholm, I believe) he emailed me letting me know that he could no longer be a part of Deafheaven. Whirr was really picking up at that time, being given opportunities that are starting to be announced (European tour dates, etc etc) and he did not want to hold us back as much as we did not want to hold him back. I told him that as one of the best guitar players I’ve ever worked with, I was bummed, but that I completely understood and wished him the best. We talk all the time, have the same booking agent, etc etc.
Deafheaven started as a two piece project with George and I. Around the time of our first line up, we hoped that it would turn into a fully functioning five piece band. As anyone who has seen us on more than one tour can plainly see, this isn’t the case, and we figured that out pretty rapidly after our first few tours. People start new bands, have serious commitments at work or at home, or with loved ones, and while we never fault any of them for any of this, George and I have had one main priority in our lives for the last (almost) three years: Deafheaven. So, we move on, wish them the best, and search (yet again) for a fill in for whatever tour we have coming up.
So, beginning with our Mogwai cover, we’ve sort of reverted to the way we handled things in the beginning. George, myself, and a drummer in the studio, trying to make the music that stimulates and excites us the most. Sunbather is this at its peak, and I cannot tell you how excited i am to show the world what we’ve been working on. After a year of some really big ups, downs, and quite frankly, a lot of stress, it feels good to get the buzz that you can only get when you lock yourself in a practice space with some good friends and excellent musicians for 8 hours.
Hopefully this rambling explanation clears things up a bit. Thanks for giving a fuck, it means the world to us.