When a band breaks up – starring Daphne Loves Derby

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When a band breaks up, there is a sense of disillusionment and abandonment that can be heartbreaking. It invokes the same type of emotions as losing a dear friend: All the memories of each song, the time it took to learn the lyrics and the meaning that you found in the music. They’re powerful attachments that don’t leave easily.

Depending on what the band’s work meant to you, it can either be an inconvenience or utterly heart wrenching. More often than not, the band members just disappear for the most part, unless they start up a new project. Seeing them leave the scene can be hard, but it’s not too often that you get to know that in the end, they are happy.

The disbanding of Daphne Loves Derby hit me extremely hard. The trio was a group formed out of Kent, Washington in the early 2000s and quickly rose to recognition by being the first band on Purevolume to hit a million plays of their music. This led to the release of their first CD On The Strength of All Convinced in 2005. The band could play an incredibly catchy pop song, but what stood out about them was the ability to play slow melodic songs draped with acoustic strumming and the deeply poetic croon of vocalist Kenny Choi. Love songs were standard of course, but lyrically the albums felt like dream-filled poetic verse sung in hauntingly simple melodies.

After the release of 2007’s Good Night, Witness Light, I spent years waiting on the band’s next release. Somewhere in the haze of social media, I’d read that Kenny Choi had decided to go to college amid the release of his solo material under the name Wolftron and rumors that DLD’s third album had been recorded. And then they all just seemed to disappear.

Truthfully, I’m still waiting for an actual release of some sort from the band, even though I know it’ll never appear. Being left with that type of anticipation feels almost unforgivable at times when you think about how much you truly love the music that only a certain group of people can make. Every now and then, I Google the group members just to see if anything new has happened. Kenny released a few Youtube songs and ex-member Jason Call released a solo album, and then it appears that they went on with their individual adult lives, leaving the life of being a touring musician.

It’s easy to feel left behind, as though one of your best friends moves away and your only remaining contact is old photos. It can make you selfish and wonder why anyone would give up the musical life. But it’s that type of thinking that hinders your ability to remember that people move on and change their lives for the better. I recently saw on Twitter during one of my yearly investigations that Kenny had gotten married and seemed to be doing rather well for himself in a professional job. Jason Call seems to have moved on to bigger and better things while retaining his love of music.

The music industry is a tough one and is oftentimes a young man’s game. Seeing a band fall by the wayside is so common that we shouldn’t be affected when a group disbands. But the connection that we make is so strong and intimate that to accept the fact that their time in the scene is done is to let a small bit of yourself go that bonded to the work of someone else. Receiving no closure on what eventually happens to them only makes it all the harder.

Every now and then though, you get the chance to see that after they’ve left and been forgotten by the scene, they’re all the better for it and happy on the other side. Just getting hints towards that makes it all worth it in the end.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and yells at the rain on occasion. He also wants to play you in FIFA.

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