After a decade of music that spawned three LPs, an EP, and countless songs sang along by everyone in the room in which they were passionately performed, Mean Creek have graciously called it a day.
The celebrated Boston rock band have relayed the news to Vanyaland via special announcement, posted in full below, and have today released their final single, “Forgotten Streets,” on Soundcloud.
The news is bittersweet, as this writer has had many of his highs and lows over the past several years soundtracked by Mean Creek songs: the driving pulse of “The Comedian”, the anthemic “Young And Wild”, off 2013’s Youth Companion; and the relentless FM radio vibe of “Sunlight”, the opening track from 2011 EP Hemophiliac.
But the band is going out with one last party: playing with Soul Asylum and Meat Puppets at the Middle East Downstairs on June 25.
It’ll give us one final time to feel the heart and soul of one of Boston’s most honest bands — until Vanyaland breaks the bank by writing a check for their reunion show a few years down the road. Until then, we are left with the music.
Read Mean Creek’s full statement below, and listen to “Forgotten Streets” after the message.
Mean Creek was a band for almost a decade. How do you sum up a decade in a few paragraphs? It isn’t easy. The seeds for this band were planted 20 years ago when we first picked up guitars and drums and tried to “cut some place of our own”, as Springsteen says. We are childhood friends. We grew up together, dreamt this dream together, and tried harder than anyone could ever try at anything to make it come true.
For us, music has always been about passion. We approached it earnestly. We wanted to be great. We wanted to write great songs, make great records, and play great live shows. We wanted to inspire and connect people through this art form that had inspired and connected us. Music is a powerful thing. It’s a fact that can easily get lost, but it saved these 4 kids’ lives. We had no voice, no power, and no identity. Music gave us all of that and we were willing to sacrifice everything for it. We all grew up in small towns and we took this special thing that we found and rode it all the way to the border.
Unfortunately, once we got there, things got confusing. The music business came into play, and it is an ugly thing. Far more often than not, it is a style over substance industry that has little to nothing to do with actual music. How ironic is it that music is an art form filled with outsiders who got into it to celebrate their individuality, to get away from societal norms, and groupthink ideologies, but no matter what, whether it’s mainstream or DIY, the entire music business is based upon a lemming mentality of chasing trends. It gets to the point where you start to become what you hate.
Over our decade as a band, we never felt like we fit into any group. For people in this industry, that confused them, not being able to “place” us anywhere. On top of the financial struggles that come with being an independent band, we have to be able to categorize and market ourselves in order to succeed.
We are not a brand. We are a band.
And as much as we wish we could continue this band and continue to not pay any mind to this side of the music industry, these are the things that have broken us down as a group and as individuals, and it is time to give ourselves a fresh start.
We have so many people to thank and not enough words to express how thankful we are that they’ve come into our lives. To our families and close friends, we love you. To our supporters over the years, you know who you are, we are beyond grateful — thank you for keeping us going all of these years.
In a conversation we recently had with our good friend and touring partner, Mr. Mike Vera, he referred to music as a “labor of love”. With this passion comes a need to write songs and perform them, despite any downsides of the “business”. It’s something we will all always do in one form or another for the rest of our lives. You can expect more music to come from the kids that once made up Mean Creek.
See you in the next episode…
Love, Mean Creek
Listen and download “Forgotten Streets” below…