It was love at first sound when I stumbled upon that one song. Chills went down my spine as I turned up the volume. I bought the band's album and replayed that one song over and over. That one song lead to another song, and then a whole track list. I soon told my friends and family about how much I loved this band. The band's music was added to multiple playlists and mixtapes. My friends would listen to the songs in the car while I sang at the top of my lungs. I would play their music when I felt invincible or when I needed comforting. I thought this band was going to keep making music, until Jesse Lacey from Brand New said, “We’re done.” Well thanks, man. Way to break my heart.
Brand New is not the only band that will be splitting up. Yellowcard also announced this year that the band will be separating soon when they released their new single "Rest in Peace." Rest in peace? Excuse me? What about all those times down in "Ocean Avenue" and the corner of "Cherry Street"? What about lighting up the sky or being the only one? Did all of that mean nothing to you, you electric violin playing jerks!
Breakups can bring out the angst in many fans. The sad truth is that every band eventually stops performing. In some cases, the music group loses a member due to creative differences or for a member to pursue a solo career. We could name drop many artists that left their music groups, but we should be thankful when this happens. The worst case scenario is when we lose a musician to a sudden death. It’s best when a band calls it quits on their own terms. There’s always a possibility for a reunion tour with the original members.
A few years before My Chemical Romance split, I was standing in line at a Dairy Queen while "Teenagers" played on the radio behind the cash register. Two girls behind me began debating on whether "Helena" or "Teenagers" was the band’s best song. Both girls could not decide which song was better. This resulted in the girls discussing how much they would like to see the band in concert. This memory does not define the epitome of being a fan, but it helps us understand the amount of loyalty and appreciation fans will have for a band. I’m trying to image what these girls might listen to now. A part of me thinks they are still listening to My Chemical Romance, along with other bands they have discovered over the years. This why the fans will never break up with the band. We will always have a strong relationship with our favorite bands because we have integrated their music into our lives.
When the bands that each of us admires stops making music, we can still enjoy what they created for us. I always smile while thinking back to my freshman year in college when I wore a shirt that had Brand New’s album art for "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me." A classmate looked down at my shirt and interrupted our conversation to say, “Wow, you like Brand New, too? That’s awesome.” Another happy memory was created during a middle school dance. All the students rushed to the middle of the gym screaming Yellowcard’s, “If I could find you now things would get better!” It’s moments like this where the music made the memory.
It’s only natural for fans to want more from bands that keep them feeling alive. I'm still upset Band New and Yellowcard are calling it quits, but it's not technically over. The members will continue on by raising families and living their lives to the fullest, just like we do when we listen to their music. I won’t break up with my favorite bands, simply because I don’t have to.