"Where are you?"
It's been a while since you have heard from us hasn't it?! Well, let's update you on our whereabouts and what is going. on in the world of Echo Town.
First off, I hope you all have been keeping well, safe and sane during these last two years of madness. We have certainly used this time to make changes and ultimately grow. My brother and I haven't properly picked up our instruments and jammed together since November 2019, playing only one unrehearsed gig in that time period. To a lot of you that must seem crazy, to us it has almost been respite.
Before lockdown brought a halt to everything we had toured hard, I drank hard, our health was deteriorating, our backs could no longer take the long drives and heavy load ins and outs at venues. We were genuinely at breaking point. We didn't have enough time away from travelling and gigging to be able to sort ourselves out.
Since coming off of the road Rob put his energy and efforts into healing his ailments, working hard on his physical health and mental wellbeing to create what I can only describe as the best version of my brother I have ever had the privilege of knowing. His work has certainly paid off. He is more stable, healthier, happier and driven than ever before.
As for myself, I self destructed after touring ended, feeling like a massive part of me had died. I almost felt like I had lost my identity completely and I didn't really know who I was anymore. I was Ric from Echo Town, but now that wasn't really a thing anymore. One of the major reasons why we stopped was my drinking habits and problems. Long story short I am happy to say I've been sober since June 2020. Lockdown afforded me the time to get my life on track. I got sober, I got a car, set up a business, got a girlfriend, renovated an apartment 100 yards from where my caravan was and cooled off. Dickens my cat is settled in to the new abode and is doing beautifully.
So what of the band? Well, we have no immediate plans to gig, perform or even jam to be honest. It will happen again but when it does it will be beautifully organic and electric. I can hands down say that touring was the hardest job we have ever done. It is so emotionally and physically taxing, giving of ourselves night after night and not spending much time at home with our loved ones. It's been so beautiful to be able to wake up in our own beds every day, explore the breathtaking place we live, and also have the time we need with our loved ones. Many people just see the glamour of being a touring performing musician. We only ever posted photos of us rocking out on a cool stage somewhere and not photos of us in tears between gigs because our backs and minds were so bad.
In July 2020 our social media got hacked. I was starting to play more music again online and many of you joined me as I did live Facebook sessions for you all. I am so grateful for your support during that time and I was absolutely distraught when our social media got wiped out overnight. This band presence I had spent the best part of a decade building was snuffed out in just a few clicks. To a lot of you we just seemed to vanish off of the scene. I fought to get the pages back, but Facebook and Instagram computer operated help services didn't understand my plight. It's difficult to contact a human being on those things. So I am now banned from Facebook. They wiped out my personal profile too, I lost precious photos, memories and contacts.
Since this all happened I've come to terms with it. I can honestly say I am a happy man, living a happy life. It's nice to get into my own bed every night, explore the county that I love, and see the ones I love regularly. Music is still a major part of my life and I have set up my own studio and intend to begin recording some tunes for you all. Whether there will be drums on them remains to be seen as drums are hard to record when you live in an apartment and Rob is a busy man spending his time spearfishing, mountain biking, surfing etc.
I guess the gist of this whole blog post is that we are both alive and well! It took some real hard personal work to acknowledge that touring and being Ric from Echo Town was killing me. Stepping away from it was one of the hardest things I've done, and it still is hard. The first lockdown made it all a little easier because I didn't see anyone else touring and gigging so I didn't feel I was missing out. I felt sorry for everyone in the industry because I know the power and passion it holds over our lives. Rob and I are in very good places at the moment and are enjoying our lives. Music will come through us again at some point and I feel when it does it will be more powerful than anything we have done before.
In the meantime, keep listening to our music, keep singing along. We miss you all and we love you all. Your support and love enabled us to create some insane memories and play some crazy places. For this we will always be deeply grateful.
As always: Be strong troop on, now more than ever really.
We love you and you will hear from us again soon!
Ric (and Rob) 🤙🏼🤙🏼