Bad band name, bad band sound. No loss here. But for a band no one cared about, Gifts From Enola sure did release a long-ass statement on their split.
The band will play a final show at the Blue Nile In Harrisonburg, Virginia, on June 8.
“After seven years, we’ve decided to put Gifts From Enola to sleep,” says the band. “For those who didn’t pick up on the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) hints, we knew that A Healthy Fear would be the last thing we were going to do for a long while. The band slowly became a full-time occupation over the years, and once we all graduated college, we had the opportunity to hit the road non-stop and hang on to the music industry zipline by our fingertips the best we could.
“Despite all of the incredible experiences we had, the experiment left us vehicleless and in financial discomfort after a handful of years of grinding it out full-time. We decided to let our frustrations and any negativity out the best way we knew how; writing songs and recording an album. This eventually became that new one with the guillotine on it, A Healthy Fear. Since completing that record, we’ve transitioned from constantly living and breathing all things Gifts From Enola, to hopping into the ‘real world’ and placing the band much further down on our respective priority lists.
“It’s caused a strange feeling, and one that’s similar to when you sense a long-distance relationship weakening over time. Instead of drawing it out and existing as a band that plays a couple of shows every year, we’d rather cut the cord now and go out with an album that we think does a good job at defining everything we wanted to do under the name Gifts From Enola.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the experiences we had and the fact that our long, riffy rock songs let us see places of the world we never thought we’d see as musicians. Anybody who ever picks up an instrument should make the attempt to record music and tour with your friends because it’s an incomparable experience. Don’t set lofty goals or have ridiculous expectations; just enjoy traveling and playing music because you’re doing exactly that.
“One of the main reasons we decided to break up now was because we didn’t want to lose sight of that. We got whatever ill will we felt towards the struggles of being a full-time touring band out of our system on A Healthy Fear, and are now able to reflect on everything we did with smiles. That may not have happened if we kept trying to push it.
“Or maybe we just got freaked out from watching that Anvil documentary one too many times. Either way, we’re super glad that we decided to hit the road when we could over the past six months to play these new songs live and see as many of our home-away-from-home friends as we could one more time before we self-destructed. We had an amazing couple of jaunts, and were able to appreciate the experiences more than ever.
“We’re still the tightest of friends with one another and are going to keep playing music together in a variety of different contexts. We’ll make sure to announce all related projects as they come to fruition. Who knows, maybe much further down the road we’ll put on our Gifts From Enola jerseys again and release something new; but for the foreseeable future, this is it for us.
“We want to thank everyone who has been involved with the band at any point during our little career. That includes tour mates, local friends, global friends, internet friends, anyone who ever booked a show, gave us a place to stay, bought merch, played our records for their friends, sent us encouraging e-mails, helped jump one of our vehicles on the side of the road, or got weird enough to fit into our encyclopedia’s worth of inside jokes and tall tales that will make us laugh forever. There are far too many individuals to list; but we truly believe you know who you are. All of you made a handful of 18-19 year old kids that were just trying to learn how to use Garage Band very happy over the years.
“Now that it’s all done, we’re leaving everyone with four full-length albums and two split records that show, if nothing else, a band with an honest desire to change. No matter how little or big the changes may have been, or how apparent our growing pains may have seemed, we always wanted to try new things and never wanted to become complacent with a specific sound.
“Regardless of if you like our old material, new material, or none of the above, we do hope that people can appreciate our aspirations to challenge ourselves and evolve despite the unfortunately deep pigeonhole we had to (and continue to) dig out of.
“We’re going to be playing one final show in our town of conception, Harrisonburg, VA, at Blue Nile on June 8th. We plan on celebrating the past seven years to the fullest and playing plenty of material off of all our releases. Come party with us one more time.”