Farewell from Jonathan

Thank You 
Thank you to all of the amazing fans and friends of Phillip Fox Band for your support over the past 6 years. It’s easy to say, but it’s hard to express sincerely and fully the depth of impact so many of you have had on our lives. I especially appreciate those you who have taken the time to reach out in lieu of the news of the band’s end.   

Our time as a band was filled with so many fun, hard, dark experiences, yet it is always refreshing as an artist to feel appreciated and to know that what you do matters to someone else. That’s definitely one of the more satisfying parts of making music for me personally.  We all go through moments in our lives where there’s that one thing; a song, a poem, a painting, a movie, or other artistic expression that resonates with us and helps encourage or even direct us. Even if the result is something as simple as making someone smile, it’s worth it. 

Why The End? 
Phillip, David, and I decided to hang it up for a lot of reasons.  Phillip has already mentioned many of those reasons and given a pretty good perspective on it in his letter.  The reality is that, in order to continue, we had to take PFB to the next level with the next record and that process would have required a huge investment of our time, money, and souls as much or more than when we started the band. For me, I couldn’t ask my family to go through that again; certainly not in this season of our lives.   

The music industry is a tough one to navigate and it’s hard to hold things together over time as life moves us forward.  We poured our hearts and souls into this project and are all mourning its end.  Know, however, that this decision was made amicably without division or drama.  I’m grateful for the time we invested together, for the fans and friends we made, for how I’ve grown as a person, for the skills I have acquired and sharpened, and for the lessons we learned.  I have grown immensely as a person and as a musician from knowing and working with Phillip and David and know that project has not been in vain. 

In Praise of Partners 
I’ve been struggling a bit with what to say about Phillip Fox Band coming to an end.  There are so many things that could be said. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t spend a fair bit on how none of this would have been possible without my wife, Sara. If your partner came to you and said they wanted to move you across country to a city where you didn’t know anyone and needed you to get a job to support the two of you while they started a band (one of the more secure professions, haha), you’d probably have some thoughts of jumping ship. The support Sara has given me and and band should not be underappreciated.   

When Phillip and I talked about starting a band out of his beautiful solo work some time in 2010, I braced myself for the inevitable reaction of Sara, family, and friends to the notion.  “No way” and “are you crazy?” was what I anticipated, but not what I received.  It was an amazing confirmation to me that she was willing to move forward into the unknown knowing I wasn’t going to make any money for a couple years while we reinvested every spare dollar to get things moving.  Neither of us had a clear concept of what life would look like for me to become a touring musician while sharing the burden of starting a new project.  Our schedules were opposite, the stress was high, the loneliness was persistent.   

Those who have started their own business know the mentality that it takes to survive even a couple years.  It’s not just, “What needs to be done?”, but also, “What can be done?”.  I worked from home whenever not playing shows and the lines between being ‘at work’ and ‘at home’ got very blurry for me. Especially, when I would have to deal with phone calls, texts, and emails at nearly all hours of the day. My emotional presence suffered as a result.  The band was nearly everything for a season.   

Sara worked to support our family the entire time, endured hundreds of days and nights without me at home, projects delayed and left undone, mess of music gear, merch, and papers all over our basement, and then, when we started having kids, managed them by herself on top of working full time.  We have two handsome little boys at home (both still in diapers) that she raises as a single parent when I’m away.  It takes the sacrifice and support of the whole family to see a dream realized.  I feel I have racked up a debt that cannot be repaid.   

What Will You Miss? 
By far, I will miss making music live with David, Phillip, and Drew, as well as the other drummers we’ve worked with (Nate, Austin, Jason, and Evan) the most. The onstage chemistry we achieved was so much fun to be a part of and made all of the other aspects of the work bearable. I love performing and making music more than most things. That part of the job was rarely “work” for me.  I feel similarly about rehearsing.  I love to practice making music, too.  I will miss playing our music and the southern rock we covered, playing bass guitar and string bass regularly, and I will miss the improvisatory aspects of our music that made every show unique and fresh for us.   

What’s Next? 
For the time being, I am touring with STARSET (Cinematic Rock) as their cellist and I am so blessed to be a part of this crew. I started my journey in music on the cello and earned my B.A. in cello performance, so it’s nice to have a reason to practice it consistently again.  This is about the softest landing anyone could ask for, however, it has been an adjustment on many levels for me.  Starset’s music is about as far removed from Phillip Fox Band as you can get.  Also, I have much less responsibility than I used to (which is refreshing and weird), my roll is much less important than it used to be, and my schedule is now very different. Starset is much farther along than PFB and tours all over the country and world.  I’m away from home now for much larger chunks of time, which is tough, but on the other hand, when I’m home, I’m home.  And since I don’t really have any behind-the-scenes-type responsibilities as of now, I can honestly say, I’m much less stressed than I used to be and I’m finally checking some projects off my ‘honeydo’ list. I’m grateful for this new chapter in my life.   

Not Goodbye, Just See You Later 
Once again, thank you for enjoying our music and getting to know us.  Stay in touch because, as sad as it is to see Phillip Fox Band go, we’re all still here, so, see you later. 

Blessings on you all! 

~jonathan

7 comments

  • Toni Scholten

    Toni Scholten Marion, OH

    So sorry to hear of the split but completely understand all the sacrifices a band goes through. You are an amazing cellist and I hope to see you in your new gig at some point. It was such a pleasure to watch you and Phillip and David and Austin perform at The Thirsty Turtle. I'll cherish the memories and wish you all good luck and much fortune in your futures! Sincerely, Toni

    So sorry to hear of the split but completely understand all the sacrifices a band goes through.
    You are an amazing cellist and I hope to see you in your new gig at some point. It was such a
    pleasure to watch you and Phillip and David and Austin perform at The Thirsty Turtle. I'll
    cherish the memories and wish you all good luck and much fortune in your futures!
    Sincerely,
    Toni

  • Linda Slife

    Linda Slife Wapkoneta Oh

    My husband and I are very sad to hear of The PFB split but thankful that we got to enjoy your talents. I have friends in a Nashville band that are facing the same problems with the music industry. Happy for all of you that you will continue on, only in different directions, even if that means family first for a while. There is nothing more enjoyable to me than live music, but I can't imagine the work and sacrifices it takes. Good luck to all of you, and maybe we'll see you on the road someday.

    My husband and I are very sad to hear of The PFB split but thankful that we got to enjoy your talents. I have friends in a Nashville band that are facing the same problems with the music industry. Happy for all of you that you will continue on, only in different directions, even if that means family first for a while. There is nothing more enjoyable to me than live music, but I can't imagine the work and sacrifices it takes. Good luck to all of you, and maybe we'll see you on the road someday.

  • Heidi Robinson

    Heidi Robinson Harrisburg ohio

    Sad to hear this about the band ! Always has been one of my favorites to work with and listen too ! Congrats on Starset they are one of my favorites ! Followed them through downplay and now starset we go to all their shows! Best of luck to all of you on your next journeys !

    Sad to hear this about the band ! Always has been one of my favorites to work with and listen too ! Congrats on Starset they are one of my favorites ! Followed them through downplay and now starset we go to all their shows! Best of luck to all of you on your next journeys !

  • James/Allison

    James/Allison

    Just want to say thanks again for all the great music and shows! (I left a comment on Phillips letter in regard to you both) Good luck in life with all your endeavors!

    Just want to say thanks again for all the great music and shows! (I left a comment on Phillips letter in regard to you both) Good luck in life with all your endeavors!

  • Emma

    Emma Jane Lew, WV

    It's sad to hear this, but in the end it's understandable. I'm happy to hear you're moving on to play with Starset (a huge favorite). Good luck with everything you do. Sincerely, the girl who had you sign a fish.

    It's sad to hear this, but in the end it's understandable. I'm happy to hear you're moving on to play with Starset (a huge favorite). Good luck with everything you do. Sincerely, the girl who had you sign a fish.

  • Kim Milliken

    Kim Milliken Coalton, Ohio (Jackson County Fair)

    You guys will be missed as a band - but - I know in my heart and knew it then - you all have bigger fish you will be frying. Good luck to you all in the furture! Can't wait to pull up credits and find your names on them - big movie scores, Big CD releases, at the symphony, you name it, I know I will hear ya'll again!!!!!

    You guys will be missed as a band - but - I know in my heart and knew it then - you all have bigger fish you will be frying. Good luck to you all in the furture! Can't wait to pull up credits and find your names on them - big movie scores, Big CD releases, at the symphony, you name it, I know I will hear ya'll again!!!!!

  • Andrew Catanese

    Andrew Catanese

    Jonathan, it was always a pleasure to hear you all play and I always enjoyed taking care of the band while at Mudflats. Even after leaving to start my career at Nationwide, it was always a pleasure to get a chance to see you all play on occasion when you were nearby. I'm excited to see you'll be touring with STARSET and I'll actually be seeing them this weekend. Please do not hesitate to reach out!

    Jonathan, it was always a pleasure to hear you all play and I always enjoyed taking care of the band while at Mudflats. Even after leaving to start my career at Nationwide, it was always a pleasure to get a chance to see you all play on occasion when you were nearby. I'm excited to see you'll be touring with STARSET and I'll actually be seeing them this weekend. Please do not hesitate to reach out!

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