Canada's HEADSTRONG have officially split up, citing their disillusionment with the record industry as one of the reasons for the group's break-up.
The following is an excerpt from vocalist Matt Kinna's "parting words" message as posted on the group's official web site:
"HEADSTRONG is dead. Long live the headstrong.
"It's funny. I don't know if funny is the correct word to use, but I'll use it for lack of anything more diplomatic. Here I am staring at something, which I feel is the very problem with the [music] biz. I'm helping my sister take care of her newborn twin babies and spending a quiet moment while they're both sleeping leafing through one of the innocuous 'People' type magazines strewn about a coffee table among many empty baby bottles and stained bibs.
"I'm looking at one of the industry's newest recording artists. Kelly Clarkson is her name. Apparently she won some sort of televised contest to get a record deal. In the magazine they're trumpeting her new look: 'a daring new makeover' they say. Not surprisingly she looks very familiar, almost like somebody I'd spent some time with not too long ago. Kelly's new 'wife-beater' undershirt, and new blonde highlighted hair make her almost a dead ringer for that old friend, all she's missing is a tie and skateboard. This brings to mind all kinds of unpleasant memories of dealing with label people who 'just want to take you shopping for clothes, or to get your hair done, wouldn't that be fun?'
"For us, a nice haircut and shiny new jeans weren't central to the message of our music, or the presentation of it. We wanted to look like ourselves, as 'un-vogue' as it would be considered at least to us it was real. Realness was our message. We never wanted to separate ourselves from our fans, quite the opposite. Anybody who's been to one of our shows has likely had a good bull session with one of us. Some of my fondest memories of being on the road come from the times when I would often sit on the front of the stage joking and laughing with people in the front rows right before we started.
"I reckon if we'd been less true to ourselves, and allowed ourselves to be enveloped by the delusional fallacies of rock-stardom, we'd probably still be employed. There IS a script, and the directors want the actors to follow it, especially if nobody knows who the actors are.
"This isn't surprising, nor is it even really upsetting. It's merely the standard to which the record buying public holds the industry.
"Now, I don't want to give off the perception that the band is finished because of a cold, unfeeling record company. They are not to blame, they are what they are. They wanna get paid and are happy enough to pay lip service to integrity until it bites the bottom line. That's the way the world works.
"There are a myriad of reasons why HEADSTRONG is finished. Not the least of which would be the old, reliable 'creative differences'. Our personal mandate to try to make music that means something while still making it accessible to a wide audience began to tax our personal relationships as it became harder and harder for us to communicate our message while still making everybody in the group happy with the medium by which it was being presented. Rather than continue to damage our friendships we made the mutual, mature, and sad decision that HEADSTRONG had run its course.
"It's my belief that we're not finished, at least as individual musicians. Certainly not much thought has been given to new projects, but they would seem a certainty for four guys who love to perform as much as we do."
As a parting gift to their fans, HEADSTRONG have posted two demo tracks recorded several months following the group's split with RCA Records.
The songs available for download are as follows: