I wrote parts of this on a moving train. I was trying to fix my life (with lists and crap like that), but then I couldn’t because my favorite band had just broken up & it felt like part of the whole world died.
The first Voxtrot song I remember hearing was “Trouble.” It was part of their self-titled album, released in 2007, way after their EPs and demos were celebrated all over the internet. I was never part of the internet hype around these guys, and although I would love to start this story with how I’d discovered Voxtrot among the internet clutter, like a 21st Century Columbus, stumbling on America by accident, my brother just gave me a few songs, and I gave them a few listens and that was that.
The first Voxtrot song I ever heard turned out to be “The Start of Something,” and I can prove it with archival evidence from Last.fm. It was April 2, 2007, and my life didn’t change. The world did not stop, like it did when I first listened — really listened — to The National’s Boxer. There was no out-of-body epiphanic awakening, as though I’d been waiting for this particular moment, this particular connection with Voxtrot, all my life. I don’t remember how I arrived at the knowledge that Voxtrot is my favorite band, or how I’d made the declaration. There just came a point in my life that I knew this was a different kind of love, of familiarity, of affinity, and I am so glad that I recognized it. (“The Start of Something” is now, and has been for a while, my favorite song.)
I’ve never really had a “favorite” band, just a couple of artists whose songs I liked. People had The Beatles, Deftones, Brand New, Death Cab for Cutie, The Lucksmiths, Eraserheads. My brother had My Morning Jacket and my sister had Frank Sinatra. I had a handful of emo bands whose middle-class angst just felt good to scream along to. I had that, until I found Voxtrot. It sounds way too dramatic, but I really can’t explain how it feels when I listen to them. I like seeing the world from the music that they write. My chest feels like exploding in agreement more often than it feels comfortable, when I listen to them, because yes yes yes yes yes, you guys frakking nailed it again.
There is an elegance, an eloquence, a certain maturity and at the same time, a certain innocence present in Raised By Wolves, which is the first EP they released in 2005. They sounded fresh, earnest and everything just seemed to flow out so perfectly and so effortlessly. I don’t know what happened along the way, but towards the end, this end, it seemed like they grew disenchanted and resentful and tired. I have no way of knowing, but that’s just what it feels like to me.
I still love them and it makes me sad and heartbroken, that it’s going to come down to this. In many ways, it still doesn’t make sense to me, but even though it’s hard to admit, I know that they’re doing what they feel is best. Living in the Philippines has conditioned me towards not hoping to see any of my favorite artists play my favorite songs live. The unfairness of it all is stark and clear in my head. No one important to me ever goes here, and it’s unfair and unideal that I probably can’t ever see them or partake in that fellowship that is so special to fans who convene to celebrate something that is dear to their heart. Just because I live thousand of miles away.
Voxtrot’s last and final tour is called Goodbye, Cruel World, and I’m likely not going to be able to see it, because I live exactly twelve hours away, time-zone-wise. But I truly, truly hope that whoever gets to watch can show them that the world isn’t really cruel, and this isn’t really goodbye.
In the end, I’ve come to realize that there really isn’t any cause for disappointment. The fact is, the songs still exist, and the music of Voxtrot lives on as a sovereign entity which, outside of all criticism, positive or negative, belongs to the guys and me, and to everybody who ever loved it or believed. Taking into account every person I’ve met, every place I have visited, every emotional exchange I have ever had with a listener, there is absolutely no room for regret.
I don’t think I can hold these reasons against somebody, so I’m not going to. There isn’t enough room, and aren’t enough words to fully convey how big a part of me Voxtrot is, and how sad I am to see them go their separate ways, so I suppose this is the end for now. I hope you guys find something new and beautiful, and that you share them with the world, no matter how cruel or terrifying it seems to be.
There is absolutely no room for regret.