Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The End of Something

From the Voxtrot Website:

Recently, a friend in Glasgow asked me to submit a few paragraphs for a piece he was putting together, regarding the end of Optimo (Espacio). Part of my submission reads as follows:

"Optimo is a reminder of the value of a shock to the system. Give yourself over to something foreign without fear or hesitation, and the creative manifestations in your own art will be remarkable. "

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The career path of Voxtrot was truly one of long, simmering build, explosion, and almost instantaneous decay. Slowly, I am learning to replace any feelings of regret with positive memories of how amazing the whole thing was, and how it has, in an unexpected way, fortified my character.

Making great art requires one to be fearless, and sometimes I've given too much energy to fear. Whenever I read an interview in which a band
claims they are going to return to the sound of their earlier, more popular work, a small part of me aches for them. It doesn't work like that-the popularity of the earlier work is based upon the sense of newness felt by the musicians at the time of creation. So, how to get back the newness…?

Approximately eight months ago, I spoke to my friend Simon and indicated that I was ready to give up on music, or at least leave it for the indefinite future, but he reminded me that you can't dedicate yourself to another job or a degree, or some other distraction just because you've got nothing else going-if you have the feeling that you were born to do something, you've got to follow that feeling.

As he told me, "Do it because you love music. Do it with passion."

And so I did what I had to do. I swallowed my pride and got two jobs, one of which involved clearing the dishes of the filthy-and-not-so-pleasant-rich, and while this sudden change in lifestyle was not altogether ideal, I was constantly aware that I was building towards something.

For me, the most important thing in life is leaving behind something beautiful, something that finds its way into the lives of strangers, and forever alters them in a positive manner. Sometimes, being able to do this means that you have to work the shitty job and serve bread to rich idiots, but whatever, it's better than just cashing in your chips and spending the rest of your life wondering, "what if…?"

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.

In fact, the other day, I was thinking about it in the shower and decided that my situation was analogous to Peter Falk's glass eye. You probably don't know this, but I am a massive fan of Columbo-it is the only detective show in which there is no mystery, thus the entire reason you watch it is because you just love him (Falk) so much. It is a true testament to the power of a strong character. Anyway, when Peter Falk was five years old, one of his eyes had to be removed, due to a malignant tumor. Obviously, this is bad, BUT, had it not happened, he would never have developed his signature stare, which, let's face it, accounts for at least a small percentage of his overall appeal. Whatever I create from this point on, I will only create because of everything, good or bad, that has happened thus far.

Being in Voxtrot has been wonderful and amazing, but it is only one chapter in the book...

When I was in high school, I was a great fan of the Scottish band, Travis, and I have always harbored a secret desire to meet the band's frontman, Fran Healy. Not so long ago, at my friend Lucy's studio in Berlin, I had the fortunate experience of doing just this. He was buying a painting of hers, and we spent about three hours conversing. Eventually, our conversation drifted towards the ebb and flow of our respective careers, as well as the anger that comes with not knowing how to pull oneself out of a creative rut. Obviously, our two careers have been on different scales, but nonetheless, the associated concepts are universal. At the end of the conversation, he said to me, "You can't to keep writing the same song. You have to throw away the map. AND you have to keep creating, even if it goes nowhere for a while, you have to always keep creating… and it'll be great."

And he's right. I must leave again-take a risk, do something radical, but in order to do that, I need closure. This is not to say that Voxtrot will never play again, and certainly, if Voxtrot has never been to your country (or continent) we are open to ideas, but for all intents and purposes, this series of live shows will be the last.

Part of doing something with love is being able to say "goodbye" at the right time. Thank you for everything. On to the next one...

Love,
Ramesh

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your music and writing has inspired every aspect of my life, and thats not an exaggeration. i truly dont think id be the same person.
your work (and the rest of voxtrot's) will carry on.
good luck on your ventures - you will, youre an extraordinarly brilliant and talented human, and a beautiful writer.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Hey Ramesh. This sucks to hear, but I know you guys are doing it for the best.

If you are interested, I did a blog post on what you guys meant to me in my life.

http://www.weallwantsomeone.org/2010/04/21/voxtrot-breaking-up-what-it-means-to-me/

God Bless!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Jimbob said...

Thanks. You made some great music. And I imagine you will continue doing so under a different name. Until then, good luck!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm understandably sorry to hear about the band, but am relieved that you have at least taken heart from certain things and aren't feeling quite as disenchanted as you perhaps have done of late. One of the pitfalls of having such distinct passion for things - and of being intuitive and thoughtful and so fully sentient - is that it's so easy to suddenly feel as if you're out of your depth. You're so acutely aware of the true worth of things; of that hidden weight in every word and sound and feeling, that you'll inevitably end up feeling overwhelmed sometimes. I expect it's unavoidable.

You really ought to keep going, though. I don't know you in any respect other than having always really loved your songs, but I've always thought you to be kind of exceptional. I've always been so enthralled by these sporadic blog entries of yours, even, and would periodically check back here lest I miss something.

You should, at the very least, keep writing somewhere. I so sincerely love reading things that you've written. You are talented and valued and important, and I promise to be embarrassingly enthusiastic about anything of yours that I might be so lucky as to encounter in the future.

Thanks, Ramesh.

3:50 PM  
Blogger mecbirdhouse said...

As much as I'm distraught to hear about my favorite band splitting, I can certainly respect the reasons you're doing it. I can't wait to check out any future creative endeavours.

8:18 PM  
Blogger dorothy said...

i hope that you keep contributing music to the world, even though voxtrot is breaking up. i have loved voxtrot since the first time i heard your music. i saw you guys play at pitchfork the summer of 2007, less than a week after my family buried my older brother. i almost didn't go to the festival, but music has always been such a huge part of my life and it was really important to my brother. the whole weekend was pretty awful, as were several months after my brother died, BUT there were some bright spots at pitchfork. and the voxtrot set was one of them. i had wanted to see you guys play for a long time. it was just as great as i thought it would be.

thank you for making a really shitty time a little bit brighter. good luck with everything you do. i will definitely be at the show in new york to heart you guys play one last time. voxtrot was such a wonderful band. i am sure it won't be the last or best thing that you do. keep making music. stay awesome.

all my love,

dorothy

12:42 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Hey Ramesh,

Like many people I'm saddened to hear about the split up of Voxtrot. I always tell people that out of any band I listen to (and I listen to a lot), yours best described me internally; my thoughts on life, love, relationships, people. I think you write beautifully and poetically and all the music you've put out has truly been amazing.

I hope you will always stick with music, you're too talented not to, and I hope you realize that fact in moments where you may feel dejected or feel like quitting to do something else. I have no doubt that what you do next will be great and I only look forward to it. Just don't keep us waiting too long!

I'll definitely be at your New York show.

Good luck with everything.

-Ali

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ramesh, I don't know if you'll ever read this... anyway, I just want to thanks for the moments the songs of the band gave me, some of them accompanied with tears, others with great pleasure, but as you said, the songs will always be able to hear them over and over again...
Hoping for your and your parteners' new features, and also, hoping you guys, someday, get togeteher again, and visit remote countries, like mine...
Sorry about my english, I'm from Chile, where you have a few but good fans...I wish you understand something of what I am saying...as I understand (proundfly) your songs...
again, thanks for everything
love (TONS OF IT)
Emilia

7:17 PM  
Blogger juLiaNa said...

Hi Ramesh,
I read your blog entry with much sadness and disbelief. It's been a fantastic journey that started with Raised with Wolves. And I was so sure that it would have continued well into the future.

Your music was more than just something. It inspired. It delighted. And someday when I look back, it'll be remembered for being the soundtrack for this decade. I hope that by knowing that your music reached the ears and memories of a girl on a little island called Singapore, you'll take comfort and be courageous. To carry on creating and writing music. Because at least to me, that's what you do best.

Thanks for the music Ramesh!

11:31 PM  
OpenID weirdandweird said...

Your band writes the most poetic songs ever, good times ...

6:08 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Hi Ramesh,
I'm 16 now, and I've been listening to you guys since the eighth grade, so I mean it when I say Voxtrot has been a huge part of my life. Music has always been a huge influence, but Voxtrot is really something special. You are brilliant and I hope to keep up with the art you create in the future because I know whatever it is will be fantastic. We all get into dry spells in terms of creativity, but what you guys have already created was amazing and will still continue to be amazing. I am dying to see you guys one last time at the SF show!

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I just got off my crummy graveyard shift job, and got home at 4 in the morning. For some reason, I decided to check out the Voxtrot site, which I do every few weeks, always hoping to find hints of life from my favorite band in the world.

I gotta say, I'm really bummed out... Voxtrot has been part of my life since I heard "Your Biggest Fan" I don't think I have ever awaited an album as anxiously as I did for 'Voxtrot'. I loved it from beginning to end, and I don't think a day has passed without me at least playing one song from Voxtrot for the past 3 years or so.

I attended the last LA show you guys put on. I traveled 3 1/2 hours and was right in the middle, up at front, singing along to every last one of the songs. I had a blast, and it was the best show I ever went to. Simply because your music is such an important part of my life, it's always there with me.

I've been sort of a vagrant this past year. I had never been out of California, but have been on a few trips all by myself. From Greyhounds to trains and cars. I've had some lonely moments on the road, and some terrible ones. Your music has been there with me the whole time. Your songs have seen what I've seen on those trips.

I've written to you before, I dunno if you remember me at all. But I was the Hip-Hop kid who was a die-hard Rap fan but after finding Voxtrot, my musical taste changed dramatically. And now, more often than not, you will find me listening to rock.

I've never been so attached to a voice in my life. The Voxtrot sound to me is just one of a kind. It really makes me sad to think that I will never get to hear another album. I really hope you and the boys have some parting material. I thought 'Berlin Without Return' was just amazing. I was really hoping to hear that sound come across on some new material. But all I can do now is just hope you guys grace us with some parting gifts.

It's really hard to put into words how much your music means to me. Thank you. That's all I can say. You have given me many hours of enjoyment. And have even influenced the way I think, and the way I listen to music. I've listened to every one of yours songs 1000 times or more and will continue to do so. I will support any material you guys put out separately, and cannot wait to see you guys perform May 27th. I don't even know if I'll be working or not, but I wouldn't miss the show for the world.

When you and Matt wrote back to me after the LA show, I was so happy. I'm not the kind to care much for stars. I could be next to Angelina Jolie, and not care enough to ask for an autograph, but coming from people who have given my ears so much, it was really special. So I hope Matt reads this as well. Thank you so much.


I really hope I get to meet you guys, please stick around after the show. It would mean the world to me to get to say goodbye in person. Put it this way, the only people I want to meet in the world are President Obama and Voxtrot! So I really hope I get to meet you guys, cause I don't think I'm meeting Obama anytime soon.

P.S.
Thanks for the heads up on Nico's I'll Keep It With Mine. I adore that song.

-Fabi

4:00 PM  
Blogger Savvi said...

vo

9:01 PM  
Blogger Savvi said...

honestly, i'm so upset that your band isn't together anymore. your way with words and music has inspired me beyond belief. i find your lyrics more relatable and monumental. i discovered voxtrot two years ago with "the start of something", and i wish that i had discovered you guys before then. you guys immediately became one of my favorite bands, and i started passing you around to all my friends and insisting that they listen for just a little bit. i'm still doing that to this day, and i plan to continue no matter what. your music deserves to be listened to for ages and ages. it's the juice of a genius. i hope that you have the best life possible, and i thank you for becoming the soundtrack to my years.

best of luck,
savvi. xx

9:11 PM  

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