I talked to Randy last night, my closest bro for 28 years (and former producer & band manager), and we talked about And Tears Fell. I explained that, although I was meeting some cool people in the process of rebuilding the project, the band itself was really a time capsule, and I hadn't been able to really put my finger on what was keeping me anchored to it, although now I understand. Although I wrote the majority of the material, it cannot be denied that And Tears Fell was named by, and personified by, Sam. I think maybe there was a subconscious guilt reflex, keeping me tied to something that would forever be associated with Sam, to keep being creative in her memory. But then I realized: 1) I've done a lot of creating already in her memory, and think I've done her proud; 2) I don't want to be tied to that identity, especially since it includes a creative partnership with someone who is no longer alive, and honestly, that would be pretty unhealthy; 3) Time for the new. New songs, new music, new art, new relationships, new life.
It's just time.
I think for an alternative band in the late '80s-early '90s, we made some good records and had some fun, and the Requiem album I just released is exactly that. A requiem for an endeavor whose time, like the singer, has passed. Randy echoed my sentiments, and admitted he'd had a tough time trying to figure out how to tell me.
So does that mean I will stop playing music? Hardly. If anything, it releases the baggage that I've been carrying around with all the ATF stencils on it. Now I can write new material as well as rearranging old stuff without worrying about being "true" to the old sound or trying to make something fit a certain genre. I can collaborate as I see fit, without worrying about "well, Chris played this bass line, and Sam sang the bridge like this..." Doesn't matter. And Tears Fell lasted, in essence, from 1988 to 2008. There are four CDs of old material and the Requiem CD available. And that's all she wrote.
Time to close the door on that one, so that other doors can be opened. Thanks for talking me through the process, Randy. And thanks to RM for helping illustrate the point I'd been avoiding.