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January 20, 2005

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To say that the last 12 months were hectic for Despistado is a huge understatement. The band became Jade Tree Records' first international signing and the label re-released their Emergency Response EP, they toured throughout North America and played successful showcases at NXNE, SXSW and CMJ, their music appeared on a couple high profile compilations and they recorded their debut full-length. This year was shaping up to be even better for the Regina quartet — Jade Tree was preparing to issue their new album and a European tour was being booked. However, after working so hard and finally beginning to gain some serious interest, the band have shocked fans by announcing that they're disbanding.

No official reasons have been issued for the break-up. When asked about the matter bassist Joel Passmore doesn't offer much insight, aside from saying that the choice to separate wasn't shared by all members.

"The details aren't important," he explains. "The band couldn't go on. It wasn't a mutual decision, but what can you do? Think of it like a marriage. If half of all married couples get divorced, then I'd bet the odds of divorce are better when four people are involved. You either work through your differences or you don't."

Despite the split, Jade Tree is going to release the band's final recording, The People Of And Their Verses, digitally on April 5. Passmore says that it means a lot to the group that the label is still supporting the band and is choosing to make the new material available. He feels that the album, which was recorded in Vancouver last year, provides an accurate portrayal of what the band strove to accomplish with their music.

"I think the album is a better example of what the band did," he says. "The EP was a good sample of what we were about, but I think the album will be a stronger representation of what we did on stage and who we were. It seems like people have been waiting a long time for the record. I hope they like it."

Before packing it in for good, the guys will perform two final concerts in Regina. Passmore feels the shows will be similar to the numerous energetic performances the group have ripped through over the last four years, but admits that things may get a little emotional.

"As far as I can see, after these two that will be it," he says. "People can expect the same type of show as we've been playing for the last four years. Emotions might run a bit higher and we may possibly let go a little more because of the closure involved. I think people expect there to be more tension between members, but that's just the product of gossip and the rumour mill."

As for post-Despistado projects, Passmore and guitarist Leif Thorseth have decided to form another group together. The act are still working on a name, but have already written several songs and will most likely begin performing in a couple of months. For the last eight years, Passmore has also played guitar and handled vocal duties in Sylvie. The band recently finished their sophomore album and are hoping to release it some time this spring.

Despistado Tour Dates:
January 21 Regina, SK @ The State
February 5 Regina, SK @ University Of Regina Multi-Purpose Room

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