Willet Brothers announce touring/recording hiatus to focus on Million Meal Goal w/ Stop Hunger Now and individual spiritual health.
Talks started a little over a year ago about recording the next Willet album. Actually they started, stopped, started again, got tossed out, got dug out of the trash and then got thrown out again… you get the idea. You may or may not know that 2016 will mark our 10th year as a touring band. In the past 9 years, we have played over 1,000 concerts, released multiple albums, driven hundreds of thousands of miles, and toured to over 40 of the 50 states! In addition, we have had experiences in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Haiti, The UK, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Thailand, India, Jamaica and The Bahamas that we will never forget! We still remember the feeling of learning that Willet fans had sponsored over 2,500 children from around the world and the excitement when we announced that we were going to fund, pack, and ship 1 Million Meals for school feeding programs together! Some of our greatest memories have come from traveling the world together as 3 brothers from Maryland!With some of those tremendous memories come the burden of some of our greatest struggles. For almost a decade, we attempted to create a live music experience that was open to everyone to participate in. Without going into specific details at this time, we are finding it increasingly more challenging to be who we really are as individuals in a culture where we see some of the greatest division of all times within our Churches. The assumed expectations by some host churches and conferences has led us down a road of spiritual doubt, frustration, exploration and questioning. Whereas these themes could make for some great songwriting (and probably will in the future), these are words that describe the past 2-3 years of our lives, and it has actually left us…exhausted.
After sitting in hotel rooms, retreat centers, vans, planes and participating in lots of Skype calls, we all felt the process for creating our next album was different this time. In the past, writing songs came with a natural passion and we felt we had something to share with the world. This time we felt our hands were tied. At this time we also felt a growing responsibility to be creative with our platform and not make another album just because someone told us to or because it is what was expected. We have since halted all talks of another album until we felt it would be our best album ever, created with no strings attached.
After spending nearly every single day in a different church for 10 years, you gain an interesting perspective of the health of the Church. Over the past 10 years we’ve been hurt by the church, loved by the church, kicked out of churches, helped start churches and helped end churches. We’ve done our best to call-out pastors, speakers and leaders in love who were discriminating against race, social class, and sexual identity while also trying to make sense of all of this for ourselves. We were also lacking a healthy church body to call home because of our constant touring. We needed a church we could consistently attend and grow from. After a slower year this year, we are excited to share that the 3 of us all attend different churches, and have started the process of joining a community of believers that are passionate about being more like Jesus.
As an independent DIY band, we have always focused on being intentional with decisions. For years, that meant strapping on our guitars as 3 brothers from Maryland in order to get children sponsored and be a voice for the voiceless around the world. After evaluating the different opportunities that have been presented to the 3 of us individually, we now feel we can be most effective by serving separately at this time. Please know that more goes into a decision like this than can be shared in a short press release. As brothers that make up the band Willet, we believe in Jesus. We know what He did for us and we’ve spent a decade telling others about Him. But, for the sake of each of our own personal spiritual journeys and the health of our young families, it is time to take a musical hiatus. Jeremy is living in Westminster, MD and working out of Franklin, TN, traveling as a spokesperson and consultant for Childfund International, Feed The Children and Show Hope. Justin is doing freelance graphic design from Westminster, MD and touring as a hired guitarist for other bands. and Jordan is serving as Assistant Director of Music and Media at The Center Church near San Diego, CA and launching a videography company.
Therefore we’ve decided to enter a new phase that we’re dubbing ra•di•o si•lence (a period during which one hears nothing from a normally communicative person or group.) During this time, we will not be making new music or playing concerts. We will focus solely on completing our One Million Meal goal and removing all other distractions. Once the remaining 180,000 meals are funded, packed and shipped, we will begin discussions about the process of writing, recording, and releasing our next album. Although we will not be touring or recording at this time, Willet will continue to operate as a ministry of New Mission Systems International. All donations designated towards our 1 million meal goal will be used to pack meals for hungry children, and we invite you to host a meal packaging event in 2016 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to return as a recording and touring band in the future, but this current season is needed in all 3 of our lives. We stand united as brothers, as friends, and as co-laborers in God’s Kingdom with this decision, and we pray for a similar unity within our churches.
Thank you for being a part of our journey and still supporting our million meal goal.
Jeremy, Justin and Jordan Willet