An Intermezzo is, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “a short musical composition between main divisions of an extended musical work.”
Seven years ago, I embarked on a journey for which I felt ill equipped. I had a general idea of what I was capable of, but was unsure how I would fit in to this new role. That role was being a violinist for Skillet.
I was familiar with Skillet since the early days when I would go see them perform in a church basement in Memphis. I had followed their musical career and even voted for them in the Dove awards when Comatose was nominated. I had little idea that I was soon going to be a part of their team. Since that first show in Elk Heart, Indiana back in 2008, life has almost felt like fiction. Being able to perform before thousands across America, Europe, Russia and South America has been a rush like no other. The stories, that people have shared about how the music has influenced them, helped them, and carried them through their hard times, have been what has made walking out on stage every night worth it.
A lot of you know that earlier this year my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer. As a family, we had planned on enjoying a few more months with him in hopes of taking him to places he had never been. We had planned to make memories that would help soothe our impending grief, when that inevitable time came. We had no idea that his time would be so short and I was left with a massive hole in my heart because of all the things that I felt I had missed out on. I was thankful that he did not have to suffer any more than he did. How this affected me, though, is that it made me realize that I was missing out on making key memories with my own wife and children. My heart grew heavier and heavier for time with them and that has lead to this decision.
As of today, I’ll be parting ways with Skillet and taking a hiatus from the touring world. After twelve years of touring professionally as a violinist, I’ve done and seen more things than I could have ever dreamed. I've grown not just as a violinist and musician but as a person; trying my hardest to never miss out on any adventure that presented itself. Any opportunity to do, eat, or see something new, I embraced with open arms and I'm so glad that I did.
I love my Skillet family greatly and will miss them dearly. John & Korey's passion and spirit, their desire to go against the grain to spread the message of Jesus' hope, will forever inspire my walk with Christ. To be as bold and unashamed as they are with their love for each other and their love for Jesus is something we all should aspire to. They have constantly supported my family through every life event with generosity and compassion. I have been and will forever be a fan of the the great work and art that they create. To be a part of their legacy is one of my greatest honors and I am so humbled that they chose to take a chance on me.
With every tour I've had the opportunity to work with some of the hardest working people in the industry. In my time with Skillet, I've seen some seemingly impossible situations arise that our crew ran headlong into, and overcame, so that the show could go on. Their knowledge and tireless hard work combined, enable us to take the stage and give you the best experience. Without them our jobs would be impossible and their hard work deserves our respect.
It's impossible to be on tour and not connect with at least one person. I count it a great joy that I've been able to make so many life long friends and brothers in arms to walk with while on this journey. They are the ones that help ward off the demons of doubt and fight off the arrows of despair when days feel longer than weeks and weeks feel longer than years. Even though we will not be side be side physically, I know that I can always count on them to lift me up in prayer wherever they are in the world and they can expect the same from me.
To all of the incredible and passionate fans, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication, encouragement and unwavering support. You, the fans, are the driving force behind any artist. I hope that the music will continue to move you towards the hope that is found in our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is worthy of all our efforts and praise. He is the true Hero in this story.
I will always and forever be a violinist and musician, a worshipper and messenger for our Savior, Jesus Christ. So, for now, this musical piece must enter in to it’s intermezzo, it’s change.