This past decade has beaten me up, rode me hard, and put me away wet.
Updated: Feb 13
(So the saying goes, and I do love a good saying.)
This decade took us from our comfy and cozy family homes in quaint Lacombe, Alberta, across the country where we rebuilt our identities, as artists and our sound, from our tiny (and I do mean TINY) downtown Toronto apartment. Which I locked myself out of in my pajamas, in the winter, on the fire escape. Not once. Not twice. But three times. That - is what we call a CLASSIC JO-JO. It took us all the way back to our studio in Alberta, to record our first record ‘Old Friends & Lost Souls’. Across the ocean to Dublin, Ireland to share our music and fall in love with performing again. Beautiful Ireland, where we wrote our second record ‘MoonChild’... This decade took us to on 12 tours, through 8 different countries, where we played our songs to thousands and thousands of unsuspecting strangers from God only knows how many different walks of life. We found our band one fateful night at a gig in London, which took us on an adventure to the mythical Isle of Wight, where we accidentally built a future with total strangers...we traveled to Wales where we made a home (like literally gutted it and rebuilt it)... then finally found ourselves in LONDON TOWN.
With no exaggeration, we have actually packed up all our things, held our breath, jumped, hoped for the best and relocated 5 TIMES… We either have giant balls or no brains, but if I’m being honest, I think it’s a bit of both.
Music has dictated, directed, trapped, abandoned, comforted, constructed, contorted, built up and entirely devoured us. Our 20’s are lost in a blur of an unwavering pursuit of our passions and boy have we paid for it, the pursuit of this career has left me questioning every single thing I ever thought I knew about myself.
But, at the very end of this decade, and staring down the dawn of a new one, we can look back and say with complete and utter conviction that we absolutely slayed that shit. I am so damn proud of myself, and I am so proud of my ride or die, Rylan THE fucking WOODS, who has always challenged me, fought me on every thought and every decision, But who has always made it all happen. We have built this band, this company, this life from the ground up with nothing but our bare hands and our will power. We have always been and continue to be one hell of a team. Together we changed our lives and shaped who we have become. We fought for EVERY minute achievement, we have fought for every melody, every note, and every word. We have endured crippling defeats and faith shattering lows, constant industry rejections, incredible financial burdens, devastating realities of our position in life… but in the face of all of that we say “Let's Fucking Do This Thing” and I ask you this, what could be more dangerous than someone who is no longer afraid?
We are not afraid of failure, We have mastered failure.
So, we go into these ROARING TWENTIES strong, invigorated, fearless and roaring like we have never roared before. With a band of brothers we believe in - in the way we’ve only ever believed in ourselves and in each other.
We go into 2020 stripped of our egos and of our expectations, we tear through 2020 RAW. REAL and READY.
It is with our deepest gratitude that we thank YOU, the listeners, YOU the show go-ers, YOU the believers, YOU - our friends and our family for EVERYTHING. For singing along and for holding us up, for seeing these two ridiculous kids from Lacombe the way we wished we could have seen ourselves.
And So, We will leave the legend that is Jo-Jo O’ & The WOODS in 2019… fear not, Rylan and I are not going anywhere, but it is time to dissolve into something bigger than the two of us, it is time we shed our skin and evolve one more time.
On February 1st, we will be opening for Carl Barât of The Libertines in London at 93 Feet East. This will be the very last time we will be performing as Jo-Jo O’ & The WOODS.
We thank you from our marrows for sticking it out with us this far, and we hope you continue to hang out with us and enjoy our music, and what we bring to our little piece of this world.
Keep your ears to the ground, we will announce what's coming next in due time… and in the meantime we would like very much to wish you all the VERY BEST in 2020, we hope you free yourselves from what’s been holding you back, we hope you fall in love with yourselves again. We hope you find the warrior inside of you and start fighting for your damn lives because life is too God damn short to lay down. We wish you warmth, forgiveness for yourself and for others, we wish you love, understanding, conviction and clarity.
So, show me your teeth & let’s fucking do this thing.
With Love from Jo-Jo O’ & The WOODS, for the very last time.