The hardest part about a tragedy is having to deal with the practical things in the aftermath. There are funeral costs, bills to pay, stuff to move. It's really hard to think about money in this situation, but here we are, three weeks later and these truths are starting to set in. When we lost Chase, we not only lost a friend and bandmate, but also a business partner. Here are the real ways that we are practically effected:
1. Show cancellations. We canceled the majority of our future shows. We are also unable to book for the future due to our clouded future.
2. Loss of momentum. We spent the last year building steam. This summer was our first chance to make some real money to help facilitate the growth of our band. We gave all that we have and spent 100's of hours to reach the level that we're currently at.
3. Loss of a Teammate. Chase had responsibilities just like anyone else. His most important role was to be our hype-man on stage. Beyond his keyboard/ vocal duties, he helped draw the crowd in and make our show exciting. Since I (Brad) am the lead singer and drummer, it creates an odd stage set up and Chase knew how to off-set it with his antics.
4. $$$. This part sucks the most. Money shouldn't ever be an issue, but it really does effect us. We were scheduled to make around $3,000 this summer. That's not big money, but it would have given us enough to fix up our van, buy a trailer and start saving for the future. As of now we have $200 in our business account and no way of getting more funds. It also effects money in the future.
5. Uncertain future. Will we be the same band without Chase? Of course not. He was irreplaceable and there is no work around that. Tyler, Brandon and I will continue CoGo, it will most likely still operate under the name Corner Gospel Explosion, but beyond that we aren't sure. We haven't really talked about it too deeply yet.
6. Performing. It's hard to imagine performing our songs consistently in the future. We did it when we opened for SmashMouth, but it was pretty difficult. In a pinch we can do it as a three piece, but its not about playing the music well, its about the fact that part of the soul is gone. Chase had an much ownership over these songs as anyone else. It doesn't matter if we get a new keyboard player or switch things up. It's just going to be difficult to play those songs.
7. New music. If we do move forward and write new music, we have no money to record a new album. in 2015 we saved up $3,000 to pay for recording, mixing, mastering, artwork and physical production. We pride ourselves on not asking for money. If we need to do something or get something, we save and purchase it with cash. We make almost no money through streaming and album sales. That means that we have to play gigs to build funds. This becomes our dilemma: how do we make money to fund the album that we're writing if we are spending our time writing an album? We may have to give in and start a kickstarter or something. It's just not ideal to our values.
8. What if no one cares? I think that we've all felt a little bit of this. What happens if we write new music and ask for money, but people don't really care about what we do? The future of Corner Gospel Explosion may be decided by the fall. Without Chase, we feel like a wounded duck. Will people still like what we do without him? I don't know how easy it'll be to move forward, if we have a group of people pushing us and encouraging us, then I think we'll be ok. If not, I really don't know.
In the Corner Gospel Explosion camp, everything is up in the air. We want to write a real and raw album. We want to push forward the best we can and make Chase proud. Looking forward we can see a tough uphill climb, we can't see the top yet, but its time for us to take the first step.