Ted Leo took to his informative blog to set the record straight on retirement rumors, which started after Buzzgrinder, then the Daily Swarm, picked up on some quotes he gave to Joseph Lord of Louisville’s Velocity. “I’m going to be totally honest with you. By next year, there’s no way I’m going to be able to be on tour like I have been these last few years. There’s no way I’m going to be able to keep writing and recording and playing music,” he told the paper. In a post called “REGARDING THE RUMORS OF “RETIREMENT” Leo says the comments were out of context, and that he simply meant that, at his age, he can’t do the long tours and long album sessions and expect to make a living. He writes:
These are simple facts –- it’s not at all a “woe is me” type of complaint -– in fact, it’s not even a complaint at all – anyone who’s seen us play in the last few months knows that we’re having as good a time doing it as we ever have, and from my side of things, I can tell you that we’re actually having MORE fun most of the time -– but I’ve decided to be honest with interviewers who ask me about “the state of things,” because what’s the point in sugar coating the realities?
When I talked to Leo for a Progress Report, he also spoke a lot about aging and how to deal with that in his music and career. I asked if he had been obsessing about getting older. He says he hadn’t been obsessing, too much. “I like being my age, actually, though I do also like to joke about it. But to be honest, to be hitting the age I’m at while the world of music and music commerce is in so much flux, you go through those phases of heavy existential angst. I hope I usually come out of those phases with guns-a-blazing, but there’s no denying I go through ‘em!”
So maybe this is the height of his angst before he comes out with “guns-a-blazing”? And maybe, like Kristin Hersh, he’ll find alternative ways of putting out music and connecting with fans that can support him. As he is (officially) the nicest guy in indie rock, I hope so.