Apparently reports of Ted Leo’s retirement were slightly exaggerated*: The singer posted a missive to his website clarifying his comments. Mostly he confirms that his band, which is booked through 2010, is going to have to change its plans if it wants to stay solvent in the future. Basically, Leo has been going hard for so long, and he wants to make sure he’s not 50 years old at some point and having to decide to pack it in when it’s too late:
It’s true – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – doing this as a full-time thing, as wonderful as it is, has been a losing proposition for us for a while now. The crowds, while amazing, are mostly diminishing, the record sales, while appreciated, are a pretty weak percentage of what they were during the brief two year window in which we actually seemed to crack some sort of indie glass ceiling and make all ends meet and have a little left over to boot; and regarding other income streams that everyone likes to point to, I don’t sell my songs to commercials, and we keep our CD, LP, and t-shirt prices at $10.00 a piece.
There’s no money in it for us anymore, and to maintain even a semblance of solvency, we have to keep up the same touring schedule that we and I have been keeping up for the last nearly twenty years – a touring schedule that even the most hardened in our community will tell you is exceptional. The energy we have inside us is not as boundless as it once seemed, and the amount we have to expend each year becomes more and more of a drain for less and less pay off.
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? As we all push toward forty, exactly how to go forward wisely, in a way that allows each of us to live a full life (and not die between rest stops on I-80), is something I need to think about, and I am thinking about it. It’s true – there’s no way we can continue forever as we have – but that doesn’t mean we won’t continue in some other way.
So yeah, Leo is probably not going to be touring as much as he has, but he has plans to continue the project in the studio, or in some other way, whatever that means. Read Leo’s post here.
*- Like mine. Sorry guys. : (