Great live shots from Sunny’s last show in Dallas, TX @ The Liquid Lounge by Barry Dolton! (click link or image for more shots)
Dear friends, Fansaws, Circus Freaks, family..
Four years ago my future was completely unknown, other than the fact that I wanted to play music. A blank canvas with hopes of great and wonderful things. I had moved to Austin a few months prior, and was playing bass with a number of people before meeting the fellas you all fondly know as Bonesaw, Hoag and Smell. Full Service. It was such a blessing to find a group of incredibly talented guys with a similar mindset and lifestyle as me who were making their dreams a reality, traveling all over playing music and creating a loyal and awesome fan base. What a job! As I grew to know them, their music, their determination, drive, and creativity, it allowed me to see what it takes to truly chase what you want and make it happen. Sure, Full Service isn’t world renowned (yet) or selling out stadiums (yet..), but we have toured all over the country, to Jamaica and the Bahamas, Canada.. we’ve taken hikes in some of the most incredible spots this world has to offer, and met wonderful and amazing people who support all we do both financially and emotionally.
During this period, the length of an entire college career – Full Service University! – I grew more and learned more about myself than during any other time in my life. I learned to trust, to work, to love, to create, to be dedicated, to live the way I want to instead of the way people expect me to.. I lived in a van for 2 years so I could exist frugally and focus on enjoying simple pleasures of life without stressing over money. I biked everywhere and got real into running and staying active. I discovered new passions for painting and designing, for metal work, and rediscovered my passion for stones and the natural raw Earth. Music all the while was still there, still constantly with me, making me want to sing, to tap my fingers or pluck around on a guitar to find some beautiful progression of vibrations.
The reason I’m saying all of this, though, is that during my time with Full Service, I grew and finally figured out what I’m supposed to be doing. And the sad part of the story is that the path that I see myself walking from here on out is going in a different direction than the one before my brothers in the band. I had thought that if I found a band that toured and I could make some money and see the country while playing music, I would be content for however long that would last. But once my personal drive for creating really kicked in, I became mentally consumed by that desire and the fulfillment I felt through it, and I know that I am unable to give the necessary energy to fill my roles in Full Service any longer. We work our tails off as a completely independent band, setting up shows and events, touring, making merchandise, mailing merchandise, rehearsing almost daily, making promo skits, etc.. And I know that they will not slow down, will not stop creating and recording amazing music, will not stop touring the country to visit you all, will not stop chasing their dream. But I have created dreams for myself now too, and I would be a remiss human if I were to delay or put those aside in lieu of something that doesn’t personally fulfill me as much.
Several of you have supported and encouraged me so much in my art endeavors, and even if that is partly because I am in a band you enjoy, it still has given me the courage and confidence that I can make art a full time career eventually. It will take time, but it is something I feel I must do now and really devote myself to every day. We never know what tomorrow holds, or if tomorrow even exists, so my advice is to take inventory of your life and see if your time and energy is being put into the things that make you feel alive and make you feel fulfilled. If not, reevaluate, reroute, redirect. This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and if I didn’t feel so strongly that this is something I must do then believe me, I wouldn’t be doing it.
I will miss touring and rocking out with my brothers, and will miss seeing your faces all across the country and celebrating life with you. This period of my life will always be one of beautiful memories, killer music, fantastic adventures, and irreversible growth. I thank you all for the roles you’ve played in my journey, and I hope that our friendships will remain after my days of rock stardom pass into the more humble days of being an eager artist. Feel free to send me personal messages if you care to talk, I will be available in the next couple days to answer questions (mainly, “what the hell are you doing!?”, I assume..). But know that there is no bad blood within the band, and this by no means signifies any breakup or slowing down of Full Service. There will still be a new album this fall, and touring and such will continue. It is just my time to chase my own dreams, and really jump in with both feet to do so.
My final shows with the band will be August 14 at Stubb’s in Austin and August 15 in Dallas. Hope to see you there and give you a big ol’ hug! I love you all, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the endless support and encouragement, and I’ll be looking forward to our next hello!
Sean ‘Sunny’ Eckel
On our most recent “20 Tour” (fan-hosted concerts in backyards, etc) we took a set break during the party and composed a song from scratch that in some way captured the essence of the party… all in under 20 minutes! We recorded each song with an iPhone and have compiled them here! Some were hilarious, some were disasters, all of them were FUN! Click the album name to hear all the songs.
Hoag and Bonesaw have started a just-for-fun podcast discussing anything and everything related to their favorite band Mastodon! It’s a funny and insightful and totally silly look into some of what influences the Full Service sound and style… and much more! It’s free on iTunes Podcast, Stitcher or Soundcloud:
During the Full Service Circus 2 (October 24-26, 2014), the band played their acoustic album “Roaming Dragons” front to back during the backyard show at FS-HQ in Austin, TX. Recorded by Mark Harden and mixed by Hoagman, the entire show is available for download for $5 on Bandcamp. It includes all the songs, the ridiculous banter, and even a marriage proposal!
Full Service isn’t doing any shows for SXSW (though we’re playing two great shows in Houston this weekend!), but Hoag and his new friend Wingo Starr went down to the South Congress bridge to do a little reporting: