Ska punkers Streetlight Manifesto have announced that their fifth studio album, The Hands That Thieve, will finally be released on April 30, 2013 after several months’ delay. With this news also came the bombshell that their “The End of the Beginning Tour,” kicking off late-April in France, will actually be their last. You can hear samples from three upcoming songs below, as well as read a full letter from the band explaining the situation.
You can also preorder a “MEGA bundle” from the RISC Store, which includes The Hand That Thieves (notice the spelling), an acoustic version of the album.
So, somehow, we’ve made it to 2013.
The band you know as Streetlight Manifesto started as a humble recording project in a New Jersey basement 10 years ago. While we were working on our first record, we never could have imagined that the music we were putting together would start a chain reaction in our lives that would result in our traveling the world for a decade, playing in countries we only read about, taking on the lives of full-time touring musicians for, essentially, our entire 20’s. When we finished that first album, we had hoped to put on a local show to celebrate its completion. That show turned into a tour, that tour turned into a few tours and those few tours eventually turned into a lifestyle. For 10 years now, Streetlight has been one of the biggest parts of our lives.
Today, it’s time to announce to our fans and friends that we’re turning the last page of this particular chapter of our lives. We’ve solidified plans to tour our well-traveled asses off for one last year, until the end of 2013, at which time we will be not necessarily be moving on from the band, but changing our approach to what we do with the majority of our time. More specifically, we will no longer be touring year round, nor will we be touring much at all anymore. We have decided to step away from the table before we get sick of our favorite meal; we’ve seen enough bands over the years grow old playing the same songs for decades, going through the motions, slowly fading, and more depressingly, continuing on for all the wrong reasons. We’re moving on to preserve what we created, to be able to look back on it proudly, before we find ourselves looking around and realizing that we’ve become what we swore we’d never be. In the last few years, we’ve all hit the 30 year mark, and we’re ready to try some new things; some of us are ready to do a little bit of the ol’ settling down, some of us are excited to pursue different musical avenues, and some of us just want to live a slightly less hectic lifestyle. We’re doing this now for all of these reasons, not to mention 10 years is nice, neat chunk of time to devote oneself to something before moving on. Doing this next year, at 11 years wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic, nor as poetic.
As for our actual plans for the future, this is what we have in mind: No more long < \blockquote>tours and no more year round traveling. BUT! Streetlight is not actually breaking up, and we have no plans to ever do so, really. As of now, we still plan to play festivals, both in the US and overseas, occasional one-off shows here and there and even sporadic short-run tours. Hell, we may even do an extended tour a few years from now, who can say? One thing is certain, though: we will still make music together. We’ve recently submitted an album (The Hands That Thieve) to the record label we’ve been under contract with since the beginning, and with that, we are now free of a very contentious, very unhappy relationship (you may have heard, ha!) that has caused us much frustration and anguish over the years. We have no plans to ever sign with another label and we will happily continue to release records, on our own and on our own terms. Who knows, maybe now that we won’t be touring all the time, we can squeeze out records a bit faster than our usual snail’s pace.
SO! Today we announce The End Of The Beginning Tour, a multiple leg outing that will last until the end of the year, sort of like our last hurrah before we settle into Streetlight’s new mode. We’re doing two short runs in Europe (one in the UK including the Slam Dunk Festival shows and one on the mainland including Groezrock and Monster Bash), playing at this year’s Skate and Surf Fest, squeezing in a few college shows, then we’re heading across the USA in June for the first of two domestic tours. The first one is the shorter, smaller city leg, to be followed by a massive 6 week major city tour in the fall/winter, after which we will be bidding you all a semi-farewell. We will be announcing more legs and more shows as the year progresses. To be honest, we will likely never play the majority of the places we’re playing this year again, so come out for one or two last hurrahs with us. We’ll be playing the classics, new songs, acoustic and alternate versions of songs, you name it. We can pretty much guarantee we will do our utmost to make these last shows be some of the greatest of our 10 year existence. We are proud of what we’ve done, and more importantly HOW we’ve done it, and we plan on holding ourselves to that high standard throughout this year and onward.
So, enough rambling; we need to cut this short before the waterworks start. In closing: We are done being a full-time touring band, but not done as a band. Also, this can never be said too many times: we can’t stress or repeat enough how grateful we are to all of you for enabling us to live this life for a decade; to travel the world, to see and experience all that we had access to because of Streetlight has been the gift of a lifetime. Thank you, thank you, thank you. See you at the shows!