(See a slideshow of photos from the final Haste the Day concert)
It's a typically cold January afternoon in Indianapolis and Mike Murphy, bassist for local Christian metalcore band Haste the Day, is on
his way to his group's last rehearsal.
After 10 years and five
albums, Haste the Day has decided to call it quits. They're embarking on one
last tour with Mychildren Mybride, The Chariot and A Plea for Purging as
support. It ends Friday at the Egyptian
Room, a venue Murphy has always wanted to top a bill at.
"I grew up going to shows there,"
he said by phone. "One of my favorites was P.O.D. Since that show I've wanted
to headline there."
Expect an hour-plus set from the
band that pulls from their entire discography, including their self-produced
debut EP, That They May Know You. The
final performance will also feature a one-off reunion show by Still Remains, a
Grand Rapids band that was on Roadrunner Records and performed during the '00s.
"We kind of grew up with those
guys, got signed around the same time," Murphy said. "They're a great band.
That'll be cool."
Perhaps most important of all, the
original Haste the Day lineup will reconvene for a song or more. That includes
singer Jimmy Ryan, guitarist Brennan Chaulk and his drummer brother Devin, and
guitarist Jason Barnes. Murphy is the only original member still in the band.
He's remained close to all the former Hasters. There's always a pre-tour party
in his Westfield home when everyone gets back together.
"It's a pretty tight family old and new," Murphy said.
Just saying "last band rehearsal"
was, for Murphy, "a weird thing to get my mind around." He's experienced a
range of emotions going into this final jaunt, from excitement to sadness.
"This is all I've really done
since high school," said Murphy, who formed Haste the Day with the Chaulk
brothers at Carmel High School in 2001 before adding Barnes and recruiting
Ryan. "It's the only thing I'm used to doing, so it's sad to only do it one
last time. But at the same time it's really exciting, so it's definitely
bittersweet. It's going to be emotional, but I'm also excited about the next
chapter in my life, whatever that may be. It's exciting and scary at the same
Murphy doesn't yet have a plan
beyond this tour. He's considered returning to school, but doesn't want to jump
into anything too fast.
"Music and performance, this scene
is what I've been passionate about for a long time – for as long as I can
remember," Murphy said. "I haven't really concentrated on any of my other
passions or really given them much consideration. I'm just going to kind of
float for a little bit until I get some inspiration as to what I want to do
There are multiple reasons why the
members in the current lineup – Murphy, singer Stephen Keech, guitarists Dave Krysl and Scotty Whelan and drummer Giuseppe Capolupo –
have decided to disband.
"We've been doing it for so long, No. 1, and we've gone
through so many member changes along the way," Murphy said. "But through all
that we made our best record (2010's Attack of the Wolf King). A few of us are wanting to move on to other things in
our lives. The music scene we're a part of has changed so much over the course
of (our) career that it's a different place now than it was even a couple years
That has mainly to do with musical style. Haste the Day has
always fit comfortably into the metalcore genre, an aggregate of metal and punk
with a generous dose of melody and a penchant for ferocious half-measures.
"It used to be really aggressive and I think more honest than
it is now," Murphy said of their musical scene. "It's certainly getting bigger
and has broad appeal to people. The kids seem to be getting younger, but maybe
I'm just getting older. When we tour we still do well, but not as well as we
used to. I feel like our time has come and went. We want to do a last tour
while we can still go out on a high note, with some respect and dignity instead
of just driving this thing into the ground."
Besides, Murphy has already
accomplished everything he wanted to with Haste the Day.
"I got signed to my favorite record label (Solid State), got
to play and tour with my heroes, meet a lot of amazing people and make connections
with people at shows," he said. "I got to play the music I love with the people
I love. I got to see the world and fulfill all my little rock-star fantasies,
like shooting videos. I'm very fortunate and feel blessed to be able to do it."
Murphy has always said he wants
Haste the Day to be a positive force in metal music. Over the years he's heard
from countless young fans how their songs helped them
through family issues and suicidal feelings. Military veterans have told him
they listened to Haste the Day to help them cope with the pressures of combat. Murphy
sounded especially thoughtful as he recounted that aspect of his band's
strived to be that light in the dark scene we're a part of," he said. "We
wanted to be something positive and encourage people to pursue their passions and
find out who God wants them to be, just awaken people to the fact that they're
amazing and beautiful. I think we've been able to do that. I hope we've been
able to do that."