Nate let me in the band when we got married. He had already been playing solo for a few years. Of course, I make the band more fun, but Nate is the main songwriter. He's just really prolific, there's no way I could keep up. He can go to the bathroom and come out with a new song, fully completed.
I started a new crazy job in 2009. I do people's taxes, working in an office and filling out forms and helping people pay the government as
little as legally possible. It's even better when I can help people get more money back. Anyway, it's seasonal work, mid-January to mid-May. It gets pretty crazy around April 15th, like retail at Christmastime. Tax Day is also my birthday.
While I do taxes, Nate does homework. He's a full-time student and he handles all the business side of the band, like booking our long tours. He wrote a lot of this album during his Spring Break. As his wife, I see the hang-ups, the sensitive spots in his life that I can't make him deal with till he's ready. In writing this album, he “went there”. I'm very proud of him for making such a vulnerable album.
Tour. Work and school. Tour. Work and school. STOP! We were pretty excited about the tour we had booked for June 2010. We were going to play several shows with Andrew Jackson Jihad that we were looking forward to. But deep inside I was thinking, “I need a break!” But what could we change? We were about to leave again. I came home one day with abdominal pain. It felt like a wave of needles across my abdomen.It
wasn't constant, but when a wave came it Hurt! We played 2 shows that weekend. I was a whiner but we still rocked! On the 6th day of pain, I realized that it was not going away and I couldn't take it anymore. I went to the hospital and after the CT scan, they said, “well, as far as we can tell it looks like your appendix ruptured several days ago! We'll have to get in there to find out what damage it's caused.”
That began my 12 day stay in the hospital. They took me into surgery in the middle of the night and told Nate it might take and hour or hour and a half. He sat alone and scared in my room for 4 hours waiting for me with no word, freaking out. They took out 20% of my colon and some of my small intestine. 2 days after the surgery, I started getting worse and ended up having some large pockets (grapefruit size) of infection drained.My
mom flew in from PA, and she and Nate camped out in my room every night. I keep learning how amazing it is to have family care about you.
While I got all this love and attention (and pain meds), poor Nate had to hold everything together. He still had to deal with finals and work and communicating to the rest of the world. It was his difficult decision to cancel the tour so that I would have time to get back to normal. I got the break I needed, but Nate felt like he'd been hit by a ton of bricks. Which is always good inspiration for a song. - Tessa Allen