Update: Wingo: 'I Was Dying on the Road'

Former Sword drummer sounds off on his departure

The Sword, circa 2008: (l-r) Bryan Richie, Kyle Shutt, Trivett Wingo, JD Cronise
The Sword, circa 2008: (l-r) Bryan Richie, Kyle Shutt, Trivett Wingo, JD Cronise (by Sandy Carson)

The Sword's performance at ACL on Friday was the last to feature its original drummer, Trivett Wingo. After canceling an upcoming European tour and citing exhaustion, Wingo, the group's original manager and one-time documentarian, announced his departure on Monday afternoon.

Off the Record: How long have you seen this coming?
Trivett Wingo: To be really honest, probably a couple of years.

OTR: Was it important for you to finish here in Austin at ACL?
TW: I really wanted to finish the whole U.S. tour. I had every intention of doing that. I literally reached a point where I was physically and mentally unable to continue. I basically went to the doctor the day after ACL, and he said you can’t do this another day.

OTR: What exactly is the issue?
TW: Not to get too specific, but my level of anxiety pertaining to being on tour got to the point where medication was not the answer. You can crunch Valiums all the time, but at a certain point you have to ask yourself if you should just be staying at home. I had been medicating myself to be on tour, and I realized that psychiatric help wasn’t the answer. I was very deeply unhappy. I didn’t want to sedate myself and do something that I wasn’t enjoying. I figured it was better for me to finally listen to my inner voice and strike out on my own. I wanted to finish it all. If I had known what point I would break, I wouldn’t have planned anything beyond that, but I reached my own personal breaking point as far as my panic and anxiety. I was living in a mental hell. I think it was really starting to affect my performance as well. I really officially completely burned myself down to a nub.

OTR: Is the relief immediate?
TW: I feel sad and confused that I’m not with the band anymore. I can’t say that I don’t have some regret that I couldn’t make it work, but I do feel like a weight is off me in knowing that I’m not getting on that bus again. It’s going to take me a long time to get over it and unwind all of the stuff in my mind. It’s a change in identity for me. I realized that I couldn’t be in a touring band, even in a couple years from now. It’s been hard on everyone. People think it’s really easy to just ride around and fly on airplanes and play rock & roll shows. What they don’t realize is that you completely give up your entire personal life. All of your meaningful relationships are thrown into a pile and neglected. You’re not there for your friends or your family, the people that you love. Meanwhile, you’re thrust into this void where you sit around and jerk off for 23 hours waiting to play one hour of music. That just killed me. I was dying on the road. I can’t deal with that amount of downtime everyday and being disconnected from everything. I decided it was time to work 9-5 and rehabilitate myself. I just want a fucking “normal life,” with a dog and a wife and a kid and the whole deal.

OTR: It sounds like touring was a huge part of this, but was the direction of the band an issue at all?
TW: No. I think the band is at its peak. The band is the best its ever been. I think the Sword is on a real incredible trajectory, and I think they’re really going to go places. I’m sure people will come out of the woodwork to take that job, and they’ll just keep going forward and do great things. I just personally didn’t fit into that picture anymore.

OTR: So what’s next for you?
TW: At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I’m going to go to school. In all likelihood, at least in the short term, I’m going to get a degree in accounting and then probably an MBA. When I say I want a normal life, I’m pretty serious about it [laughs].

OTR: Surely there will still be In Dudero, right?
TW: I was just thinking about that. I need to call David. I think I definitely have time now for an In Dudero show.

Previously published Mon Oct 11, 3:43pm

From Wingo:

"It is with deep sadness that I am announcing my departure from The Sword. After nearly seven years and some of the most amazing adventures of a lifetime, I have arrived at a place where I am physically and emotionally unable to continue on as part of The Sword. If I could go any further, I would as I love the music and JD, Bryan and Kyle are people that I deeply respect, but I have reached a point where I just can't do this anymore. I would like to thank the wonderful people who made this experience what it has been: the fans, the people that I have worked and all of the bands and musicians that have inspired me over the years. I thank you and apologize for any disappointment that this may cause anyone, not least of which The Sword.” - Trivett Wingo

From the Sword:

"We wish Trivett nothing but the best, and it is with heavy hearts that we bid him farewell. He is a phenomenal musician and has been an integral part of this band's success. He helped to lay the foundation that we will continue to build upon, and we wouldn't be where we are without him. We wish he could continue the adventure with us, but we understand that the life of a touring musician is not for everyone. It's been a hell of a ride, and we're sad to see this part of the journey end. The show must go on, though, and will be back on the road as soon as humanly possible.” - JD, Kyle & Bryan

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