Last September Widespread Panic keyboardist JoJo Hermann surprised many fans by telling a Vanderbilt U. student paper that the band would “call it (quits) for awhile” after spending most of 2011 on the road. Subsequent statements from various band members haven’t really made the group’s plans clear, but an article from Garden and Gun makes it sound like Panic is gearing up for a longer break than anyone expected.
When asked about the length of the hiatus, Widespread Panic’s John Bell used the words “next couple of years” and then “maybe longer”…
Do you have a sense of how long the hiatus will last?
It’s really open-ended. The last time we took a break it was fourteen months, so who knows? We had one guy in our band ask our booking agent, “We’re not really doing this, are we? We’ll play some gigs, right?” Some people in the band are more into the planning, others just show up to play. We’ll do a New Year’s Eve gig together and knock off for the next couple of years. Maybe longer.
When asked if the band may call it quits altogether, JB said…
Everything and anything is possible. Theoretically there would be no reason to completely disband. The Rolling Stones take a long time between albums and tours. But they’re the Stones. We don’t have the situation of being at each other’s throats where it’s unbearable.
You never know what will happen when a group heads off on hiatus. Sometimes they realize they miss performing together and get back earlier than expected and other times the band never reforms. For the sake of Widespread Panic fans, let’s hope it’s the former situation.