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JD Perry (Ex-Valencia Guitarist) Explains Departure From The Band

Former Valencia guitarist, JD Perry has released a new statement explaining why he left the band earlier this year and why he posted his explanation yesterday of why he wasn't involved in the final Valencia show.

"I’d like to elaborate more on my departure from Valencia as it was very sudden and a surprise to most show goers this-past summer. How I left the band, however, could have had an affect on the band’s perspective of me…

After the On Your Side tour last May I decided to part ways with Valencia. It was a decision-in-progress since the beginning of 2010 as I found myself unhappy with where I was at in my life. The end of 2009 was the end of an era for Max when he parted ways from the band and we found ourselves in “label limbo,” so to speak. We dedicated ourselves to writing our third album (Dancing With A Ghost), but at that time we did not have much of a game plan other than writing songs for 10 hours a day in sunroom during the cold Philadelphia winter. The band saw much progress, yet I was growing increasingly unhappy. I was not ready to part ways with the band because I felt that there was much more potential that had yet to be tapped, especially with the addition of a new drummer, Dan.

Fast forward about a year through recording an album in LA, a two-week Japan tour, our first summer off in five years, the Say Anything/Motion City tour, the release of a third album, a two-week Australian tour, and the annual holiday shows. I had become burnt out on the lifestyle - doing the grind, sleeping on the floor (personal sacrifice) in one hotel room a night to save money, finding it much harder to meet my nutrition needs on tour, the hours worth of daily driving, not making the kind of money to sustain a life full of bills, and so on. By the beginning of 2011 I was 25 years old, I recently rekindled a relationship that was lost over the past five years, I had more of an interest to pursue a career in health, and I was still on a continuous pursuit to accomplish my own goals of optimal health and wellness (of which is very hard to do with a traveling schedule).

The On Your Side tour in April/May of 2011 was my last tour with Valencia. We concluded the Spring with Bamboozle in early May and a weekend of shows May 13-15. Half-way through the tour I approached George during an early morning coffee/computer session explaining to him that this would be one of my last tours with the band. He was shocked and upset, but he understood my reasoning. Max happened to be visiting on tour with us that week in the Northwest and I had a long talk with him about my decision, too, as he had once been in my shoes. I brought the subject up to the rest of the band shortly after Bamboozle as I did not want to upset anyone prior to such an important show. The guys were very understanding and wished me the best of luck. I was surprised with their reaction as we all have dedicated so much of our lives to the same cause and I felt as though I was letting them down (and perhaps myself for not being able to truly fulfill my goal).

At that time I offered to play the weekend of mid May shows and then three weeks on Zumiez Couch Tour as it was already booked. I played the May shows and on the 16th I took a trip down to Atlanta to spend time with my girlfriend until the Zumiez tour in June. As I was down south, Paige and I had numerous talks about my future, my happiness, our future, and our happiness. In passing, I brought up the idea to George about the idea of me not playing and he said they probably wouldn’t be too prepared for my departure on such short notice. Despite him saying that, I acted on my idea and told the band about a week prior to the Zumiez Tour that I would not be joining them for the following three weeks. I did not want to do the tour or any tour. I found a much greater happiness being with my girlfriend and not having to worry about the band, the idea of touring, booking hotels, or performing on stage without the same passion as I had once before. I felt like it wouldn’t be fair to myself, to the guys, or to the fans if I was just there for the sake of being there. I had this mentality during the On Your Side tour and many of my friends who came out to that tour took notice of my unhappiness.

The band managed to recruit a good friend, Trevor Leonard. Trevor is originally a friend of Shane’s and we followed suit shortly after meeting him in 2005. He sang on our first record, has guest-performed on stage with us during Philly shows, and is an all-around great guy. He busted his ass to learn enough songs for the Zumiez tour, filling in for me on guitar for that tour, the UK tour in September, the Japan tour, and recently the Farewell show.

I have nothing against Trevor or his involvement in Valencia. I think he’s awesome for stepping up when the band needed him the most. I have apologized to the band several times for my selfish actions as I was doing what was in my best interest rather than the band’s. My original idea to play the farewell show whole set included Trevor in every single song, too. I wanted it to be a true group effort as everyone has put their all into this band over the years. After several discussions with the band, I felt like I was also being fair by asking to play half of the set. I turned out to be “wrong” on that front, but I wanted to stick to what I believe was (and is) right in my eyes. I did not ask for money at all during those discussions about my involvement. I simply wanted to be a part of a large portion of the show as I was equally a part of a large portion of Valencia’s life.

Again, this is my perspective. I did not post that blog last night to take away from the show, to slain the members, or to turn a bittersweet situation into a sad/angry situation. I posted it because I was continuously being contacted by friends and show-goers asking if I would be in attendance, playing, and why. There are always two sides to an argument, and in this case there are six. I did not bash, put down, complain, or “bitch” about my not being there last night. Although the outcome did hurt a great deal and it seems that those close friendships will no longer exist from this point forward, I am happy with my decision.

Currently, I am living in Atlanta with my girlfriend, Paige. I am pursing my goals as a CHEK Holistic Health Practitioner and Exercise Coach by attaining a “foot in the door” certification as a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach. I offer nutrition and exercise programs with a holistic approach, along with a weekly blog that I author. Furthermore, I am working my way to a full time job at a locally stationed media network and am continuing my goals of optimal health and wellness. Last but not least, we have two lovely cats, Mop and Milk."

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