After more than a decade in the scene, Bop Skizzum is calling it a day. Founder and guitarist Andy Guerrero (aka Andy Rok) broke the news to fans last night on the group's website. "I've been doing this for a long time," he writes. "For over ten years and counting, I've been a full-time musician and I've played with a number of different bands. The one band that has always been 'my band' through all those years, however, has been Bop Skizzum.
"That's not to say Bop Skizzum has always been the same band. It hasn't," he continues. "We've gone through plenty of lineup changes and changed our style more than a handful of times. Truth be told, whenever I wanted to try something new, it's been really easy to avoid putting a label on it simply by tagging it 'Bop Skizzum.'
"Musicians out there will agree with me when I say that keeping a band together isn't exactly easy. These years of my life have been spent learning every life lesson you can imagine. If you've never been in a band, you should try it sometime. What I've learned from being in a band has made me a better husband, friend and businessperson. When it comes to growing as a person, music is a gift that never stops giving.
What I've learned most recently is that when it's time to change, you have to embrace it. The current members of Bop Skizzum (myself included) have come so far as artists and people in the past few years, and we've decided it's time to pursue our curiosities to their fullest and follow our own individual paths."
Continue on to read the band's full farewell message, and then catch Bop Skizzum's final show on Friday, February 14, at the Gothic Theatre, for the act's annual Nerd Prom. Also, keep an eye out for Guerrero's new band, Andy Rok and the Real Deal, which he says he hopes to debut within the next three to six months.
To our fans and friends,
I'm fully aware that many of you will be saddened to hear this news. Don't be. We are so proud of what we have accomplished with this band, and we will all continue to make music. There are great things to come from every Bop Skizzum member, both present & past. I for one am very excited about this next chapter of my life, both as an artist and as a person, and I can't wait to share what I create next with all of you.
I could go on for hours. There's no simple way to say farewell. I would, however, like to leave you all with just a few thoughts that I can't stop thinking about as we close this chapter of our lives.
Major changes have a way of drawing our attention to the bigger picture, what's really important in life. Looking back at Bop Skizzum, community is the one word that keeps repeating itself in my head.
When I started this band, I had just started college at the University of Colorado at Denver. I didn't know what I was doing. All I knew was that I loved funk music, and I wanted to bring people together to dance and have a good time.
I never thought too much about what would happen when the dancing was over. As it turned out, it was what happened after we left the stage that shaped my perspective on life and brought me so much satisfaction and joy... Community.
Creating a Community:
The best thing about being in this band, beyond a shadow of a doubt, has been the friendships and relationships that have been forged around it. We have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing people since the start, and those people just kept growing. On both sides of the stage; connections were made, friendships grew, and a community flourished.
Serving a Community:
Simply by making music and doing what we love, we were able to make meaningful contributions to incredible non-profit organizations: Make A Wish Foundation, Love, Hope, Strength, Youth on Record, cityWILD, Toys For Tots and all the organizations involved with Acoustic Christmas, Taclobano in the Philippines and so many more.
Building a Broader Community:
In an effort to shine a light on the ever-growing talent in the Colorado Music scene, beyond the State's borders.... We've been thrilled to be a part of incredible Music Festivals & shows like Riot Fest, Film on the Rocks, SoFAR, Westword Music Festival, UMS. Developing relationships with local & international organizations/companies like Ford, Microsoft, Hard Rock Cafe International, Denver Comic Con, Rockies, Yelp!, Lyft, Deep Eddy, Twist & Shout, Illegal Pete's and more. Sharing that "Coloradical" spirit globally!
Supporting a Community:
As a musician, it's been important to me to support other musicians and bands in our city. Going to shows and supporting other bands isn't just good karma, it's essential for promoting your own band.
My generation took the biggest step forward in making the Denver music scene what it is today. The current generation has done us proud, and do all of us musicians in Denver proud. Ours is now, hands down, the best local music scene in the country.
If I had to leave you with one bit of advice, it's to go to more shows. Be a part of your community. Not only will you make the best friends you'll ever make, but you may find yourself inspired to make art of your own.
So, to everyone in the Bop Skizzum community:
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You've made the last ten years feel like the best investment I've ever made, and I look forward to sharing what's next with all of you.
- Andy Rok