Animo is no more

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Just received confirmation of a rumor that we heard late last week, that the members of Animo have indeed parted ways. Bassist Donovan Welsh says while there's various reasons for the split, ultimately, the band had just run its course. The years of toiling away took its toll on he and his band mates, and, well, life happened. The guys grew up, and, as such, their priorities shifted.

"We all became men within the last few years and have lives and responsibilities," Welsh points out. "And it started to get to us. We couldn't focus our attention on Animo as much as we had in the past, and we didn't want to disrespect that part."

Before they were the meaty men of Animo, Welsh, frontman Schuyler Ankele and drummer Jimmy Blair were the young men of Dork. And the three having seemingly been going non-stop since their days together in that unfortunately named combo, which eventually evolved into Animo. Since forming in 2001, Dork has certainly made its mark, from being one of the first unsigned bands to land a slot on the Warped Tour in 2003, to following it up with five consecutive years performing on the entirety of the tour, including Animo's stint last summer, which gained the notice of Rolling Stone.com.

Despite a series of line-up changes -- including the departure of former frontman Bryan Knoebel, who replaced original frontman Dylan Martinez, to the promotion of Ankele and the addition of guitarist/vocalist Brian Johannsen -- the players earned two Westword Music Showcase awards as best punk band, have logged over five hundred shows across the country, had a piece of gear included in the Warped Tour exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had their songs placed on shows on MTV, Fuse and in an American Pie sequel. Even more noteworthy, Animo can stake claim to an even rarer distinction, namely having Ramones art director Arturo Vega design both its logo and its artwork.

At the time of the split, the act was in the midst of recording a new record. According to Welsh, the album was no where near being complete, and there's currently no plans of finishing or releasing the recordings. There's also no firm word yet on whether or not the band will have a farewell show. If one does happen, though, Welsh says he hopes to include Knoebel and Martinez, to pay tribute to how far these guys have come as musicians -- something we can certainly attest to. Back when we first saw Dork, God, were they awful. Needless to say, though, as they proved on their most recent disc, Blood In the Water, these boys have indeed finally become men.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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