Luke, Charles, and Jon started occasionally getting together to play music in Charles’ living room. Each of us were in college and somehow made time to start another band. We named ourselves “Friends” and recorded a short 4-song EP at our friend Mike’s house.
We called it “Better Off Alone” and released it with Blood & Ink Records. Our friend, John Michael, joined the band.
With the EP out, and all of us out of school, we began booking several short tours around the south and northeast. We bought an old handicapped van, built some bunks inside, and we were off to the races.
If our shows on tour didn’t fall through, there would be around 10 to 15 people there (members of the other bands playing). However, there were a select few very fond memories of random packed rooms where everyone somehow knew the songs (???).
At this point, our efforts were not financially sustainable in the slightest, but we managed to make it work and had A LOT of fun doing it — at the time, that’s all that really mattered to us.
We had about fifteen new songs written and were anxiously waiting to book studio time. In November of 2012, we pooled our money together and recorded our first album with Matt McClellan at Glow In The Dark Studios in Atlanta, GA.
Recording in that studio was an absolute dream come true. So many of the bands we grew up listening to had recorded some of our favorite records there. We were on top of the world!
With the new record done, we changed our name from ‘Friends’ to ‘Better Off’ (mostly because it was virtually impossible to find ‘Friends’ online), released “The Price Is Never Right” as a single in February of 2013, and booked a few more short tours. Also around that time, John Michael quit the band, and Hunter took his place.
We released (I Think) I’m Leaving in September of 2013 with 6131 Records and played some more shows, somehow catching the interest of Equal Vision Records, who we later signed a deal with.
In February of 2014, we went on our first “proper” full US tour with Major League, Seaway, and Have Mercy.
Then in the summer, we went out with Young Statues and Fireworks.
Right after that, we recorded a 7” with our friend Arun Bali in Nashville. This was our first release on Equal Vision.
Then SOMEHOW, by the grace of God, our idols in New Found Glory took us out for two weeks in November. It was unbelievable.
In February of 2015, we were asked to open for Motion City Soundtrack’s ‘Commit This To Memory’ 10-year anniversary tour — yet another unbelievable experience.
Immediately following that tour, we went back to Atlanta to record our second LP — this time with both Arun Bali and Matt McClellan.
The rest of 2015 consisted of tours with Defeater, Counterparts, Basement, LVL UP, Whirr, Bayside, and The Early November among many others.
We released Milk in mid September.
Nearing the end of 2015, everyone’s goals surrounding the band began moving in different directions. Some wanted to focus on other personal endeavors, and some wanted to place all focus on the band.
In October of 2015, Charles, Jon, and Hunter decided to step down, let Luke carry the band forward, and search for new members who wanted to play music full time.
In March of 2016, Better Off embarked on what was probably the biggest tour yet: opening for Mayday Parade and The Maine.
Unfortunately, after the first show, some sexual assault allegations were publicly made against one of the new temporary musicians.
Understandably, we were given the option of sending him home and staying on the tour or dropping off the tour entirely.
This whole situation, alongside the compounding anxiety of playing music full-time while trying to find new permanent band members, just made it seem like it wasn’t worth it anymore. In a snap decision, and in fear of sending our friend home alone in a destructive mental state, we released a statement that we’d be dropping the tour and would be taking an indefinite hiatus.
The alleged abuser was a long time friend of the band, and it was literally the last thing we’d ever expect him to be involved in. Regardless, this is not a valid justification to defend anyone of such accusations, and doing so was a big mistake on our behalf. Looking back, we should have approached the situation in a more objective manner and disregarded our personal relationship with him. We’ve since personally apologized to the victim.
Immediately following our statement that we were leaving the tour, our label, management, and booking agent all dropped us, and we went home.
Charles and Luke started playing music together again in September of 2017 with no real plans to do anything — it was really just for fun. Luke had a few song ideas, and Charles was still interested in playing music.
Over the course of 2018, Charles and Luke recorded a new LP with Tate Mercer. We released a few of the songs as we finished them.
We recently played our first show back in December in a small basement in Nashville— it was a lot of fun.
It’s almost been 10 years since we began playing music together, and now we’re right back where we started. An independent band playing music with no real expectations— just making art for the sake of making art and having fun doing it.
We’re not really sure what the future holds, but we’re excited to release this album. We have a handful of shows already planned for 2019 that will be announced soon — many of which previous members of the band will be playing as well.
We hope you enjoy this new album as much as we enjoyed making it.