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American Aquarium’s Current Lineup Disbands

American Aquarium 2017
Photo by Alysse Gafkjen, courtesy of Venture Music

The American Aquarium that fans have come to know in recent years is no more. On Sunday (April 2), the band’s frontman, BJ Barham, revealed that he and his bandmates have split up.

Following the January departures of American Aquarium guitarists Ryan Johnson and Colin DiMeo, bassist Bill Corbin, drummer Kevin McClain and pedal steel guitarist Whit Wright have also “decided to move on to the next chapter in their lives and pursue other ventures,” Barham shares on Instagram.

“There is no ill will, and I sincerely wish them nothing but the best of luck on whatever path life decides to take them down, and I hope you will, too,” Barham writes. “What we had for the last few years went beyond friendship. These guys are my family, and I will always look back to this version of the band fondly.”

When Barham announced Johnson and DiMeo’s splits from American Aquarium in January, he said that the band was not over; rather, the then-remaining lineup had plans to head into the studio, with a new guitarist, to record new music this spring and summer. According to his Sunday Instagram post, that plan hasn’t changed — “American Aquarium isn’t going anywhere,” Barham assures fans — but the timeline has shifted slightly.

“I started American Aquarium in my college dorm room back in 2005 with the hopes of building a band to bring my songs to life. Over the last 12 years, I’ve played 3,000+ shows with 26 different members of American Aquarium. We’ve been to 13 countries, 46 states and have recorded 9 albums under the American Aquarium name,” Barham notes, later adding, “Like most things in life, band members change; however, these songs and my dreams of playing them for folks every night do not … If you’ve ever met me, you know that there isn’t an ounce of quit in me, so after my annual summer solo tour in May / June, I will be hitting the studio with a new group of musicians to work on American Aquarium’s seventh full-length record, entitled Things Change, and will be playing full-band AA shows throughout the rest of 2017 and into the new year.”

Since their inception, American Aquarium have drawn from a wide range of musical influences and built a following across the U.S. thanks to their unique sound and electric live shows. Their newest album, Wolves, released in 2015, was one of The Boot’s top Americana, alt-country and folk albums of that year; Barham, meanwhile, released a solo album, Rockingham, in August of 2016.

“This band is a living organism, and like all living things, it’s ever evolving,” Barham concludes on Instagram. “If this is where you get off the AA roller coaster, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for the years of love and support you have shown me and the boys. If you’re sticking around, rest assured that I will continue to work as hard as I always have to write and perform the most honest music I’m capable of.”

What Is Americana? Its Artists Define the Genre

NEXT: BJ Barham Gets Candid About ‘Rockingham’, Sobriety and American Aquarium

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