I started Keep Calm and Carry On when I was a junior in college. I had been awarded a slot for a specialty show on WTSR, with the approval to play the best in emo music, or at least what I believed to be the best. I had an eye on the future and realized that I only had two short years to make my mark with the show, so I opted for a name that people would recognized and feel a connection to immediately. With a familiarity in the name, I felt it would be an easier way to gain and keep people's attention, at least for the two years that I was in college. What I could have never imagined, however, was what would happen after that. I began to integrate my personal music blog (the one you're reading now) with the show, and ended up being able to use WTSR's resources to interview some of my favorite bands. The show became such a success that it attracted Craig to it, and within two weeks of knowing him, I knew that I had found someone who could help the show continue past my time at college. The two of us worked hard, went on some crazy adventures, and continue to have them to this day. The two of us accomplished things I never thought I'd even learn how to do and then some. Then, when we maybe started to take our accomplishments for granted, a young girl named Madison came to our show, and her work ethic and passion for the scene not only created even more opportunities for the show, but it also helped reignite the passion Craig and I were struggling to maintain. The three of us are now developing into a great team, and I've never been more proud.
But there remains the issue of how we started. When Keep Calm was conceived, I was alone, and therefore anything that went into the promotion, production, and direction of the show and blog was from me alone. Now, I'm one of three voices that's heard when we make decisions, yet we were still working with a blog that I created and a show time I selected for a show that I named. It sounds so totalitarian, I'm surprised Craig and Madison didn't revolt.
Anyway, the three of us have talking a lot over this summer, and agreed that it was time to reimagine the show, from the ground up. It began with our three schedules pulling us in different directions to the point that the three of us could rarely make our typical show time from 9-11pm on Friday nights. Therefore, we've requested (and been approved for) a completely new showtime on WTSR, which will be revealed in the coming months. The next order of business was the website. While we recently changed our layout, the three of us agreed that it was time to draw inspiration from our friends at Smash Cut Reviews, and decided to move our site from blogspot to a site that we had even more control over, with our own domain name. As we discussed changing the site, the show time, and the very format we post with, I had an idea: what if we changed the name, too? Craig and Madison agreed, and after much discussion, we've decided on a name, that I will now be sharing with you.
From this day forth, our show/blog will operate under the identity of The Garden Statement. It's a name that holds great importance to the three of us, as it serves as both a tribute to the state we were all born and raised in, while referencing a song from a band we all love (shout out to Hidden in Plain View!), and if you ask me, adds a little more impact to what we do. The most important part of the music we listen to is the statement it makes. Whether it's carefully crafted lyrics, expert musicianship, or that innate quality you sometimes can't even put into words, the music that sticks with us does so because it makes a statement. And that's what we want to do: we want to make a statement about the bands we love, the bands doing things the right way, the bands making the best music, and the bands that you need to check out.
I know I speak for Craig and Madison when I say that our run as Keep Calm and Carry On became something the three of us never could have predicted, and has taken us to places we never expected. We've been so fortunate to enjoy the success we've had, and we feel these changes we are making will help us accomplish even more in the future. We would all like to thank you from the bottom of our collective heart for any support you've offered and hope you will join us as we move forward as The Garden Statement. We'll still be giving you the same great content we always have, but with even more conviction and passion that we had before.
tl;dr: Keep Calm and Carry On has become The Garden Statement. You are cordially invited to the launch of our new site, which should be coming your way in the next couple of days. Thank you forever.
As always, and for one last time, Keep Calm, Carry On, and Open Your Mind.
Donald Wagenblast, Craig Ismaili, and Madison Ouellette.