After ten years with the sunny california band Rooney, today Matthew Winter has announced that he has left the band. With a band that has been the five original members since the beginning, this is heartbreaking but definitely what seems to come across as the best option for Matthew as he has decided to continue his schooling needing to be a doctor.
Writing a letter to his fans, it's a rare circumstance when a member really provides the reasoning behind his leaving but with being a band for so long, I don't think there was any other way he could do it. Within the letter, he tells the fans that he is sad to leave when Rooney has just finished the greatest album they have ever produced and just makes fans more excited to hear it, but unfortunately Matthew will be a fan in the crowd for the upcoming tours, not on stage.
I feel lucky enough now to have met Matthew before he left the band and was able to catch them on their most recent tour in December as I caught it one of the last few dates. All the best wishes to Matthew in everything he does!
Here's the letter itself:
Dear friends of Rooney –
It is with much mixed emotion I announce my departure from the band. Just a few days ago, I let the guys know that it’s time for me to take my life in a new direction. This has been the most difficult decision of my life so far, as Rooney has been the most significant fixture in my world, by far, for the past decade.
From age 17 until now (27), I have lived and breathed music with Ned, Louis, Robert, and Taylor. Rooney was a lifestyle, an escape, and an obstacle course rolled into one. For a long time, it was the only thing that really mattered to me. I look back at those times as some of the most unadulterated and sincere moments of my life. I cherish the shared passion and drive that we possessed as a group, and will always remember the music we made together. In fact, I take an enormous amount of pride in what we accomplished musically.
Over the last few years I have become less satisfied with my professional life. This has been a difficult reality to accept, as my now ex-bandmates are very important people to me, and I have had trouble accepting that my road might no longer be with them. I didn’t want to acknowledge that this enormously fortunate lifestyle wasn’t for me anymore. Whereas I once wanted nothing more than to tune-out the world and play with my friends, I now feel an obligation to move on and tackle new goals.
My plan is to continue my education and become a doctor. I have a huge amount of time that needs to be made-up, but that is a tiny price to pay for the experiences that I’ve had.
To all the people who have supported my band: I appreciate your loyalty and passion for music more than you could ever understand. While it is all-too-easy to take one’s fans for granted, I hold you all fully responsible for this crazy, bizarre, and enriching adventure that I’ve been on for the last ten years. My life will never be the same, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting this project of mine affect you so greatly. You have changed my life.
Take care, and good luck to all of you. Please don’t let this upset you. The band will go on without me, and I am on the path to great happiness. I am leaving you with the best record we ever made, and look forward to joining you guys in the audience at a show sometime soon.
Although I’m not very active on facebook, I invite you all to friend request me and keep in touch. I made it a habit to keep my friends and fans separate in the past, but consider you all to be my friends now."