20 years ago, on July 5, 1999, EXIT held their first band rehearsal. Our new friend and singer, Nikki, and the three of us had a ball stumbling through some U2 songs, trying to find our feet. This was the first time that Susan, Pam and I played together, and aside from 2008-2011 when Susan felt the need to step away from the band, we have been playing together ever since.
Here’s a brief rundown of what we’ve been up to all this time:
08 Dec 1999: First gig!
2000-2002: Unintentionally become U2 cover band, build community
08 Mar 2002: First live performance of original songs
May 2003: Record demo with Jeff Gross
14 Jun 2003: Last U2 tribute gig (including originals) at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH
08 Nov 2003: Play at inTO The HEART U2 fest in Toronto, Canada
22 Dec 2003-3 Jan 2004: USO and NATO tour of the Balkans
12 Mar 2004: Nikki's last gig with EXIT
13 Nov 2004: New singer found
01 Nov 2005: Play onstage with U2!
Feb/Apr 2006: Gigs in Mississippi and Iowa
Oct 2006: Record four track EP
Jan/Jun 2007: Make music videos
Jan 2008: Trevi leaves EXIT
Apr 2008: Susan leaves EXIT
2008-2011: Friend Lissie helps keep the band alive by learning a bit of bass and writing/singing some tunes. I make first attempt at singing.
Jul-Oct 2011: Pam meets a singer that we write songs and rehearse with but we do not jive. Susan returns to band.
10 Dec 2011: Find yet another new singer
Oct 2012: Band name change! EXIT -> Xs & ARROWs
Dec 2012-Mar 2015: Gig under Xs & ARROWs, record demos and an EP that is never released, make music videos
Mar 2015: Susan says, NO MORE SINGERS. COURTNEY, IT IS YOU.
Jun 2016 - Feb 2017: Record EP with Jeff Gross
25 Jul 2017: Questions released as single
27 Oct 2017: From Here EP release!
2018-2019: Radio debuts, radio interviews, music videos, new songs, a U2 cover, big gigs in big parks and small gigs in small rooms!
It's been a long, strange journey. It seems as though every time we almost got somewhere, the landscape shifted abruptly, when the truth is probably that those paths could never have been through roads, as hard as we hacked away at them. In the end, all I know is that I love music, and no matter how many times I’ve felt like giving up, something in me won’t allow it, and apparently won’t let Susan or Pam either. Wherever they lead ultimately, our roads are intertwined.