William Beckett's initial plan last year was to work on a fourth album by his Chicago-based band The Academy Is... But the fact that he's now out as a solo artist indicates that was not meant to be.
Beckett says that after losing guitarist Guy Chislett and drummer Any Mrotek, the band was "really struggling. It wasn't fun, and it wasn't as natural as it should be, as it was in the beginning. I could've kept the band together and it could've seemed all nice and cozy, but the reality is I would've been miserable.
"I felt a responsibility not only to myself but to the fans of the band...to stick true to my vision without compromising and not force a record out just to keep the band together."
Beckett, 27, has just released "Walk the Talk," the first of three EPs he plans to put out this year. Another will come out in July or August, while the third will hit in the fall. Beckett is releasing the discs independently rather than hanging on to The Academy Is...'s major label deal, which he feels is the right course of action at this particular point in time.
"From the way the industry has gone in the rock world, do I want to release a full-length record right away with this new vision?" he explains. "I felt like it may have been too big a dose of something new...and I didn't want to wait eight months or something to put a record out.
"Right now the importance for me was to put music out immediately, and this seemed like the best way to do it. Every three months or so I'll release another selection of songs, and at the end of the year you can take all 12 songs from the three releases and you've got your record."
William Beckett and Cara Salimando perform Monday, May 7, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.