Sunday, 29 March 2009

Brent's time out

Hey all the following is some very important and sad news, that any friends or followers of this band should read;

Hey everyone,
This is Brent here... I have some news to share with you as friends, fans of the band or anyone else who has supported us over the past three and a half years.......

At the age of 16 I started losing my hearing; it began as a mild hearing loss which didn't overly alarm me or my specialists. Over the past six years however, there has been an uncertain yet steady decline in my ability to hear. At the age of 19 my hearing got to the point that I needed to wear hearing aids. Since then, the deterioration has slowed but is still steadily eating away at my ability to hear all frequencies. Recently I have started to lose hearing in frequencies which up until six months ago have been good. These frequencies are important for speech recognition and general functioning in everyday life. I have seen several different hearing specialists over this time and no one has been able to diagnose a real definite reason for the loss. One of the obvious guesses at a cause is loud music and the fact I’ve been playing the drums almost everyday for about 11 years.

My audiologist has told me of patients who are 90 years old, fought in wars and worked coal mines for most of their lives and yet still have better hearing than me. Some people have resilient ears, others do not and these inconsistencies in the tolerance of the human ear are very hard to measure. I haven’t played the drums without wearing ear plugs for six years now, yet still my hearing has degenerated. There is a chance that I was just born with a genetic predisposition for hearing loss, something beyond the damage that drumming can cause. After CT scans, MRI scans and 30-plus hearing tests, my specialists are still very unsure as to what is happening. However, there is a possibility that I have a low tolerance to noise exposure which is causing my ears to give up. Whether or not drumming has been the sole culprit I am told my exposure to loud music could be aggravating and accelerating the loss.

Sadly, the only way to know if drumming is inducing or aggravating the loss is to plainly stop playing loud music for 12 months - which in turn has made me decide to step down from Cut Off Your Hands for the next year. This decision represents much thought and was incredibly difficult for me to make. The concept of life outside of Cut Off saddens me; we have all devoted so much of ourselves to make this band work. I’m now thoroughly addicted to making music and it hurts to know I wont be sharing it with the guys I have enjoyed it with over the past many years. I don’t feel good about it but I believe it’s the right thing for me to do.

It is uncertain what the future will bring for me and Cut Off. I hope with all my heart that I can return to playing with the band but only time can let that be known.

I'm not writing this to ask for sympathy or pity, we all have shit going on in our lives; I merely want to say that I’m not giving up on Nick, Phil or anyone else who has shown support for what we have been doing. I believe in what we have done so far and I would still very much be apart of it if I had my own way.

By no means is this a disintegration or ending for the band. Thereare many more songs that need to be shared with you and we are all very excitedfor what 2009 has to offer.

Much love


donut said...

I hope he can come back

J said...

On the bright side: more time for surfing.

I vote for a Barrier trip in January...

sarahburnell said...

My name is sarah and I'm a student journalist. Brent, I really think your story needs to be told. Young people need to be aware of noise induced hearing loss. I am from Sydney but was wondering how I could get in contact with you? Would be great to talk to you. My email is Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks, Sarah.

alice said...

i am so sorry to hear this,

best of luck for the future brent.

LOVE said...

Hi Brent, this is Eddie, the long-haired asian that interviewed you guys in Salt Lake City (your video is almost done by the way). I'm bummed to hear the news! Good luck with everything. Eddie

Jeff DLTM said...

Hi Brent
Sarah Burnell is right - your story needs to be told.
Don't Lose the Music is a campaign which aims to tell music lovers how and why to look after their hearing.
The campaign is run by the UK deafness charity RNID and our research has shown that 90 per cent of young people have experienced the signs of hearing damage after a night out.
We promote awareness of the dangers and tips on looking after hearing by going to club nights and festivals and generating media coverage.
Telling your fans that hearing damage happens, and explaining how to prevent it, could help others to learn from your experience.
Visit or email if you would like to find out more about supporting the campaign and protecting hearing.

ooohshesclassy said...

wow. hope everything can be better. i'll pretty much be praying for all you guys.

Travis said...

Good luck Brent! Rock on brother! We all look forward to your return to the band in the near future. Cheers,