William “Bill” Tolley 1974 – 2017
The loss of our drummer Bill Tolley is something that all of us in the band wrestle with on a daily basis. His enthusiasm, superb sense of comedic timing and love for his band mates has left a huge void in all of our hearts.
It’s difficult to go down to our rehearsal room and jam without him, because watching him behind the kit was so much fun. He was always relaxed, smiling and laying down groovy beats with passion and conviction. Now all of that is gone, and only his drum kit remains as a silent testament to the great man that he was.
As a band, we never take our friendships for granted, and after each practice, we always make sure to hug and express our love for each other. It sounds corny, but we do it every night, and continue to do it to this day. We’re fortunate that we did it at our last practice with Bill. He was always surrounded by love, and his love shall always surround us.
Strangely, moving on has not been as difficult as we thought it would be. We completed a major tour and are back at writing new songs for our upcoming album, almost as if nothing ever happened.
But something did happen.
We may have lost our best and dearest friend, but in that horrible loss, we gained a spiritual guardian. And a serene sense of confidence and optimism has descended upon the band — an invisible hand is pushing us forward and telling us to go out into the world and destroy everything. This can only mean one thing — good old Bill is with us, smoking a cigar, sipping some bourbon and wrapping his protective arms around us.
Even in death, Bill Tolley will be with all of us forever.
From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you for all the love, support and encouragement in this difficult time. And more importantly, thank you for always being the best fans a band could wish for.
With gratitude and love,
Please visit the Billy Tolley Fires and Drums Foundation and purchase some merchandise. All proceeds go to helping first responders and military families. It’s a great way to carry on Bill’s legacy.