Modern Baseball Cancel Tour, Taking a Break to Focus on Mental Health

Roger Kisby/Getty Images Portrait
Modern Baseball poses for a portrait backstage at Fader Fort presented by Converse at Converse Rubber Tracks on Oct. 17, 2015 in New York City. 

Philly rockers Modern Baseball announced on Tuesday (Feb. 21) that they are canceling their upcoming tour and taking "a break for a little while" to focus on their mental health. Guitarist/singer Jake Ewald explained in a Facebook post that "over the past few months the band has become an immense source of anxiety for me."

The note about the cancelation of the tour -- which included spots on the Boston Calling, Shaky Knees and Forecastle festivals -- also included an image of cover of the band's Holy Ghost album scrawled with the phone numbers of a handful of mental health service agencies. Ewald apologized for the cancelations and said refunds will be available at point of purchase. 

"It wasn't until I opened up to Sean, Ian, and Brendan about it that we realized we were all feeling the same way," Ewald explained. "The project we started as a source of joy and positive expression had become something that was slowly eating away at our mental health and our friendships. We have been championing the importance of mental health for a while now, and we recently realized that it would be wrong for us to ignore our own health any longer. Please know that we don't take a tour cancelation lightly, and under any other circumstances we would not even consider it an option, but in this instance we have to put our health and friendships first."

A spokesperson for the group told Billboard that the time out is "not a break-up, just a temporary hiatus" as it's been a "heavy year or so of touring for them." The news inspired a wellspring of support from fans, with nearly 1,000 encouraging comments posted to date. "Good on you guys for putting yourselves first," wrote one. "A lot of people don't know how to say no and they end up damaging themselves and those around them as a result. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we still love you and hope your situations improve soon! I hope your music once again returns to a source of joy rather than anxiety in time."

In late January, guitarist Brendan Lukens announced he was bowing out of the group's European tour in order to focus on his mental and physical health. The Goddamn Band, The Obsessives, Kevin Devine and Sorority Noise were slated to open the spring dates; the latter two bands addressed the situation on Twitter.