"And there was this one show in Ohio where someone called out a request. It was like, 'How do you know?'" Ritsema remembers.
That taste of fame might not be enough to keep the band alive. Its four members go to four different schools, and while they share a similar cultural niche (they all support Critical Mass rides, they all love Animal Collective), they seem more committed to engaging in artistic experiment and creative growth than in devoting themselves to any single project. If there's something worth trading for their freedom, they haven't come across it yet. The missive from Russia makes that clear.
"I plan on recording another album," writes Chris, "but whether or not it's a Mouthful of Bees album, I can't say. Maybe it will be, but even if it is, it will sound nothing like The End. That album is just that—my own last call to what you'd expect out of a teenage indie band. It's closing time, at least for me."