Dan + Shay have revealed they almost called it quits in 2021 during a difficult period in their personal and professional lives. In a brutally honest video, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney shared the pressures of keeping up with the band nearly led them to split up.
Smyers said, “I was in the lowest low of my entire life. Came off the road and I was like, 'Man, I f*cking hate music. I'm ready to quit.”
"I could feel the separation, and I think there was little things between you and I that we never talked about," Mooney added. "It was affecting everything. Not just our band. Like, my marriage, everything. I was in a really dark place."
Mooney also admitted that he was drinking a lot during their arena tour, which started in March 2020 and was postponed before resuming in September 2021. They add that before the pandemic, neither of them had stopped to appreciate their success.
After their tour wrapped, the duo – who’d known each other for nearly a decade at that point – were feeling burnt out and didn’t speak to each other for the next four months.
Smyers revealed, “For me, we didn’t ever take time to be able to appreciate winning a Grammy or all these things, because it was just happening so fast.
“I had no balance before. It was completely one-sided, I was ignoring my marriage, I was ignoring all my friends, and I completely burnt myself out. Entirely burnt myself out.”
Mooney added, “Of course I wish that I would have been more present in the moment. Wish I would have hung out with you more. I was just in this very, feeling sorry for myself place, and not wanting to take responsibility for anything.
“I think that’s a lot of the reason why I was unhappy during our arena tour. We’d built this thing up in our head and I was hanging so much of my happiness on the success of that arena tour. And even when it was successful, I got to that show and then we would leave mad about something stupid. And it was because we put so much weight on that moment that when it was over, what a downer.”
Finally, in March 2022, they met in order to discuss the future of the band, and both of them knew that calling it quits was a real possibility.
“We just weren’t working on it. We let things get in the way. We let things fly out the window,” Smyers continued. “Man, that moment where we sat down and just talked it out, I feel like was so healthy. That night changed it all.”
Mooney agreed, stating, “It changed everything. And I feel like that was such a big turning point. It was us saying to each other like, ‘Look, I’m willing to fight for this.”
"The thing that filled my cup the most was being in a room with you, making music together. One of the most important things that's ever happened in my life was Dan + Shay,” Smyers added. “…If we're gonna keep going forever, let's get ourselves right.”
Following their albums Where It All Began (2014), Obsessed (2016), Dan + Shay (2018) and Good Things (2021), Dan + Shay have a new single dropping on Friday, July 14.
"I can feel the closeness of our relationship and our friendship when I listen back to the music," Smyers added. "We are by far, a million times, the closest we've ever been. For so many reasons. But because we worked at it. That makes what we're doing now infinitely sustainable. I could do this the rest of my life with you."
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