Everytime I've seen John, he has seemed to make progress with a small hiccup or setback with healing here and there which is to be expected from time to time. We've been at practice together more than once and from a "singer" point of view I can say that he will definitely need to get his vocal conditioning back, it's easy to lose when not kept up with. Case in point, me when I hopped on-board to fill-in for John. I still have a difficulty getting through certain songs as I'm sure you've all seen since this style of vocalism is fairly new to me on a non-singalong basis.
I can tell you guys though that John has been writing new material with the band and it sounds great. Perfect Barlow form and as far as songwriting, the sumbitch hasn't lost a step.
People just don't seem to understand the healing process with such a severe injury that John sustained, though. It's more of a concern for the welfare of John's facial fragility, as with most shows that are played there is little or no stage and if John gets hit in a singalong or pile-on which are the biggest part of a Haus show, everything that's gone into his recovery so far could be thrown out the window and it's a call that both John and the rest of the band have made for HIS welfare because the quicker he heals, despite it being a while, the better.
Everyone knows that John is the backbone and patriarch of this band. Everyone wants him back, including me but the truth is he NEEDS to properly recover first. I know there are many people that think I'm doing this band for selfish reasons and that I'm an opportunist, etc...I've heard it all, from people I don't know and from people I've known for a VERY long time... The reality is that I tried out and they asked me to fill-in without looking any further. I considered it an honor. I've been a huge Animalhaus fan since Ziggy handed me the demo. Jess and I listened to it on a car ride and were hooked. I love the band and what I care about is them getting where they SHOULD be right now. Amazing potiential. If I can help book them shows, get them more exposure I absolutely will. Every single show I go on a rant about how John is recovering and will be back, but the band usually cuts me off due to my long-windedness with explaining things.
Maybe it's not my place to say some of these things and granted I haven't known everyone in this band as long as other people, however I feel that the friendships are strong enough for everyone to be understanding. No one is forcefully holding John down or keeping him from any info or shows. We bring him to everyone possible. We let him sing when he feels comfortable, however you have instances like at the Lansdale show where we had him do one song and he then went to the corner and got sick into a trashcan. John wants to be back. We want him to be back. I want him to be back. The reality is, it needs to be played safe.
I can tell everyone that the entire band is thankful that most people haven't abandoned liking the band due to the fact that they had no choice but to continue after releasing and album and were contractually obligated.
Hopefully everyone sees this for what it is.