With their farewell shows underway, the remaining three members of Issues—Skyler Acord, Josh Manuel, and AJ Rebollo—joined by The Home Team’s vocalist, Brian Butcher, have been delivering a cathartic adieu to their dedicated fanbase for all of the support they’ve shown the storied group throughout their careers. Following years of silence due to their former vocalist’s swift exit from the band in 2020, the only fitting and proper conclusion for Issues was to take one last bow before closing this chapter of their lives. The group opted for a series of final performances that have undoubtedly echoed with a bang rather than a sizzle.
While the group may be bidding their fans farewell as Issue, they certainly have not left them empty-handed. Along with their last shows, the three-piece surprise dropped a final single featuring Acord on vocals. The heartfelt new release, “Since I Lost You,” acts as a love letter to their fans and to each other before they officially go their separate ways.
Ahead of the group’s sold-out performance at the House Of Blues in Anaheim, CA, the three remaining members, along with Butcher, stopped into the idobi Radio Studios in Hollywood to chat. Joining Fish for a candid conversation about their official split, where each of the members is headed next, they also reminisced on the frenzy of Pokemon Go, how they always brought the party to Warped Tour, the experiences and expertise they’ll be walking away from Issues with, and more.
Check out a preview of the band’s exclusive interview with Fish for idobi Radio and watch the full interview below.
You guys have been through a handful of challenges [and] chapters, and what a way to the final chapter of the band, having Brian on vocals. I don’t think there could have been a better fit.
Skyler Acord: We agree [and] appreciate that very much. Of course, it was funny because when we made the realization, I was on tour with The Home Team, which is Brian’s band for those who don’t know, opening for them. I was just watching them every night. Brian was fucking killing it. I was like, “Oh, yeah.” [Laughs.]
Brian Butcher: It seemed to make a lot of sense when Sky asked me to do the part. So much so that I didn’t really digest how crazy cool of an opportunity it was until a couple of weeks later when we were getting closer to the announcement. And I was like, “Oh yeah, this is kind of fucking insane.” [Laughs.] I’ve been listening to this band for fucking ever. It did seem to make a lot of sense. We’ve worked with these guys a lot. I’m really, really grateful to be here.
Hell yeah. I mean, it’s kind of the proof in the pudding about how good Issues is…Did you guys learn stuff that you brought to the Issues show that maybe wasn’t in the Issues set beforehand, production-wise, playing live, or interaction-wise?
SA: I think the biggest thing for me was honestly just being super thorough because one big thing Issues has always struggled with, which was also our strength musically, was that we didn’t have a set leader. It was always a very collaborative project. But that meant when it came to prepping for tours, setting up a session for the show, or even planning a cycle, a lot of times, we were like a headless chicken. A big part of that was we just never really had a good manager that fit until right now.
I feel like the biggest thing I learned just working with twenty one pilots was delegating, like, “This is your job, handle it, do it as best as you can.” And then, when there’s a snag, bring it to the group and just be thorough, top to bottom. Just all the little details.
Josh Manuel: I think, honestly, I’m on time now. [Laughs.] …No, I agree with Sky, though. I think because Issues was always so collaborative, which, again, is why it sounds the way it does and wouldn’t change it… I’m right there with you, just how to be thorough, [and] how to delegate correctly. I think we’ve gotten a lot better at, too. Trust your people. Trust them to do their job. If that doesn’t happen, figure it out from there.
There were a lot of cooks in the kitchen. This time around, we set out with these shows with a list of goals that we really wanted to accomplish. I think we’ve been able to really knock that out, and it’s felt really good. The response, in general, to not only Brian joining us but just us coming back and doing some shows for us, for the fans, has been awesome. I mean, the tickets went a lot faster than we expected!
Issues have two remaining performances before their official split. Both shows will be held in Atlanta, GA, at The Masquerade on January 27 and 28. While the January 27 performance date is sold out, limited tickets are available for the band’s January 28 performance, which can be purchased here.