Our Story: The Past = Burning Love and Burning Out

We first met each other when Toast opened for a show Siena was doing back in 2001. Not too long after that, we began performing as a duo.  And we haven't stopped since.

Well, we actually did stop. Now we didn't stop being a duo. We just stopped performing as a duo.

The point is, we had some great times!  Some of the events and venues and experiences we performed for were...

www.sherrybarnettphotography.com
www.sherrybarnettphotography.com
  • MTV Logo concert special
  • John Ford Amphitheater - Hollywood
  • Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) - Long Beach
  • Skirball Cultural Center - Los Angeles
  • Long Beach Pride
  • L.A. County Fair
  • Olivia Vacations Cruise - featured artist
  • World Vegetarian Days/Compassionate Cuisine
  • Animal Acres Gala
  • Grammy - nomination on preliminary ballot
  • Hawaii Music Award - Best Folk Album
  • E Hula Mau Hawaiian cultural festival
  • KPFK Pacifica Radio
  • vegan, raw food, and holistic health fairs and festivals
  • AfterEllen
  • Performed, recorded, co-wrote songs with 7x Grammy Award Winner Daniel Ho
  • Performed and Recorded with Emmy Award Winner Faith Rivera
Olivia Vacations Cruise - featured artist
Olivia Vacations Cruise - featured artist

We chased all these things down.

We wanted a career in music, we wanted to inspire and excite people to rally the best in themselves.

Then we got something we didn't chase.

We started tending to old, sick and wounded stray and feral cats. One after the other.

Weird, right?

They just began prowling around our house.  They'd show up on our doorstep looking like a godawful mess.  Mange, infested with fleas, one had a broken leg, another was skin and bones, another had an eye sealed shut with dried blood.  Brutal stuff.  And all of them were un-neutered/un-spayed.

(Why the cats began showing up is another story.  Remind us to tell you that one someday.)

Song
Song

We couldn't bring ourselves to ignore them or take them to a shelter, when we knew damn well they’d just be killed there.  We learned that adoption groups don't take old and wounded cats.  And anyway, these groups were buckling under their existing loads already.

We felt we had to do our part, so we gutted it out and tried our best to simply do what was right: help them as best we could.  And we did it pretty damn well.  Got 'em healthy, adopted out, or took them on ourselves until they passed away.

We learned a ton – and we mean a ton – that has empowered us to better our lives in ultra-practical ways.

We learned!

  • about the medical industry – how it works, and doesn’t work
  • about how to give shots and subcutaneous fluids
  • about how to treat and heal conditions using holistic methods
  • about how much food, and the food industry, impacts health and disease

Coming to all those realizations was priceless.  And over the long haul, it’s transformed our lives in an incredible way for the better!

But let us tell you: that information was hard-earned.

We were gigging multiple times a week, getting home at 2 a.m. to unload the whole sound system and music equipment, give shots, give fluids, give pills, clean crap and diarrhea, clean vomit, and pray everyone would feel better.  (We ended up personally caring for, funding, and/or finding homes for over 21 cats.)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dantaylor/158914552/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dantaylor/158914552/

We crashed and burned.

Our bodies and spirits collapsed.

Siena got pneumonia three times in one year.  She had to crawl on the ground to the bathroom and was peeing blood at one point.  Toast got sick, too, but worse, checked out emotionally and spiritually. 'Just think positive' became just pure B.S. to her.  The toxic cynicism drained any real spark out of our lives.

Under the stress and pressure of carving a music career from nothing out of this urban monolith, far from our island hometowns, with no family to lean on…our creativity and our fire…just went out.

It died, and we died, too, in a way.

We had great fans who kept asking about our music and asking for new music.

But we just didn’t have it in us to give anymore.

So we stopped.

Five years went by with no gigs or songs or recordings.

Then we slowly started getting “it” back.

MUSICSiena & Toast