Lotus guitar player Mike Rempel has announced his departure from the band after 23 years. Rempel’s last performance with the livetronica pioneers will take place at the band’s annual Summerdance festival at Garrettsville, OH’s Nelson’s Ledges Quarry Park September 3rd–5th. After that, Tim Palmieri (Kung Fu) will take over.
Beyond his exodus from Lotus, Rempel will also step away from live music as a whole. Following his final shows with Lotus, Rempel will pursue a new career path in “personal coaching, authentic relating groups, guided meditations, and mindfulness education.” The artist noted that, while he had been exploring these interests for a number of years, they were further intensified by the pandemic’s effect on live music.
Rempel posted a lengthy statement on his website reading, in part,
No words can adequately capture the immensity of gratitude and satisfaction that this musical project of nearly 23 years has brought to my life. At age 18, with a dreamy obsession for improvisational music, I started this band with Luke when we were just freshmen in college. I left college after only a few months with Martin Sexton’s song Glory Bound as my personal anthem: ain’t nothin’ but a pipe dream and my guitar. My commitment to pursuing music was crystal clear.
My experience in Lotus over all these years has been filled with joy, frustration, ecstasy, anger, exhilaration, loneliness, friendship, weariness, adventure, confusion, insecurity, growth, empowerment, pleasure, heartbreak, and above all, Love. It was my foundational commitment throughout these years to simply express Love through my guitar, and I oriented my life on tour around optimizing that potential each and every night. To all of you fans, over all of these years, I offer you my most reverent gratitude. You made my job easy: thank you for dancing and smiling and inspiring my heart’s song. You are so beautiful to me!
While the pandemic was a challenging upheaval for so many people, for me it opened the door to new possibilities and a quieter lifestyle that I had been longing for. My nervous system enjoyed a much needed break. It also afforded me the opportunity to start building a new career for myself in the areas of mindfulness, authentic relating work, and human growth and development. These are areas I’ve been studying and training in over several years between tours. Thus, last year it became clear to me that my love for humanity and my desire to contribute to the evolution of a healthy culture is taking me in a very different direction. I don’t want to live the “rock n’ roll lifestyle” any longer: it is no longer a true fit for the man I am becoming.
I’m excited to let you know that I am continuing to produce my own music, although it will be secondary–for the time being, anyway– to the transformational work I’ve been offering over the last year which includes personal coaching, authentic relating groups, guided meditations, and mindfulness education. I have paused the meditation and group offerings this Summer as I close out this final chapter with Lotus, and plan to resume these projects in October…
If I’ve calculated correctly, I have 11 sets remaining in my career with Lotus, and I have every intention of making them count. I hope to see you there!
In response, Lotus wrote,
After over 20 years, guitarist Mike Rempel is stepping away from a live music career. Mike’s melodic and emotive playing helped shape the sound of Lotus and has influenced many guitarists in the live-electronic-jam scene. Summerdance will be Mike’s last performance with Lotus.Join us September 3-5, in Garrettsville, OH, to help us celebrate his musical contributions.
From touring in unreliable vans as scrappy college upstarts in Goshen, Indiana to traveling the world as seasoned veterans, headlining festivals, and playing iconic venues like Red Rocks, Mike’s journey with Lotus has been long and rewarding. And yet, we know that the life of a touring musician requires many sacrifices. We understand Mike’s decision to leave it behind. It is with the utmost respect for Mike and his long commitment to the band that we part ways as musical collaborators while our friendship and mutual admiration endures.
Lotus is honored to welcome Tim Palmieri as lead guitarist following Mike’s departure. After many months of uncertainty, we are excited to get back on stage to renew the collective energy that can only be experienced at live shows and to launch a new chapter for Lotus.