Lotus guitarist Mike Rempel will leave the band he cofounded in September, following the livetronica band’s performances at Garrettsville, OH’s Nelson Ledges Quarry Park from September 3-5. He will be replaced by Tim Palmieri, who is best known for his work with The Breakfast and Kung Fu. After experiencing the global pandemic, Rempel decided to leave the band to focus on a new career in the health and wellness fields.
A note from the band reads:
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.”
Luke, Jesse, Chuck, Mike Greenfield, and the rest of the Lotus team wish nothing but the best for Mike Rempel moving forward, and we can’t wait to celebrate him at the 2021 edition of Summerdance. We hope to see you there!
Rempel cofounded Lotus at Goshen College in 1998, alongside Luke Miller, Joel Jimenez, Andy Parada and Steve Clemens. The following year Miller’s brother Jesse joined the young outfit and, over time, Jimenez, Parada and, eventually, Clemens left the project. For many years, Lotus’ lineup has consisted of the Millers, Rempel, Chuck Morris and Mike Greenfield. In the band’s early years, Rempel also wrote a number of songs for the band.
In a statement, Rempel explains:
It is with both excitement and sadness that I am announcing my departure from Lotus. My final performances with the band will take place at the Summerdance Festival in Ohio on Labor Day Weekend.
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.
I want to offer my eternal thanks to my bandmates Luke and Jesse Miller, Chuck Morris, and Mike Greenfield for your badass musical talent, your commitment, and your hard work over all these years. The magic of our collective voice is permanently etched into my soul, and I will miss making music with you guys. So much. I also want to shout out to Steve Clemens, Joel Jimenez, and Andy Parada who were part of the Lotus origin story. I’d like to send huge thanks to the wonderful Lotus crew – Scott Huston, Evan Bates, Padraic McQuillan, Sean Garahan, Matt Almond, Laser, and Marty Cox for being dear friends and making it easy for the Lotus vibes to flow, night after night. Thanks also to everyone at Opus One Productions and Madison House for making all of this possible. Lastly, I offer the incredibly talented Tim Palmieri my best wishes. To be followed by such an adept guitar player is an honor and I wish this next incarnation of Lotus my sincerest blessing. May the musical gods continue to bless you and I look forward to witnessing your ongoing success.
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!
Lotus will perform at the Disco Biscuits’ City Bisco on July 9 and 10. This year’s installment will take place at Philadelphia’s The Mann.