Rascal Flatts announced in January that 2020 would be the group's last year together after 20 years as a band, and the trio initially planned on a farewell tour along with a new EP. They still released the EP, along with a greatest hits album, but the tour was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to PopCulture.com and other media last month, the trio reflected on their decision to take a break after 20 years, sharing that they all felt that they were at a good stopping point.
"We were planning our 2020 at this point in time, and it was probably this time a year ago," Jay DeMarcus recalled. "And we started to talk about what we had left and what we wanted to do, and our record deal was coming up and to be renewed or not to be renewed with Big Machine at the time. And we said, 'Do we want to sign another record deal? Do we want to sign another touring deal with Live Nation?' And I think the more we got into it, we started to look at each other and go, 'This has been a wonderful 20 years. Why don't we at this point in our career, take some time that I feel like we all want and deserve to celebrate with our friends and our family next year, really blow it out.'"
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DeMarcus added that he and bandmates Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney also wanted to "take some time to lay this down for a while to pursue some of our individual desires and some of the things that we want to do before we're too old to do it."
"Twenty years in a band together is a long, long time," he continued. "And I love the fact that we're able to look back and say that we still love and respect each other after 20 years. A lot of bands can't say that."
For DeMarcus, life sans Rascal Flatts means more time to devote to his Christian music-focused record label, Red Street Records, as well as his Netflix reality show, DeMarcus Family Rules. LeVox is recording a gospel record, and Rooney recently signed a new publishing deal and is working on music of his own.
Despite each member's new direction, DeMarcus noted that this isn't the end of Rascal Flatts. "I don't think we'll ever be one of those bands that go, 'That's it we're breaking up. You'll never see us again,'" he said. "I think it was in an effort for us to go, 'You know what? It's been a great 20-year run. Let's lay this down for a while, give ourselves some breathing room and some time to enjoy the fruits of our labor and do some other things we're passionate about.'"