Secret Guest isn't just a psychedelic rock band. It's a performance art band.
Andrei Mihailovic plays his guitar upside down, behind his back, with one hand and with another guitar, all while smoking a cigarette. Lead guy Brett Nash has stage dived at The Royal American into a crowd of maybe 40 people while still singing. Michael Milam's sweaty shirtless drumming has graced many a Tin Roof stage.
No matter how many people turn up to a show, you know Secret Guest is going to give it their all. That is something that has been a staple throughout the band's three years. Three years of hustling in the local music scene. Three years of mini-South Carolina and regional tours. Three years of supporting Charleston and touring acts alike at every possible opportunity.
Three years, during which the band weathered the departure of bassist Dorian Warneck as he moved out West, and three years during which guitarist Andrei Mihailovic has helped define a big piece of what Secret Guest is— just like Warneck did.
And now, the band has announced that Mihailovic is leaving and that a hiatus will be ensued immediately in his absence until the group can figure things out.
“After years in the rat race and many existential crises, Andrei has decided to ‘quit music,’” Secret Guest posted on Facebook. "These shows will be the last with him. If you’ve seen us, you understand that it’s hard to have Secret Guest without him, so after these shows, we’ll be taking a break to figure out where to go from here."
For those wishing to see the Secret Guest lineup as it is now, there will be two final shows that will coincide with a live album recording. These shows will take place over two nights, June 14 and 15, at The Royal American.
"After being told many times, 'Your albums are good, but the live show is where it’s really at!' we’ve decided to record a live album," the band posts.
Secret Guest will be joined by influential Columbia psychedelic outfit ET Anderson and "Bojangle pop" Charleston five-piece Del Sur on June 14 and then by double-drumming mind-expanding project Zack Mexico and Charlotte indie fuzz group Faye on June 15.
There are no Secret Guest shows scheduled between now and then.