Canadian Musician Pat Gillett Opens Up About Personal Struggles
Canadian musician Pat Gillett, formerly of Down With Webster and Honors, took to Instagram on Friday for the first time since last October to share a very personal story.
“Unfortunately, but for reasons you may understand, I took a step back from the entertainment industry at large,” Gillett explained.
The 34-year-old said his father Michael lost his battle with lung cancer in February. He was 64.
Gillett said his father’s death was the culmination of several years of challenges for he and his sister Lauren Clarke. “Not just the caregiving and loss of a loved one,” he explained, “but the truth is my father struggled financially in business most of my life.”
During the peak years of Down With Webster, Gillett barely saw his father but made sure he had a cell phone and internet access, as well as cash for rent and groceries.
“He wound up homeless on the streets of Toronto in his 60s and was finally set up with subsidized housing from a shelter when he got his diagnosis,” Gillett said. While touring with Honors last year, he received regular updates about his father’s condition from Clarke.
“All my energy went into playing shows for strangers,” Gillett recalled. When time came to plan a tour this year, he decided he couldn’t “in good conscience leave my dad in the city, in the housing projects they put him in.”
Gillett admitted: “In the process of making sure my dad spent his final months in dignity I lost some of my own. I sold my sole (sic) to work outside of music, my relationship with my girlfriend fell apart and I flushed 4 years of sobriety down the drain.”
Gillett promised to release some music this summer and said he is collaborating with some young Toronto artists. As for Down With Webster and Honors?
“I love all my band mates past and present and wish them all the success in the world,” he wrote. “Who knows? If the stars align maybe there will be a DWW reunion and I believe we may have a few more Honors tracks in the vault.
“But right now they have to follow their creativity and I mine.”
In his message on Instagram, Gillett praised the Canadian health care system and explained why he is reluctant to go to the U.S. He also thanked fans, labels and crew members “for years of dedication and paving the way for a working class kid from Main and Gerrard to live a life beyond my teenage imagination.”
Formed in 1998, Down With Webster released four studio albums between 2007 and 2014 and earned six Juno nominations. They announced a hiatus in a Facebook post in June 2017. Gillett and bandmates Tyler Armes, Camm Hunter and Marty Martino formed Honors.
Listen to music from Down With Webster