Citing COVID Concerns, Portland Guitarist Chuck Warda Departs Talking Heads Tribute Band

Warda gave his farewell performance with Life During Wartime on July 21.

Same as it ever was? Not so much. Portland guitarist Chuck Warda has announced he has departed the Talking Heads tribute band Life During Wartime. A press release stated he left due to creative differences and because of his refusal to perform indoors during COVID-19 outbreaks.

“I met the love of my life though this band, so I’ll always be grateful for that,” Warda said. “But it’s time for me to move on now and focus on the projects that really light me up. You can only contribute a certain amount of time and energy to a tribute band.”

Warda performed for the final time with Life During Wartime on July 21 at the Northwest String Summit in North Plains. An appearance at the Oregon Country Fair led to speculation that he might reunite with the group, but Warda reiterated that he was moving on.

Life During Wartime is perhaps best known for their passion for Jonathan Demme’s 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, the hyperkinetic fantasia that featured David Byrne running laps around the stage, wearing an oversized white suit and generally reveling in glorious musical madness. Life During Wartime grew from a desire to create a “mini-version” of the film, complete with props and costumes.

Post-Life During Wartime, Warda (a graduate of Hartford Music Conservatory) will work on a new project called Hamasha, for which he will play multi-instrumental live EDM. And he is still a member of many other bands, including Dirt Twirlers, Warda & Kilo, and Karaoke Kings.