By 2004 Rod was keen to have a break from the band. While his break would be temporary, his replacement Mike (Spike) Avery would become a permanent member of the band. The circumstances that lead to Spike joining the band were again a strange mix of tragedy and providence. We were about to head off on a big tour up the coast of NSW. On the morning we were meant to leave, Rod rang me and said his mother-in-law had just died and that, naturally, he would have to stay with his wife Angela. I calmly communicated my condolences, said we would be OK, and then rang up Jayden in a panic. Jayden said he would call a friend of his, Spike, to see if he could fill in. Now keep in mind that this was only hours before we were scheduled to leave. It turned out that the day before Spike had prayed for God to provide for some bills he had to pay. The amount he needed was the exact amount that Jayden told him he would receive for the tour.
He took this as a sign and had to literally run to his car to get home, pack, and get to the airport, where I met him smiling ear to ear. He gave me a hug and then asked if I had any CDs so he could learn the songs for that night. This was not the first time we had added a member like this. A year or so before we had pulled in, at the last minute, Rod Wilson, a drummer-percussionist who had gone through the Victoria College of the Arts with Rod Gear, to play percussion for us at a big concert in Melbourne. Rod was hearing the songs for the first time while he was playing them on stage. When Richard decided to quit touring so that he could focus on developing his recording studio, Rod Wilson stepped in as our drummer. By 2004 we were finally able to afford to tour as a band again.
Three became four with the addition of Rod Wilson. When Spike joined the band to replace Rod Gear for that tour in NSW it seemed like a good opportunity for Rod to take his break.