For 10 years, they touched neither a guitar nor a microphone.
That's how long it took for Matt and Carol Frigm to heal the wounds of a music career that never went quite the way they'd hoped.
But the York County natives, married 21 years, recently resumed their love affair with music.
And, this time, they're doing it their way.
Matt Frigm was a kid who harmonized with the vacuum cleaner. As a teenager, his parents bought him a guitar, which he used to form a band with friends.
At a talent show in 1985, Frigm said, he was so nervous he "almost passed out."
"I think we failed the audition," he said with a laugh.
But Matt Frigm didn't give up.
A few years later, he met Carol while performing at a coffee shop in Dover, where the two grew up.
Carol Frigm said she's always been a singer. But, with her alto voice, "most people told me it was not feasible to do" as a career, she said.
Then came popular singers like Amy Grant and Karen Carpenter who brought lower female voices to the forefront of mainstream music.
Maybe it was possible, Carol thought.
For a few years after meeting in 1988, Matt and Carol remained friends. Then, in 1993, they married.
Music, which first brought them together, also motivated the couple to try hard for several years to make it big in the popular rock music scene of the 1990s.
Despite the talent of their band, they struggled financially. And, in hindsight, they "tried to be something that we weren't," Matt said.
Failure, Matt said, was "heartbreaking." By 1998, they'd given up.
"We never thought we'd pick up music again," Carol said.
The Frigms, who live just across the Susquehanna River in Columbia, raised their children and worked full-time jobs. Life, without music, went on.
And then, a few years ago, in the midst of a ballroom dance class, they told their teacher about their former lives in music.
The teacher insisted he hear a recording. Then, he wanted to see them play live.
They reluctantly agreed.
"One day I was ready," Matt said. "I think we cried when we played."
Since that day, Matt and Carol Frigm have re-committed to music. And they've decided not to make the mistakes of their younger years.
Today, they perform together as SweetLife.
"We don't play songs just because that's what everybody is playing," Carol said.
Now, the music "has more of a purpose than it ever did," Matt said. "We've got a lot more doors open to us in the last four years."
Their strategy for writing music is simple: If it doesn't make you laugh or cry or "feel something," the song is no good.
They've been performing regularly at private events, wineries and weddings in and around York County.
The couple will perform Saturday, June 14 on Continental Square in York City as part of Downtown Inc's Second Saturday monthly events. SweetLife will start playing at 1 p.m.
More information about the musical duo, including tour dates, is available at www.sweetlifemusic.com.