There are so many bands that broke up way long ago and have yet to return. One of the most sought after reunions is for Sean Patrick Morrissey and Johnny Marr to put The Smiths back together. The band formed in 1982 but sadly broke up in 1987 when Johnny Marr wanted to expand upon his musical ventures. The Smiths though released four of the most influential and essential albums in music history (The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead, Meat Is Murder and Strangeways, Here We Come). Their songs had parts post-punk, dance pop, and a tinge of shoegaze. Lyrically, Morrissey was a wordsmith. His knack for writing depressing but subliminally humorous songs was quite striking. Johnny Marr’s style of guitar playing is beyond influential as well. His use of space and atmosphere in the songs and albums was the perfect compliment to Morrissey’s voice.
If you look at the bands that came after The Smiths, you can really hear the influence they had. The “Brit-Pop” movement of the early/mid 90’s with Oasis, The Stone Roses, Blur and others, owe a lot to The Smiths, even if those bands were more commercial. It’s amazing to see how impact The Smiths still have. People flock to see Morrissey live when he comes to town. Johnny Marr is quite the sought after songwriter and player for many bands. He did a stint with Modest Mouse not too long ago.
I truly hope that Morrissey and Johnny Marr can get past whatever issues they have and reunite for the fans. Yes, those two guys will make boat loads of money, but for many of their fans it will be the first time they will get to see them live. If Axl and Slash can get over their issues, they can too.
The Queen Is Dead:
Meat Is Murder:
Strangeways, Here We Come:
How Soon Is Now?:
I wrote a piece a while back about A Perfect Circle needing to come back. Well it seems like it is actually going to happen. During a recent stop along Maynard’s book tour in Los Angeles, A Perfect Circle guitarist was the moderator at this stop, and they both said that the band was going to get back together. Billy and Maynard both said they had been working on new music. Billy said that he has about 75% of an album completed musically. They also announced that they would be playing a show at the Hollywood Bowl, May 7, 2017.
This is very exciting news, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for a new Tool album any time soon. I don’t know about you all, but, I sure was getting tired of all the Puscifer releases.
There is one caveat I have about them getting back together and that is coming back with the right lineup. They people that replaced Josh Freese, Troy Van Leeuwen, Danny Lohner and Paz Lenchantin, are solid musicians but, they really don’t fit in the band. Let’s hope Josh and Danny come back with this reunion.
Welcome back A Perfect Circle!
Mer De Noms:
The Thirteenth Step:
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Zach De La Rocha, get back in front of the microphone with Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford. Knock off this Prophets of Rage junk, and do the right thing.
The world really needs Rage Against The Machine now more than ever.
Rage Against The Machine- Live at Woodstock 99:
Rage Against The Machine- Live at Grand Olympic Auditorium:
If there is one band that really should come back around and release a new album it’s A Perfect Circle. It’s been over thirteen years since they released an album of new material. Maynard has kept busy over the years with Puscifer, which is interesting and another outlet for him, but the fact that there are more Puscifer albums than A Perfect Circle albums, it’s just not right. A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel has said that “there are fully developed songs without lyrics and melody…as far as the music end goes, I’ve got 75% of the foundation of [the next] A Perfect Circle record ready to go.” And that he is just waiting on Maynard. In March of 2016 Maynard was quoted as saying “I still hope to make and release new music with the band.” Well then get on it. It’s been over ten years since there was a new Tool record, and thirteen since there was a new APC record. I get the need and want to go off and do different things, explore new musical avenues, but what I don’t get is how you can just leave a band like A Perfect Circle behind. I still remember the day that Mer De Noms came out. I was so excited and pumped to own that album and I listened to it so much I had to get another copy. Then when The Thirteenth Step came out, it elevated their game so much more, and became one of those albums that you just can’t get enough of.
Enough with the wait. It’s time to get Maynard in a room with Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Paz Lenchantin, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Danny Lohner and make a great new album. The world needs a new album from A Perfect Circle, it’s been too long!
Through many heavy music circles there are certain bands that when they are brought up, people get really excited. Amongst a few friends of mine, when we are talking about heavy bands, Botch always seems to be brought up. Botch was one of those bands that were pioneers of what is commonly referred to as “mathcore,” due to their off time rhythms, and complex intricacies. Throughout their short but very influential career, Botch managed to release two very acclaimed albums, American Nervoso, and We Are The Romans, along with a few EP’s and splits. Their live shows are still notorious for being a bit of a free for all of aggression and intensity, just like fellow mathcore pioneers The Dillinger Escape Plan, whom they have shared the stage with many times. Botch officially decided to break up the band in February 2002 and performed their final show on June 15, 2002 in their home of Seattle. Tensions were growing within the band amongst its members and the direction of how the band should go, thus leading to the break up. Over the years when asked vocalist Dave Verellen has said, “I’d be first in line to keep this goddamn band together.” Other members like guitarist Dave Knudsen, who would go on to form Minus The Bear, has said “I could totally see doing anything with any of those people that’s not Botch but something else that’s creative and fun… and maybe more aggressive.” Though in 2014 bassist Brian Cook, now of Russian Circles was quoted as saying that he would never reunite the band, but in another 2014 interview, he revealed that the other members of Botch felt like the band ended too early and that they had been urging him to stop saying the word “never” in regards to a possible reunion. So hopefully in the next year or so we can get a Botch reunion. With The Dillinger Escape Plan taking a lengthy hiatus after they finish touring on their new album Dissociation, Botch can come back and carry the flag for the style they helped to pioneer.
Band Members and Bands They Are In Now
Dave Verellen (Vocals)- Narrows
Dave Knudsen (Guitar)- Minus The Bear
Brian Cook (Bass)- Russian Circles, Sumac
Tim Lantona (Drums)- N/A
We Are The Romans:
This one is actually happening before I had the chance to do a full piece on it. I’d say it’s about time this happened. If Axl and Slash can set their differences aside and get back out on the road so can Danzig and Jerry Only. The fans have been wanting this for years now, and hopefully after these festival shows there will be a tour. I saw the Misfits years ago with Michael Graves singing, who did a good job, but it wasn’t the band that I enjoyed listening to. I’ve seen Danzig as well, and when he would do his Misfits set, it was quite enjoyable but there was something missing. Well here’s to hoping this goes well so we can see it all one more time before they hang it up.
Back in 1998 while I was waiting for a new Nine Inch Nails record, an album was released by Stabbing Westward that would hold my attention for years to come. Darkest Days is the album I’m talking about. Stabbing Westward took their industrial influences a few steps further on this album without sacrificing their knack for writing catchy melodic songs. Singer Chris Hall’s anguish, pain and suffering all show through in his vocal performance. Something I found interesting about the album is that it’s actually a concept record. It’s made up of 4 parts, with each depicting a different emotional phase after a break up. The Tracks 1-4 is about sabotaging the relationship. Tracks 5-9 is about lust, hope, and longing. Tracks 10-12 is about hitting rock bottom after it’s all over. The final part is about recovery and self-respect. When I found that out a few years back, the album made a lot more sense to me. I’m sure most of you will remember the song “Save Yourself,” as it was the first single released for the album. But there is way more to the album than just that song. Songs like ” Everything I Touch,” “Drugstore,” “You Complete Me,” “Haunting Me,” “When I’m Dead,” “Torn Apart,” and “On Your Way Down” are absolute standouts. That’s not to say that the other songs aren’t as good, these ones just always seemed to have a lasting effect on me.
Stabbing Westward called it quits in the early 2000’s. Chris Hall went on to start the band The Dreaming. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them a few times over the years, and he is still one hell of a singer and frontman. During the early years of The Dreaming it wouldn’t be shocking to hear them play a couple Stabbing Westward songs live. It was announced recently that Stabbing Westward will be reuniting for a show to celebrate their 30th anniversary, but in Chicago. Let’s hope it goes well, so we can get a full on reunion tour!!!
Stabbing Westward- Darkest Days: