The Reformation Era: Five Bands That Will Never Reform
Is there any band out there that is not set to reform? In the latest Reformation news, the news that the line-up responsible for Guided By Voices stellar 1993-1996 period is about to reform and tour for the Matador Records 21st birthday party in Las Vegas, leaves us wondering – are all bands eventually going to kiss and make up, tour endlessly and become a cartoon copy of something that was once great (Hello, Pixies)? Click through for five bands that will probably buck the trend and never reform.
Talking Heads - After creating some of the most positively urgent sounding music ever committed to record, it’s no surprise that the band broke up amid extreme acrimony. Apparently by the time of 1988’s swansong release Naked, David Byrne was sneaking into the studio in the middle of the night to delete Tina Weymouth’s bass parts and re-record them himself. By the early nineties, Weymouth was denouncing Byrne as ‘incapable of returning friendship’, ‘a vampire’ and even ‘a murderer’. They did briefly reunite at their Hall Of Fame induction but the uncomfortableness was palpable.
The Smiths - Despite being offered a reported $5 million to get back together, the likelihood of Manchester’s chief miserablists in a room together, making music, in unlikely to say the least. After a 1997 court case where drummer Mike Joyce successfully sued Morrissey and Marr for unpaid royalties, the judge denounced the flamboyant star as “devious, truculent and unreliable”. It took him seven years to recover. Johnny Marr now spends his time as guitarist for hire for any indie band looking for instant cred. And a full Smiths reunion is about as likely as a half-decent Morrissey solo album.
Hüsker Dü – Heroin addiction! Closeted homosexuality! Premature balding! The Minneapolis hardcore heroes had plenty of reasons to fall out with each other and time has not proved to be a healer as Bob Mould and Grant Hart remain at loggerheads over (what else?) royalty disputes. Hart recently released an ignored solo album while Mould is still performing solo but has never reached the heights of his early years, either with Hüsker Dü or his equally amazing follow up act, Sugar. Still, it would be pretty awesome to hear New Day Rising live in its entirety…or Zen Arcade…or Flip Your Wig…or Metal Circus…
Cocteau Twins – In 2005, Scottish proto-shoegazers Cocteau Twins were announced as one of the headliners for Coachella. After their reputation skyrocketing since their demise, it proved to be merely a tease as Liz Fraser and Robin Guthrie completely failed to sort their differences out and the reunion was a non-runner before it even started. But with shoegazing no longer a dirty word, interest and rumor surrounding the band is simply not going to go away. However, aside from her cameos with Massive Attack, the wonderfully indistinct Fraser no longer makes any live appearances while the other two run the fabulous Bella Union records, home to the Dirty Three, Wavves and a plethora of awesome bands.
At The Drive-In – Being blessed with magnificent hair was not enough for these Texan legends who zipped through a series of tremendous EPs and albums before splitting in 2001 due to musical differences, drug use, the usual. Since then, the spin-off group Mars Volta have been considerably more successful despite being absolutely dreadful; yet their success does not bode well for a return to the halcyon days of the one-armed scissor.