“Creative differences.” Wanting to “explore new musical pastures.” When bands breakup, it’s typically announced to the world with a cliché-ridden statement hastily stuck up on their website. Which is why it’s important to salute the bands out there that decide say goodbye with a bang. Sacramento noise-mongers Death Grips sparked speculation this week after failing to appear at their planned Lollapalooza show, instead projecting a suicide note-like statement onto the stage accompanied by a barrage of feedback, that this was the trio announcing their demise. But which other acts have bowed out in similarly unexpected fashion?
My Chemical Romance
The New Jersey group ended their 12-year tenure earlier this year with a 2200-word missive from singer Gerard Way posted on Twitter, entitled ‘A Vigil, On Birds and Glass.’ “I woke up this morning still dreaming, or not fully aware of myself just yet. The sun poked through the windows, touching my face, and then a deep sadness overcame me, immediately, bringing me to life and realization – My Chemical Romance had ended,” wrote Way with one eye on the Nobel prize for literature, describing “a strange anxiety jetting through me that I can only imagine is the sixth sense one feels before their last moments alive.”
Ellery Roberts posted a cryptic, existential letter announcing he was leaving the Manchester experimentalists last year on YouTube, alongside the band’s final recorded output, ‘T R I U M P H’. “I am done,” he wrote in the first of two notes. “There is nothing here that inspires/interests me beyond the emptiness for dreams and I don’t want to spend my life asleep… There’s blood running down streets of every city in the world, what’s a song to do, pretend it mean everything/nothing to you.” The only problem? Roberts hadn’t thought to tell his band mates about any of it. “I don’t know why he had to do it like that,” perplexed drummer Joe Manning told NME soon after.
The Mars Volta
“I tried my hardest to keep it going,” tweeted Mars Volta singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala earlier this year, sick of long-term collaborator Omar Rodríguez-Lopez’s side-projects derailing the band’s tour plans. “What am I supposed to do, be some progressive house wife that’s cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands?”
Noel Gallagher called time on Oasis in August 2009, citing an “intolerable” level of “verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades”. He was, of course, referring to brother Liam, with whom his relationship had become increasingly strained, leading to the last-minute cancellation of a Paris show, after which the band split. Management pointed to an “altercation within the group,” later revealed to be caused by Liam throwing a plum at guitarist Noel backstage.
The Beautiful South
“We have split up because of musical similarities,” winked the Hull group in 2007, announcing their split. Touché.