Since the year 2000, rock ‘n’ roll has lost a hell of a lot of bands, with some totally legendary acts taking a one-way ticket to Splitsville.
Our top pick of the 30 bands who’ve broken up since the millennium starts with the mighty Oasis, who parted ways in 2009 due to continued bickering between the Gallagher brothers.
My Chemical Romance called time on their career in 2013. “It wasn’t an easy thing to come to,” said frontman Gerard Way. “It was sad, because it wasn’t a situation where anybody hated each other. It was nobody’s fault.” Gerard’s now doing pretty well for himself as a solo artist, releasing his debut one-man LP last year.
Legendary Britpoppers The Verve split up two times in the 1990s and decided to break their fans hearts for a third time following their 2007 reunion and a spectacular 2008 Glastonbury headline slot, with frontman Richard Ashcroft telling everyone the band was “over for good” in 2010.
After more than 30 years in the game, REM split in 2011. Despite saying he wouldn’t embark on a solo career, frontman Michael Stipe played a surprise set opening for Patti Smith at the end of 2014 in New York, covering Perfume Genius, as well as playing a number of REM rarities.
Post-hardcore kids wept into their hoodies when El Paso’s At The Drive-In announced plans to break up in 2001. They reunited in 2012 for a run of festivals in the US and in the UK, but there are no plans for the band to ever play together again. Sad times.
Liam Gallagher announced the end of Beady Eye via Twitter in October 2014. “Liam had been pretty quiet for a while, and them he just let us know that his heart wasn’t really in it any more,” said guitarist Andy Bell following the break-up. Andy’s now gearing up for the reunion of his former band Ride.
The White Stripes aka Jack and Meg parted ways in 2011, citing a “myriad” of reasons, including Meg’s anxiety when it came to performing live. Meg’s now living the quiet life, while Jack’s redefining the record label with Third Man and cranking out a fantastic solo catalogue.
Drum’n’bass heavyweights Pendulum broke up in 2012, with Rob Swire of the group commenting: “Pendulum towards the end sort of felt like we were doing it because we had to and that’s never a fun way to do music.”
One of the finest girl groups of all time, Destiny’s Child parted ways in 2005. Beyonce went on to become a super-mega-star and the others, um, didn’t. Beyonce was joined by her former band members during her 2013 Super Bowl performance, but the group have never announced an official reunion.
After 27 years of experimental rocking, Sonic Youth ended things in 2011, after Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon – the married couple at the core of the band – announced their separation.
One of the most stylish and downright saucy groups of the 2000s, the Long Blondes sadly called it a day after songwriter and guitarist Dorian Cox suffered a stroke in 2008.
Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna’s feminist electro-pop crew stopped making sweet music together back in 2007. In the brilliant documentary The Punk Singer, we find out the reason was because of Kathleen’s struggle with Lyme Disease.
Million Dead, Frank Turner’s formative hardcore band, came to a sticky end in 2005. “The last year of Million Dead was just murderous. Four people who want to kill each other, sat in a van driving around Europe,” said Frank about the split years later. Jolly.
Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler of At The Drive-In went on to form the progtastic Mars Volta after the split of their previous band. Sadly, The Mars Volta went the same way, but the two will be playing shows this year with their latest project Antemasque.
Brutal electronica duo Crystal Castles announced their break-up in October 2014. “”I am leaving Crystal Castles. My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC,” wrote singer Alice Glass.
The Jenny Lewis fronted gang Rilo Kiley broke up in 2011, and it wasn’t pretty. Guitarist Blake Sennett said the reasons for the split were “deception, disloyalty, greed”. Blimey.
Leeds lads The Music split in 2011 after 10 years together and three great albums: 2002’s self-titled debut, 2004’s ‘Welcome To The North’ and 2008’s ‘Strength In Numbers’.
Shouty new wave punks The Rakes ended things in 2009, cancelling a US and UK tour. “The Rakes always been very adamant and proud of the fact that we give 100 per cent to every gig we’ve ever played,” said a statement. “After much deliberation we have come to the shared conclusion that we can’t give it 100 per cent any more and regret to announce that The Rakes are calling it a day.”
Miles Kane’s first band The Rascals parted ways in 2009, leaving Alex Turner’s bezzie mate to set out on his solo career and work on the pair’s matching pleather trousered looks.
Teenage car crash punks Be Your Own Pet split in 2008. Since then frontwoman Jemina Pearl has released a solo album, while John Eatherly now heads up New York’s Public Access TV.
Thamesbeat tykes Larrikin Love quit the scene in 2007, and fellow Londoner Jamie T dedicated a song to them at one of his gigs when their split was announced. Guitar player Micko went on to play with Courtney Love.
After missing two booked shows at 2007’s Camden Crawl, The Cooper Temple Clause explained that they were breaking up. ““Friendships are well and truly intact and the love very much remains within the camp,” said band member Daniel Fisher at the time.
The hugely underrated Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy and Micah Calabrese went their separate ways in 2006. However, Annie has carried on making music under the Giant Drag name, releasing her last album in 2013.
One of Dev Hynes’ many former incarnations, Test Icicles were a rowdy, beautiful flash in the pan on the edges of new rave. They called time in 2006, but Dev went on to make music as Lightspeed Champion and then Blood Orange, collaborating with everyone from Solange to Sky Ferreira on the way.
Welsh post-hardcore group The Blackout split in December 2014. “Unfortunately we have come to the conclusion we are unable to sustain this band anymore, and we feel the time is right to bring it to a close,” said a statement. “This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make as a band, and although we do it with heavy hearts, we also do with our heads held high.”
James Murphy’s dance-titans heralded their split with a huge LCD Soundsystem show at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2011. The show was recorded and released on DVD, so you can sob your eyes out over and over again in the privacy of your own home.
Brody Dalle’s Aussie punks split in an acrimonious fashion in 2007. “I felt like in The Distillers it just creatively came to an end, nobody was feeling it anymore,” she later said.
Now knows as a mellifluously voiced BBC 6 Music presenter, Cerys Matthews headed up Welsh rockers Catatonia until 2001, eventually splitting because of Cerys’ battles with anxiety.
Stoner rockers The Black Crowes hadn’t released an album since 2008 but only announced things were over this year. “The Black Crowes don’t write songs anymore. They don’t think of the present or the future,” said frontman Chris Robinson, suggesting a certain animosity behind the break-up. “I like making albums and playing concerts. I was sitting on two EPs’ worth of written songs.”
The Postal Service
Every cardigan wearing dude’s favourite emo-electro purveyors released their acclaimed debut in 2003 and then did bugger all for 10 years, before playing a run of festival gigs in 2013 with Jenny Lewis on board. They then split for good.