There comes a time in nearly every band’s career when they face the prospect of falling out of the limelight and fading into obscurity and irrelevance. Sometimes they’ll jump before they’re pushed, splitting up rather than trying to keep going. Often they’ll just go quietly on until everyone but their biggest fans have forgotten they’re still together, only to surprise us all 12 years later with the announcement of a new album or tour and causing you to Google just what it is they’ve been doing all this time.
‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’, ‘Sing’, ‘Turn’, ‘Driftwood’ – all massive songs in the late ’90s and early noughties. But what happened to Travis after those glory days were done and dusted? Out of the spotlight, it was easy to envision them going their separate ways and finding new careers (or just living off the royalties forever). Except they didn’t do any of that – they kept it together, kept pumping out the albums and are still going strong to this day. So strong, in fact, they released an album earlier this year in ‘Everything At Once’, which charted at Number Five. Who knew.
The Dandy Warhols
The Dandy Warhols are a classic example of being propelled into the spotlight by being featured on TV show soundtracks. Their inescapable single ‘Bohemian Like You’ was on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, while follow-up We Used To Be Friends had a spot on The OC and was the theme song on Veronica Mars. Their cult following has got ever more cult since, but there’s clearly still some demand for their music – they put out their ninth album ‘Distortland’ earlier this year on Dine Alone Records, also home to Marilyn Manson, DZ Deathrays and The Lumineers.
By God did Toploader milk ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’. Fair play because obviously it’s one of the best songs to dance to when all you’ve got to listen to is the very cheesiest music, but perhaps the fact that they never topped that track – which is actually a cover – or even came close to doing so, is what makes it so easy to presume they broke up long ago. But no! Out there, somewhere, is an army of Toploader fans who have helped the group surpass their target on crowdfunding site PledgeMusic and, as such, will be instrumental in a fresh record being released at some point in the near future. Will it contain anything as good as ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’? Maybe they’ll surprise us.
With all of Dereck Whibley’s problems over the last few years (he suffered liver and kidney failure from excessive drinking), you’d be forgiven for thinking the pop-punk band must have called it a day. But in just a couple of weeks Sum 41 will release their new album ’13 Voices’, hoping to prove the old cliché of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger completely right.
These indie also-rans never reached the peaks that some of their peers did – none of their albums made it into the top 20, they never ascended to arenas or topping massive festivals – and, yet, they are still going. Long after you thought The Rifles had ceased to exist, here they still are, fifth album ‘Big Life’ released last month and a UK tour on the cards for October. By the looks of their Twitter picture, one of them is still wearing the same old hat he always used to. Clearly, The Rifles are for people who don’t like change, by people who don’t like change.
Birmingham baggy indie five-piece The Twang were, at one point, genuinely quite a big deal. We put them on the cover of the magazine in 2007 and handed them the Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards the same year. Their debut album ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’ charted at Number Three. Since then, it’s all been downhill, chart positions getting steadily lower and members leaving (or being sacked in the case of original drummer Matty Clinton). Instead of throw in the towel, though, they’ve kept going. Their fourth album ‘NEONTWANG’ came out in 2014 and now they seem content existing in some weird kind of laddish nostalgia circle, playing with the likes of Reverend & The Makers and Ocean Colour Scene.
The Ting Tings
Not only are the creators of one of the world’s most annoying songs (‘That’s Not My Name’, duh) still going, but they’re also still big enough in some circles to headline festivals. Literally just yesterday (September 25) the Salford duo topped the bill at Granada Sound in Spain. Madness. They also look like they’re gearing up to release a new album, probably next year, if their updates on Twitter are anything to go by. The world is waiting with baited breath, obviously.
And you thought the Detroit band were just noughties one hit wonders. ‘Gay Bar’ may still be their most famous song, but they’ve far from called it quits since then. No, instead they’ve released 11 albums since 2003’s ‘Fire’ and are another band who are asking fans to fund their next release. So far they’ve raised $24,0065 (correct at the time of writing) of their $30,000 goal, so there’s clearly still some interest in the group.