Sunday Sesh: Breaking up Is Hard to Do

ITT: We discuss the ideal way for a band to call it quits.

By now, you’ve likely heard the news that cherished folk black metal band Agalloch have seemingly called it quits. Around 2:00 on Friday afternoon, John Haughm made the following announcement on Facebook.

That’s not particularly clear, though, a fact alluded to by fellow ambiguous break-uppers Altar of Plagues.

After a whole lot of speculation, Haughm took to Facebook again to make his intentions a little more clear.

All of this, while a little shady, is nowhere near as dramatic as Cynic’s breakup, a fact for which I am quite grateful. I used to really love Cynic but have had little desire to listen to them after the gigantic and embarrassingly public fingerpointing on Facebook. It seemed a childish end to a brilliant career.

Thankfully, most bands don’t go full personal nuclear meltdown across social media. In fact, many have the good grace to simply realize they’ve hit their creative zenith and go their separate ways without much fuss. Despite whatever King Buzzo thinks, I think a band bowing out on a high note is in fact the ideal way to bring a storied musical career to its terminus, and I’m glad Isis left us on the high note of Wavering Radiant.

Still, there are other ways for things. to end. Your band can simply fade into obscurity. They can go on indefinite hiatus and just never reform. Or, they can realize they’ve lost their most visionary member and decide carrying on would be a travesty.

So, now it’s your turn to weigh in? What do you think the future holds for Agalloch? Do you like the way Haughm made the announcement? How do you think bands should call it quits? Does it even matter what we as the fans think? Sound off in the comments below.

 

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Published on: May 15, 2016

Filled Under: News, Open Swim

Views: 1273

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  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    Tell everyone that one of the band members has gone insane and been sent to a psychiatric hospital.

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      How many has that happened to? Silencer and !T.O.O.H.! I think but can’t call to mind any more.

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        Blasphemy did that but it wasn’t a breakup.

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        Alternatively, have the Republican party force your band to stop existing.

      • Count_Breznak

        !T.O.O.H.!’s last album has that effect on people.

        • BobLoblaw

          I enjoyed immensely.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Seems to me that the Agalloch messages could cover anything from the most gentlemanly, reasonable split to horrid personal ructions. It would be nice if it were outright positive (insofar as outright positivity is ever a thing in a band break-up) but as it stands I think its a reasonably classy way to go out. Straightforward, seems to be united. And they had a good run, tight, no duds. I just hope they all go on to do other cool stuff and none of them try to go on being Agalloch unless they’re all together. In general I think the best break ups are the high point ones, Isis and Wandering Radiant, Come and Gently Down the Stream, Sleater-Kinney (until they surprised everyone last year) and The Woods. Then there are the “we can’t really make this work any more but we’re not leaving you for good” types like Giant Squid. Those are ok too. The dwindling into obscurity ones can be alright because sometimes the lesser rated works in a bands discography can have some odd little gems. Basically anything but the loud all about the he said she said bullshit ones is ok. I think as fans we shouldn’t really have any say as the bands aren’t our bitches, except in the case of loud, argumentative break ups. Seriously, try to keep your shit classy people.

    • Sploopy Thunderplop

      Eh, but people want scandal and splendor rather than a simple “hey we just wanna do something differentnt, sadly”. Some bands just simply wanna do something different, especially after 20 years.

  • i dont approve of any facet of Agalloch breaking up

  • J.R.™

    Oh Dubs I thought you were going to say you were finally single again. Drat!

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    The best reason for a band to call it quits is if the most important member dies or leaves. So many bands continue without that person and fade into irrelevance.

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      Sometimes the most important member is a massive wanker though.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        Look at Yes. They have no original members due to the death of Chris Squire, Anderson and Wakeman have their own band with Trevor Rabin now and their last album was an abomination. Steve Howe and Alan White are still there and it appears they won’t ever quit. They should quit before it’s too late. They’re touring with the venues getting smaller each time. They’re running out of albums to perform in full. They should hang it up.

        • Sploopy Thunderplop

          *cough Ratt cough*

      • Sploopy Thunderplop

        Stratovarius, anyone?

        • tertius_decimus

          Stratovarius without Timo Tolkki is the same as with him.

          • Sploopy Thunderplop

            Yep! And his solo stuff has been awful.

          • Pentagram Sam

            The whole Strato Tolkki thing is weird. He wrote 98% of the music, and 90% of the lyrics. Although the first drummer Lasilla named the band, Tolkki WAS Strato.

            When he quit, he signed over all the rights (including future payments) to Stratovarius and told them they could take them or “do the right thing” and not take em, and then was shocked the guys took it.

            While I agree that the band prob shoulda renamed themselves, having guys like Kotipelto and Jens in the band for about 20 years and not wanting to start over makes sense too.

            Tolkki fucked himself over big time. He basically threw a fit and screwed his future nest egg up hard.

          • Sploopy Thunderplop

            And Timo also sang on the first CD, there’s that.
            Either way, their catalog without him has been excellent, even if they’re more or less using his formula. His solo stuff, however, not quite so much.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I am surprised that Jens Johansson is in Ritchie Blackmore’s new version of Rainbow now. Seems like an odd choice.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Rainbow is still around? What have they been together for like 60 years now?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            They just reformed for 4 European shows.

          • Sploopy Thunderplop

            He was with Yngwie, IIRC, so not an odd fit at all. Yngwie and Blackmore are practically birds of a feather in some ways.

        • Dave Vincent’s Perm

          Or Wintersun.

          • tertius_decimus

            A little bit of equity here: Ensiferum without Jari became 2nd rate band. None of their albums is any close to those debut two: Ensiferum and Iron. I don’t like vocal of Petri Lindroos. Jari is a massive wanker, though.

            It’s a pity that both Ensiferum and Wintersun are bland shadows of what they were back in the day.

          • Dave Vincent’s Perm

            I never said he wasn’t talented. I just think he’s a tit.

          • tertius_decimus

            Neither did I. Where did you get that?

          • Sploopy Thunderplop

            Wintersun’s still together with the main guy, and they just got two new guys (who will never see a paycheck or a new CD until after the sun fizzles out and Keith Richards is on his deathbed). Stratovarius kicked out the guy who wrote 90% of the music, and more or less rode with his formula to a tee afterwards.

      • Dubs

        Or, the biggest wanker in the group thinks he’s the most important person.

        • Dave Vincent’s Perm

          Kinda like morbid Angel.
          ‘Ooh yeah I wrote all the songs on Domination’
          ‘Sorry what was that Dave? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of you being kicked the fuck out’

  • Eliza

    It’s really a shame that Agalloch broke up. I like them a lot. Maybe they’ll regroup 10 years from now for a tour and then never do anything again, who knows. My hopes for another album are pretty much nonexistent, unless it’s a Best Off compilation or something like that.

    • not to mention how hard finding LPs is going to become, when they are already nearly impossible to find or super expensive

    • Sploopy Thunderplop

      For now, it’s probably going to be like most band breakups: the bands simply do the same sound, but in different groups.

      • Eliza

        That is something that happens, but I can’t come up with an example right now. Can you?

        • Sploopy Thunderplop

          Oasis, Obscura, Wolfsheim, At The Gates, Sentenced come to mind.

          • brokensnow

            Man, I miss sentenced.

          • Sploopy Thunderplop

            Same. 🙁
            I guess if you like their later stuff, there’s always Poisonblack, which is the singer’s group afterwards.

  • Sploopy Thunderplop

    Well, Stone Roses (who Ian Brown, the singer, said “has as much chance of getting back together as the Beatles getting back together”) are back and released a new song a few days ago. Hoping it doesn’t end up like before, aka the guitarist punching the singer in the face in front of a sold out crowd and walking off stage and the drummer trying to clock the guitarist with a bass drum.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0XZ9qjMil8

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      They’re going to Madison Square Garden. I might go. Also, their debut is one of the best debuts ever.

  • Rob M

    If they ever come back its going to be Haughm and a bunch of new guys.

    No I dont like the way he did it, and given the comments by some of the other members this was definitely a one-sided decision by a dude whose ego got the better of him

    …and I think most bands should follow the Bolt Thrower plan …just go on indefinite hiatus and leave the option for new material open (unless they absolutely loathe each other, than just walk away with a simple “We’re done”)

    • Dubs

      Yah, Pagliacci made the comment Haughm seems to have “lead signer syndrome.”

      • Rob M

        Yeah, I definitely get a Type “A” personality, “Im an artiste” vibe off of him, but its probably that same personality trait that pushes him as a musician as well

  • tertius_decimus

    Everything has come to an end. Agalloch is no exception. If the tension inside rises, it’s better not to continue. Agalloch has ended on a high note, so even if fans would love to listen to something new, they won’t regret that band hasn’t disbanded some time ago. becoming laughable forced crap.

    It’s better to admire what they’ve done already than bitching about what they haven’t done yet.

  • They stayed in the same hotel as me at MDF the one year. That’s all I have.

  • tertius_decimus

    Take a look at mentioned Cynic. I’m in minority here to say that their resurrection in 2007 was unnecessary. I was at the 7th sky when they announced re-union back then, but just two truly beautiful songs (concert version of Evolutionary Sleeper from Hovefestivalen in Norway and studio version of Wheels Within A Wheels) is too little to lay on the table after so many years of inexistence since Focus and Portal demos. Cynic of 2007-2015 period is too bland compared to Cynic of 1987-1993 period. Sincerely yours, Cynic fan.

  • Zeke

    ok, I’ve tried to like agalloch numerous times and failed. now, instead of asking toileteers to name their best album (which I think I’ve tried twice), i’m going to ask them to name their best song. if this doesn’t work, i’m officially finished with them.
    on another note, I think emperor are a band that went out the right way- realized the fire wasn’t there anymore, mustered up one last killer album, and ended it on a high note.

    • ok. ill have to suggest, despite what you say, that Ashes Against the Grain as the best starting point here. the song “Fire Above, Ice Below” being my favorite from the album. However, the trilogy of “Our Fortress is Burning 1, 2, & 3” is some compelling stuff.
      https://youtu.be/WB2PQQyK8uk

      let me try and find another link if you dont want to go to utubs for that

      • Zeke

        thanks. ill give it a shot

        • the thing about agalloch is youre really just going to have to be down for a LONG listen, as thats where they excel. its good for a cool autumn day or a boardgame night. more feels and atmosphere than riffs and blackness.

          • Zeke

            that makes sense, and I think that’s why I never like them. every time I try to listen to them it’s because I see people raving about them online. so I put an album on, listen for 5-10 minutes, think it’s mediocre, and turn it off.
            frankly, while i’m listening to that song you just posted, I have a feeling the same thing is going to happen, because i’m really more in the mood to listen to the new gorguts right now.
            I think if i’m really in the mood for it one day it will hit me and then i’ll kind of wake up to them.

          • yeah, if youre feeling Gorguts, id have no reason to believe youd be interested in Agalloch (as most of the time id have no interest in Gorguts).

          • tertius_decimus

            Um-m… strange, but I love Gorguts with passion. Still, something in the vein of Agalloch or Mono (but not too monotonous, many bands tend to oversimplify things) does it for me.

          • im sure youd love a gander at my record collection td

          • tertius_decimus

            Not sure, to be honest. 7 years ago I was searching for new stuff like a mad but now I don’t feel I need so much new music in my world anymore. Yes, many good releases pass aside but when such a pursuit will open again for me, I’ll dive into the void.

            It has a wavy-like character. In early 10s I’ve discovered Scandinavian jazz after 2 years of yawning at new metal releases. It was a revelation. You never know when you’ll open up for new blood to flow into your mind. When you do, it’s always very special feeling.

          • a very interesting perspective

          • tertius_decimus

            Need to say that music has played crucial role back then. It was almost only pill against heavy depression. No medication, no doctors, no psychoanalysts, no nothing. Only music and day-to-day routine with almost non-existent joy in the life. 5 consecutive years were wasted completely.

          • Zeke

            I dig slow feelsy stuff too. I LOVE some of the old peaceville doom bands; I love ISIS, the cure, etc. but I got into that stuff when I was much younger so I already have an ear for it. the first time you hear something like that you have to be in the mood for it. once you’ve developed an ear for it, you can turn it on at any time and get into it

          • hmm i donno man, my teens and early twenties was all DM. i find it hard to go back to the riff salad now. tastes are peculiar man.

          • Zeke

            my teens was dm, black metal, and doom. nowadays I still love black metal and doom but I don’t really like the super brutal dm anymore either. I still like more “out there” dm like gorguts, or the classics like morbid angel, carcass, etc., but I think brutal dm is kind of angry young man music and I’ve chilled out. black metal and doom has more atmosphere than the super clean produced brutal dm stuff

          • yep. this is like i was saying before that my sludge and doom days seem to be over completely (whereas, like you say, i can still enjoy certain dm things)

      • tertius_decimus

        It’s a beautiful composition, thank you.

        • for instance, that song really takes until around the ~4:30 mark to hit its stride

          • tertius_decimus

            For me it hit since the beginning. I love Mono (Japan), they have many songs this long that start so slowly.

          • Have you seen them live? Their bassist is amazingly hot. I think the three of us stopped and started drooling as she went past. i believe ive seen em twice

          • tertius_decimus

            No. They were in Kiev, but I had no money to attend the show. 🙁

          • dammmnn son

            thats a shame

    • Möthër Shäbübü

      This is the one that got me to like them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAaq0mpk9TE

      • like i said, p much the entirety of Ashes

      • Zeke

        thanks. giving it a try

      • brokensnow

        This and Limbs for me. fanfuckingtastic songs.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      It’s okay to not like a band everyone around here likes imo.

      • Zeke

        Of course it is. But if everyone is jocking a band I just like to make sure I’m not missing out on something I’d dig if I gave it more of a chance. People are constantly raving about Agalloch so I’ve probably given them more chances than a lot of other bands

    • EsusMoose

      I tried the Mantle album or grey deer mooing album and it was alright, songs were good but not something I ended up liking out of context and I didn’t want to sit through an album of theirs again. So good but not something that engrosses me

      • Zeke

        I think that’s where I’m at with them too

    • Dubs
  • I’m going to be an off-topic garbagedick right now: There are 11 hours left to buy a TovH shirt. Do it. Do it now.
    https://teechip.com/toiletovhell2016

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I’m much more excited about the poster. I already have a ToH shirt in my dresser that I have to hide from my family. They got rid of my Napalm Death t-shirt and I don’t want them to get rid of my ToH shirt too.

    • Elegant Gazing Globe

      Joe know exactly which of you posers have not bought too, don’t be a poser

      • yah yah i did it

        • Sploopy Thunderplop

          I couldn’t afford it, sadly. But hey, still got the first TOH shirt! 😀

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    It would be a great way to break-up, but – without reading any further comments – put a shade over Haughm, that I can’t rid, in my mind.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    I think the best way is just a straight-forward “we’re done” Usually it is personal reasons and it is between the band members not the public.

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      The best way is to break-up without telling anyone.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Sir Tapir!!! That works too

      • like how you and i broke up without telling anyone?

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    Have a fb friend who started his own landscaping business and he has used status updates to fire dudes

    • Dubs

      That’s… lame.

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        and his subsequent posts are asking people to work for him, it’s hilarious

    • tertius_decimus

      DOWNVOTED!

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      What a dick

  • Sploopy Thunderplop

    AC/DC of all bands should just go ahead and break up.

    • tertius_decimus

      Listen to any AC/DC song and you’ll know entire discography.

      • Sploopy Thunderplop

        Exactly! Crimson Glory should’ve broke up after Midnight left the band. There’s a definite story of a band going downhill after their key member left.

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        Post FTATR AC/DC. Bon Scott era music was quite varied

  • Sploopy Thunderplop

    In other news (since Sunday Sesh = open swim)……. This song popped up in my head after more than a decade, and spent 2 hours trying to find it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJSt3ZPGJPg

    Along the way was fuckloads of Lolbuttz, because, well, simply putting ‘Inside’ (the song’s title and all I could remember about the song outside of the chorus) brings out some truly awful shit, from corny Euro-dance that makes Kesha sound like Tribe Called Quest, tons of indy coffee house/pub artists who for some reason float towards always using ‘Inside Out’ as a song title, and this…………… worst band name ever created, and the music is exactly what you’d expect. It would make even 365 Days call it a day after 2 minutes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC7u_v6l7Ak&list=PL_Zd3orzGh1eYbwz0dYCCA6RbqcCdas9-&index=4

  • Max

    I think if you’re a passionate fan of a band, there isn’t really any good way for them to break up – death, dwindling away, acrimony, or even just constantly embarking on one “farewell tour” after another and never seeming to actually hang it up. None of it seems particularly edifying from a fan’s perspective.

  • Óðinn

    Waking up is hard to do.

  • Sploopy Thunderplop
  • The Satan Ov Hell

    The way death grips did it; IE- Lying and making new material.

  • Ayreonaut

    Wait… Cynic broke up?? 🙁

    • Sploopy Thunderplop

      Yup, and a whole lotta drama involved.