Back in the year 2000 there was a hype storm of epic proportions. Every magazine, every fledgeling website, and every indie rock kid would not shut up about At the Drive-In. This was before the Internet was a household thing and everyone was talking about this band. They had just signed to a major label and they were going to be “the saviors of rock and roll”. That was a phrase that was thrown around quite a bit back in the year 2000. Hip-hop albums were debuting at #1 on Billboard and boy bands were ruling the airwaves. The press was constantly looking for rock and roll’s savior.
In September of 2000 the band released the album “Relationship of Command”. The first single was getting lots of play at rock radio, MTV was playing the video constantly, and it seemed like these guys were going to be huge. Unfortunately a year later the pressures of fame got to the band and they called it quits. 2 of the members went on to form The Mars Volta while the remaining members would found Sparta. In the press the band would constantly poo poo any whispers of a reunion. These guys seemed to genuinely hate each other. About three years ago something started to change. In interviews most of the members would say they would consider a reunion then they would go ask the other guy and he would say “tell them to go fuck themselves”.
Today was the day that Coachella was going to announce its 2012 lineup and suddenly in advance of that a new At the Drive-In Twitter account popped up announcing that the band was reuniting. Sure enough when the Coachella lineup hit the net the band was on it. This reunion doesn’t just mean a lot to me because I was a big fan of the band but I actually had tickets to see them, but they broke up right before the tour was going to start. So, to think that it’s possible I’ll see them in the year 2012 is incredible.
However, that wasn’t the only other ridiculous piece of music news today. Also, playing Coachella? Refused. The band that inspired countless other hardcore bands is playing for the first time since they broke up while touring on their groundbreaking album “The Shape of Punk to Come” in 1998. That’s not a bullshit title, that album still sounds like it was recorded recently. New bands are formed every day after listening to it. It’s truly a touchstone for the hardcore music scene. Bands are still trying to figure out how they seamlessly melded hardcore, electronica, and jazz and have it make sense.
These reunions were once thought to be impossible, they were never going to happen, yet here we are. It doesn’t even feel real to me. I never got to see either band and I really hope I get to see them during these reunions. Each of them had a big impact on my life and if you have never heard them before I’ll drop a couple of Spotify links in this post and hopefully you will check them out.