Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Damage Control

My former bandmate and I were interviewed today for the first time since we broke up a year ago. It was strange to talk about, because when people make music together, or really any form of art, it's something special. If you take those songs that were created and you play them with a different group of people, it's like you're cheating on your wife or something. My bandmate had told the interviewer that hadn't picked up a guitar in over a year, which he had never told me about before. He said he was looking for the right singer. The whole interview sounded very strange, because it's almost as if we were trying to air out our dirty laundry right then and there. Like we had unresolved issues we needed to work out right that very moment.

This was probably the third time we had talked to each other since we stopped making music together. Each time it's like talking to an ex-girlfriend you still have feelings for. You try and skirt around the issue at hand without really telling them how you feel. During the entire interview, I wanted to just scream, "You were a drug addict!" It's all a little bit absurd. Maybe a lot bit absurd. The point is, when you make art with somebody and that partnership ends, what do you do? Do you reminisce? Is it okay to showcase that work and give acknowledgement to the absent party? Do you shine it on and make one final work of art together and then call it quits, just to have a little bit of closure?

The whole thing reminded me of one of the most heart-breaking documentaries, titled The Refused are Fucking Dead, which chronicled the demise of the band The Refused during their North American tour, which ended in the band breaking up. Throughout the film, the band talks about what caused the band's demise. When they talk about it, they speak as if they knew it was coming. As if The Refused were destined to break up. In between interviews, there was archival footage from the tour, which offered a glimpse of how hopeless the band had become. At the end, after the band had decided to break up, they played one last show in the basement of another band's house. They wanted this to be their final show before they decided to never play again. During the middle of the show, the police came and broke up the show.

Is anything ever entirely resolved after dissolution of a partnership in art?

Currently in heavy rotation:

Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

Pearl Jam - Untitled [Live]

The Faint - Fish in a Womb

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