Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Why splitting up is the best thing a band can do

Thurston Moore once said that not breaking up was Sonic Youth’s “biggest career faux pas”. Moore was probably joshing a little when he talked about reunions with Spin magazine back in 2007. “What would have happened if we did break …

Fri, Jun 4, 2010, 10:31

   

Thurston Moore once said that not breaking up was Sonic Youth’s “biggest career faux pas”. Moore was probably joshing a little when he talked about reunions with Spin magazine back in 2007. “What would have happened if we did break up after Daydream Nation or even after Dirty and had gotten back together two years ago?” he mused. “We probably would have made so much money.”

There’s a lot of truth to that throwaway comment, as the reunion bandwagon continues to roll. At last weekend’s Primavera festival in Barcelona, it was obvious that a lot of bands were enjoying a decent pay day by forgetting past differences and putting the show on the road again. Reunited acts on the bill included Pavement, Pixies, Orbital, Mission of Burma, Liquid Liquid, The Slits and Sunny Day Real Estate.

Arguments for and against reunions were there in abundance. Pavement’s temporary return to live action, a reunion that percussionist Bob Nastanovich says is partly to help him pay off gambling debts, has been the hit of the season, with the band performing arguably far better than they ever did the first time around.

It’s another matter, however, with Pixies, a band who have spent six years on the lucrative reunion trail and now resemble a karaoke act pretending to be the band they once were. The lack of any new material to date, bar a one-off single, may be a blessing in disguise.

But there’s little doubt why Pixies and everyone else are still on the bandwagon. When large cheques are dangled in front of you, it would be rude to say no. You can be sure that any band calling it a day any time soon will probably have the dates for the reunion tour already in mind.