Artists, especially good ones, bring beautiful hues into the world. Their art offers comfort when the world is chilly and unforgiving. Sometimes they share life lessons and sometimes, they teach us ideas that are untouchable by other disciplines. It’s a sad moment when a band breaks up, an actor retires, and an author leaves the writing game. The music still exists on my iPod, the movies still collect dust on my shelf and their books remain stacked next to the DVDs.
Their stories and music are still here. I can revisit them whenever I want. But, the entity that once crafted the stories and music is gone. They’re effectively dead, even though the cast members, the author and band members may still very well be alive and kicking. Why is this?
Gone By Friday
The first indie band that I discovered recently broke up. Gone By Friday was a brilliant pop-punk band. I don’t know why they broke up, nor do I think they owe me an explanation. However, I do know the genre they played seems to be waning. This situation is sad on two fronts: the genre is seemingly dying, and the band is no more.
The genre, which was made famous by bands like Green Day and Blink-182. More or less, this type of music is often seen as lighter and more poppy than old school punk. Lyrically, though, it can be quite dark and moody. This genre seems to be losing popularity, even with Blink-182 and Good Charlottes’ recent revival.
While Gone By Friday may not be playing together anymore, a majority of the members formed a new group. The band members will continue to play music, just in a slightly different style. This is bittersweet. As I mentioned above, the entity that I loved so dearly is gone, but something new is rising out of their ashes.
Even though the members of Gone By Friday are producing more music, the band is still gone. I have all of their EPs and albums. I even listen to them regularly. Yet, something seems missing from the world now that they have disbanded.
During my life time, a hand full of bands I treasure ceased to be. The biggest and most popular musicians to die within my life time were Michael Jackson and Prince. I remember when both artists died. Though I never listened to either of their music, I still felt a pang of loss.
Other changes landed much closer. I remember when My Chemical Romance called things off and broke up. Both Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin went on a long-term hiatus, before recently reuniting. Three Days Grace’s singer left, effectively neutering the band. And, Yellowcard announced their final tour just a few years ago.
This is not a totally inclusive list; however, it helps make the idea a little more clear. When a prolific artist ceases to produce music, something changes. The world loses something, even if the band members simply move on to other musical projects. That key entity is still no longer active.
Is the knowledge that one of our favorite bands, authors or directors will no longer be creating art tainted with depressing notions? I think so. Fresh renditions of their story telling will no longer be released into world, thus dimming the planet as a whole. The messages and ideas already written and published by these individuals will stay, but no new material, shining with their unique style will see the light of day.
On the flip side, when I hear rumors of a defunct band returning hope spins up in my chest. Even though I try to avoid being hopeful over such rumors, I cannot shovel away all of the globs of hope. Some of it remains stuck inside. The same thing happens when I hear about a favorite director’s new project, even if it’s just a rumor. I think this bolsters my argument.
I believe this showcases our desire to hear new music, read new books and watch new movies. In other words, I think this is evidence that we want new and different stories. New stories wrapped up in a blast of music and stories written out with precision and skill. Even when we know a band isn’t going to return to the studio to pump out another record, the mere chance of this happening shoots hope throughout our being. Or at least, that’s how it works for me.