by Doug Moore


Everyone knows that musicians can supercharge their own reputations by dying young, before they have the chance to grow old/irrelevant/lame. The same can be said of bands as institutions; people remember you more fondly if your track record is short but consistent than if it's long but spotty. (See: Nirvana versus Metallica.)

The '90s-era LA alternative rock band Failure is a good example. Like their peers in Illinois's Hum, Failure made a name for themselves by tricking out the era's rough-but-digestible radio rock with ear-candy production work...and by releasing just a few (very good) albums before breaking up (1997, in Failure's case).

Though Failure members Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards collaborated on an odds-and-ends album called Golden in 2004, the band has been more or less silent since their official dissolution. But after 17 years of silence, they've announced their (inevitable, judging by other '90s bands) reunion. Here's Ken Andrews's minimalist explanation for the reunion (via Spin):

You guys have been on my Dream Reunion list for years and years -- what finally convinced you to do this?
Well, I think it's basically because my friendship with Greg was rekindled in the last four or five years -- because we both have five-year-olds. I think that helped break the ice for us, to spend time together as friends, because the breakup in '97 was not pleasant. We needed a couple years to hang out and be friends again, and then it became this sort of elephant in the room, like, "Why don't we do some music together?"

So mostly we can thank your children.
I would say that definitely -- that helped, a lot. It helped both of us get our heads in a different place. And an awful lot of time passed, also, before we both had kids. There was a lot of time to forgive and forget.

Failure will play their first post-reunion show on February 13 of next year in their LA hometown at the El Ray Theater. Keep an eye out for further tour/release announcements; in the meantime, revisit Failure's career-ending classic Fantastic Planet in full below.


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