It sure has been a hectic few days in the collapsed world that was Alexisonfire. In a letter to fans, the band formally announced their intentions to break-up. Between vocalist/guitarist Dallas Green’s desire to focus on City & Colour full-time and vocalist/guitarist Wade MacNeil leaving to join Gallows, too much was lost for screamer George Pettit, bassist Chris Steele, and drummer Jordan “Ratbeard” Hastings to honorably carry on with the Alexisonfire name.
That being said, Green and MacNeil are comfortably employed in their post-AOF bands, leaving the other three unemployed. What are the remaining members to do?
In the letter, Pettit mentioned he was contemplating musical retirement, though admitted it sounded like “famous last words” and that “there could be any number of possibilities for new projects from the remaining members of Alexis.” Though he is not a member of the band, he joined Hasting’s side band Cunter(formerly Hunter) for a set the day after the break-up. With most of the band coming from Moneen, it’s unlikely that the band has any chance of going full-time. Steele is yet to comment, and it’s believed he has no permanent arrangements either.
I have a suggestion I’d like to propose: form a SecretBand.
You may remember the side-project exclusively made from Dance Gavin Dance members. Vocalist John Mess, guitarist Will Swan, bassist Eric Lodge and drummer Matt Mingus decided to record some tracks as a four-piece, electing not to invite old vocalist Kurt Travis (now in A Lot Like Birds), current singer Jonny Craig or a second guitar player. While the band was looked at as mostly a fun project, the one track released was well-received by DGD fans.
I’m suggesting that the remaining members of Alexisonfire stick together, grab a guitarist or two, and have a blast.
For ten years (of which the last seemed to be majorly stressed), these guys have played together in one band. Their friends and bandmates elected to take their talents elsewhere; there’s no reason for everyone to split if Pettit, Steele, and Hastings enjoy playing together. Billing themselves as Alexisonfire probably wouldn’t be smart, but the trio should consider sharing a bus again.
The only real task here would be finding a guitar player or two who the guys are happy with. With such a big name band in their resume, there should be thousands of guitarists aching to work with them. Surely after ten years the boys have met a guitar player or two that they’ve always wanted to work with. Go grab a pair of ’em and start writing some new, heavy tunes that feature George on lead vocals. It worked on the Dog’s Blood EP, and it would work with a new band. I’d stay away from vocalist/guitarists, though finding someone who can competently lend backing vocals would mean there’s potential to cover George-led Alexis tracks (select-Watch Out!-era and the aforementioned Dog’s Blood songs come to mind).
It just makes too much sense for these three not to go on together. George obviously feels a little cheated by the situation, and I’d love to hear him release music again with a combination of new and familiar faces. Here’s to hoping Pettit, Steele, and Hastings’ unemployment is short lived.
UPDATE: After being tweeted our article, Ratbeard responded via Twitter: “There’s a certain “magic” that happens when the 5 of us write together that can’t be redone.”