Failure's Greg Edwards: "We Didn't Break Up Because of a Lack of Interest from Fans"
All band reunions are welcomed, no matter how big or small the band is. Yet certain bands never reunite and Los Angeles' Failure was thought to be one of those bands. The trio's third album, Fantastic Planet, a multi-layered opus of songs featuring lyrics about the romance and awful dark side of drug addiction, was respected in 1997, but has become legendary ever since.
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Splitting up not too long after its release, frontman Ken Andrews worked with On and Year of the Rabbit as well as producing records for marquee rock bands while bassist Greg Edwards played with Autolux and drummer Kellii Scott played in a variety of bands. Surprisingly, Failure reunited for a one-off show in Los Angeles this past February. Deciding to do more shows and then a tour across the country, Failure plays the House of Blues on Tuesday, June 10.
Edwards, fresh from a nap when we spoke, shared plenty about why the band is back together, the band's previous visit to Dallas and what the future of Failure holds.
DC9 at Night: Why now for a Failure reunion?
Greg Edwards: It happened very gradually. Ken and I reconnected, spent time together, not musically-related at all. Then, the subject sort of came up and got more present in the room with us each time we saw each other. Finally, we just decided to try it. We liked the idea of doing a show. I think that was the first thing that came up. It would be fun to just play the songs. We initially had the idea to do a really small, unannounced show and only play songs from Comfort. I think we were trying to mitigate the level of commitment and not go full-blown reunion, but it just went from there. At the same time, we started working on some new material and that was going really well. It seemed like a reunion was justified.
Was it a situation where no matter what you or Ken did, with Autolux, On, or Year of the Rabbit, were people constantly asking for a Failure reunion?
Oh yeah. That's always gone on. That small buzz running alongside everything. For a long time, the answer in my mind was, "That will never happen." Definitely before Ken and I reconnected, and even after we had reconnected, I thought maybe we would do something like a film score or something totally different. Not revisit the Failure thing.
Will any of your back catalog get remastered and reissued, even if it's just on vinyl?
I don't know. That would be nice. We're really just more focused on what we're doing and what we have control over now, because we don't own the masters on those recordings.
You recently released a new song on Bandcamp. Isn't Bandcamp such a liberating thing to present a song and be like, "Here it is!" and nothing more?
That's been my first experience with Bandcamp and I like it. Also, if people want to, they can use it as a donation to the band, whatever amount they want. Which some have, very generously.
Do you remember the last time Failure played Dallas?
It was probably in 1997. I remember being in Dallas. I remember I woke up and I was up early and I was walking alone across the Grassy Knoll, trying to figure out which building was the book depository. It was very early in the morning. And that was the last time we were there. I don't remember the show. It must have been Lollapalooza.
With the people coming to the shows now, is there ever a thought of, "Where were you guys back when we were first around?"
No, because we broke up before that really had a chance to happen. We didn't break up because of a lack of interest or excitement from fans. It was more because of internal problems and dysfunction. We can't really have any animosity towards the excitement now that wasn't there then. I think it was just building then. Also, I think that whatever is very immediate and instantly gratifying in our music, that's just the shallow surface of it and that might draw you in, but I don't think until you've spent time with it that you're gonna know really what the effect people have on you.
Is Failure the full-time thing for you guys now, or do you have other things going on as well?
Well, I've got Autolux going on. We're just about finished with our third record. Ken still does mixing and producing. But right now, this is it. This is what's in front of us right now and we're completely absorbed in it.
Is it too early to say when you can do more recording a collection of songs, whether it's for an EP or a full album?
Yeah, we're recording and writing all the time. We have a studio set up on the bus. We're working as we travel. It's impossible to say we're not going to put out an album until it's finished. I would think maybe early next year.