Monday, February 11, 2008

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Call It Quits...But Not

Download: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - "Hung Over As The Queen In Maida Vale" (John Peel Session)
Download: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - "The Dead Flag Blues (intro)"

Over the weekend, it was reported that one of post-rock's most beloved and influential collectives had, after being on hiatus for five years, finally decided to separate permanently.

The reasons for thinking that the Montreal-based band has gone their separate ways Godspeed You! Black Emperor were an interview via an interview with Drowned By Sound, as well as a cryptic MySpace blog entry. Core GSYBE member Efrim Menuck revealed toDrowned By Sound the social (inter-band tension) and political (an "existential freak-out" caused by the second Iraq war) reasons the group resolved to no longer exist.

Merick says:
The last American tour that Godspeed did was in the run up to the current war in Iraq. For what Godspeed did, it was very difficult for us to work out a way for us to communicate directly with the audience about what was going on. We would talk to people after the shows, or we could make announcements from the stage but so much what Godspeed was, was one-way communication.

“And I had an existential freak-out about that. That those tactics aren’t valid anymore...On a personal level I now find [Godspeed You! Black Emperor] to be inappropriate [to do]. There’s a complicated back story. I reached a point whereby I was no longer willing to contribute to the steering of the ship... I think that bands do have a short shelf life… they should be able to ply their trade ‘til they no longer want to

Those quotes would make the closing of the GS!YBE seem pretty apparent, no? Well, apparently, not so much. P4K reported this morning that the Drowned By Sound interview was a misquotation. Menuck said, via a publicist, that "It's true, Godspeed hasn't existed for years, we've been on permanent hiatus since 2002. If and when we do call it quits permanently, it won't be because of the Iraq war."

Alrighty, Then. So Godspeed You! Black Emperor are still on hiatus despite a quote that pretty much says "hey kids, we broke-up". To be fair, Menuck's quotes could be also interpreted as being the explanation of why the band went into hiatus, and Drowned By Sound misinterpreted them. Either way, if DBS misquoted Menuck, then we're sure that a clarification or a correction statement will be issued soon.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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