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MAKE-UP: ProzzäkAnimated Canadian europop heroes Prozzäk were live and in living colour in 2015 when they played the Ontario Science Centre as part of the geek shindig Atomic Lollipop. (Miss it? Sucks to be you, etc.) In addition to the live appearance, Simon and Milo also trotted out the new tune “Baby I Need Your Love (Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat).”
MAKE-UP: AlexisonfireSt. Catharines post-hardcore titans Alexisonfire reformed for a collection of reunion shows in 2015. "We promise to never leave you again. No more sentimental shit. Alexisonfire is officially back," proclaimed Wade MacNeil at the band's Toronto Riot Fest appearance. What does "back" mean? A later statement from the group explained that "back" means they're still cool with each other, but no immediate plans for anything extra should be expected.
A Tribe Called Red
MAKE-UP: A Tribe Called QuestIt was a brief live reunion, but we'll take it. Rap legends A Tribe Called Quest aligned forces on television for the first time in over 15 years to perform the classic "Can I Kick It?" on The Tonight Show. More please.
MAKE-UP: LushUK Shoegaze gladiators Lush announced plans to play live for the first time since 1996. It will be a bittersweet occasion as it marks the first show the band has played since the suicide of drummer Chris Acland. The reunion shows are slated to take place on May 6 and 7 in London with a New York City performance listed for the fall.
Brooks and Dunn
MAKE-UP: Brooks and DunnEnthusiasts of boogie that's of the boot scootin' variety Brooks & Dunn got back together for a spell in 2015. B&D paired up with fellow country superstar Reba McEntire for a combo residency run in Las Vegas.
MAKE-UP: Good CharlotteAfter a few years in mothballs, pop-punkers Good Charlotte are back as a fully functioning musical proposition. A new single by the name of "Makeshift Love" tumbled out in November, the same month as the band's comeback show in West Hollywood.
3 Inches Of Blood
BREAKUP: 3 Inches of BloodT'was not orcs that brought 3 Inches Of Blood to an end, but rather a collection of non-orc "personal" reasons that had the Vancouver metal outfit packing it after a decade-and-a-half in existence. A pair of goodbye shows at the Commodore Ballroom gave the band a warrior's send-off.
BREAKUP: Les JupesAnthemic Winnipeg rock gents Les Jupes dropped a warmly received new album (Some Kind Of Family) and promptly split up in 2015. Frontman Michael Petkau Falk pegged the group as "dysfunctional" in an open letter about the split and admitted he wasn't quite sure what he was going to do next. HISTORICAL NOTE: This might be the longest anyone's ever talked about Les Jupes without comparing them to The National.
BREAKUP: The WeakerthansSurprise! Brainy troubadours The Weakerthans were apparently still an active proposition in 2015 which made the news of their split (or at least shift into deep hiatus mode) all the stranger. "Word is getting out that The Weakerthans are done. Here's the song we used to take the stage to for years. Bye bye." tweeted drummer Jason Tait in July with a link to John Coltrane and the Thelonious Monk septet's rendition of "Abide With Me." The group's description on Twitter at the moment? "cryogenically frozen rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba"
BREAKUP: G.R.L.Pussycat Dolls mastermind Robin Antin continued on with her very specific brand of mad pop science in the '10s and brought G.R.L. into the world as a quasi-sequel to PCD. In their twoish years of existence they had some mild highs (a spot on the Smurfs 2 soundtrack) some definite lows (Simone Battle hanged herself in 2014) and ultimately dissolved midway through 2015.
BREAKUP: Odd Future's MellowHypeIf you could untangle the status of Odd Future at the moment and mail in a 6000 page report that would be swell. (It sounds like it's done, eh?) One outfit under the OFWGKTA confirmed they were through that there were through that was the duo of MellowHype. The hip-hop combo's demise was revealed in January when Hodgy Beats declared the MellowHype era was over. The silver lining for fans? Hodgy Beats and Left Brain are only leaving that project behind and are still cool with working together.
BREAKUP: Neon Jungle"Braveheart" tune vendors Neon Jungle packed it in after two years of showing promise as a potential pop steamroller. Their open letter on the split declares they're still friends which is a nice thing to see in your breakup correspondence.
BREAKUP: Cobra StarshipBafflingly resilient emo-y dance-pop proposition Cobra Starship dissolved after a near decade in existence. The Gabe Saporta founded group managed to squeak out four full-lengths before splitting up, although we hadn't heard anything particularly new since 2014's Icona Pop team-up "Never Been In Love." (Yes, they were the Snakes on a Plane band.)
The Black Crowes
BREAKUP: The Black CrowesThe Black Crowes underwent their third divorce in 2015, this time after a brief post-hiatus stress. What was too "hard to handle" this go-around? The tension within the group over Chris Robinson's (alleged) views over the ownership of the band.
BREAKUP: Avi BuffaloThe lo-fi pop stylings of Avi Buffalo are no more. Or at least no more under that particular banner. The Avi Zahner-Isenberg driven group was revealed to be folding in January (a popular breakup month) courtesy of an announcement on Facebook that featured Zahner-Isenberg noting that the exposure the project received "ended up causing a lot more pain and drained (his) creative energy."
BREAKUP: The World's Most Dangerous Band/CBS OrchestraThe end of late night's Letterman era also beckoned the end of the CBS Orchestra. The Paul Shaffer led television staple has been known by a variety of different names ("The World's Most Dangerous Band" being the best on) but could always be reliably found not too far away from their gap-toothed boss.
Noah and the Whale
BREAKUP: Noah and the WhaleNoah and the Whale chose to call it a day in April. The genre-exploring indie band of varying levels of jauntiness are probably best known on this side of the pond for "5 Years Time" or for having Laura Marling among their ranks for a few years.
BREAKUP: Mötley CrüeThe Crüe are thrü once 2015 comes to an end. The drug vacuum glam metal legends have a habit of slipping into "farewell mode" a lot, so the band signed a contract last year locking Mötley Crüe into official retirement status after their final show on December 31, 2015 at Los Angeles' Staples Center.
BREAKUP: Inlet SoundOntario folk outfit Inlet Sound accompanied news of their split with the release of "July / Storm Chaser." "It is with a heavy heart that Inlet Sound has decided to part ways and say goodbye to the last six years of music making together," shared the group in a statement that popped up on Facebook. "As life has intensified on many fronts for each of us - with school, work, goals, plans, and people - we felt it was best at this point to move onto our own individual projects and aspirations."
FUTURE HIATUS: One DirectionHold steady, Directioners. We're approaching that frightening point in a boy band's life where they're going on a well-earned, but ominous brand of extended break. After Zayn Malik's defection in the spring, One Direction carried on as a four-piece and kept up their T-1000-esque work ethic in the process. An announced March 2016 hiatus for this pop goliath has some fans nervous that we've seen the last of the group. Based on the historic track record of these breaks, we recommend against hunger strikes demanding 1D's return.
MYSTERY: RushNeil Peart's revelation in Drumhead Magazine that he's a "retired" drummer has raised a lot of questions about the future of Rush. Canada's shop teachers are reportedly "shook" by this development. Frontman Geddy Lee would later dismiss Peart's claims of being a "retired" drummer and blamed the media (that's us!) for misconstruing Peart's comments. Will this all be cleared up by 2016? We'll have to wait and see.
Oh, bands! We can’t get enough of your on-again/off-again relationships. You tug on our heartstrings with all your Ross/Rachel style drama and if things pan out we get to pony up $450 (plus camping fees) to see your happy reunion on a festival stage between a nostalgia act and whatever EDM outfit brought the most lasers.
2016 looms on the horizon, so we here at AUX thought it might be worthwhile to profile the band breakups, make-ups and shake-ups that arrived this year before we fall into a period of nog-based drunkeness. Weep for the Weakerthans, raise a welcome back toast to Prozzäk, and take a moment to remember that Cobra Starship were “a thing.”