By the mid-'90s the stars seemed to have aligned for Los Angeles post-grunge trio Failure.
Signed to Warner, their video on MTV, constant touring, and a celebrity fan in Tool's Maynard Keenan, the trio seemed poised for success. (Despite their name.)
Unfortunately, it didn't exactly happen that way. “It was great that we had the resources and push behind us, but if you didn't deliver right away, you just became shit thrown at the wall that didn't stick,” says multi-instrumentalist Greg Edwards.
Ultimately, their albums sales disappointed the label, but that wasn't the only problem.
Edwards also had problems with depression and drugs, and there were growing tensions between him and Ken Andrews, who sings and also plays multiple instruments.
“We were both just done with it and we weren't talking a lot,” says Edwards. “Ken called me one day and said something sort of sarcastic like, 'I don't know, maybe our haircuts weren't right. I think it's not happening and I don't want to continue with it.' And that was it.”
The band broke up in 1997. Over the next seven years, they immersed themselves in other projects; Edwards performs in experimental noise rock trio Autolux, drummer Kellii Scott played with everyone from Linda Perry to Veruca Salt, and Andrews started musical projects On and Year of the Rabbit while producing artists including French duo Air.
When Edwards and Andrews reconnected in 2004 as friends, they began, subliminally, to plant seeds for Failure, part two.
“It was fun, relaxed and exactly as it had been,” says Edwards. “The first few times we were together it was just like the beginning when we completely got along.”
Edwards brought song ideas to Andrews and the pair began to experiment musically.
“Ken and I have a unique collaborative process whereby we fill in the gaps for each other and we don't step on each other's toes too much,” says Edwards. “I do feel there's momentum moving forward.”
And so it was: Failure will play their first live show in more than 15 years on February 13, 2014 at the El Rey Theatre. The show sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale.
“I'm amazed that there are people still that excited from back then as though they've been waiting for us to get back together,” Edwards says. “It's really validating.”
“I don't think it's going to stop there,” he goes on. “We realized if we had time or we wanted to we could continue and make a record on par with, or a logical satisfying step from, [1996's] Fantastic Planet, not just a reunion record that is completely worthless crap.”
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