In the words of Vice President Joe Biden: This is a big fucking deal. Isis, Los Angeles' heady metal quintet, has called it quits after 13 years. From the band: “Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close.”
The seminal metal band polarized metalheads and forged new ways to think about heavier music. It wasn't about speed or hyper-musicianship, metal was about feeling and layers. Their tsunami of sound could be an introspective place, or a riot act. After Isis released their heavier-than-dark-matter Oceanic in 2002, they were the forefront of the incorrectly labeled “indie metal” scene, and imitators sprung up like barnacles on a ghost ship. Many metal bands would incorporate an “Isis breakdown” in to their songs; that slow buildup, growing in power and volume nearly to the breaking point. But Isis never lost control, rooted firmly in the eye of the storm.
Their 2004 classic “Panopticon,” (that's right, Foucault fans!) changed metal forever, blurring the definitition of what hard rock should be. Atmospheric elements made Isis the Brian Eno's of metal, but Aaron Turner's vocal blasts kept the band heavy. Turner started Hydrahead records, the premiere label for metal that not for jocks, featuring Pelican, Botch (the other late great, genre bending-metal act), Neurosis, Converge and Coalesce. Isis was one of the flagship bands for Mike Patton and Greg Werckman's free-thinking label Ipecac, which bids the band adieu before their final tour ever.
“It has been a complete honor to be a part of the ISIS team. ISIS is a major part of our label's foundation. Those 5 talented guys are our friends and we look forward to see and hear what they each do in the future.”
After the jump, read the complete goodbye letter from Isis and the dates for their farewell tour. Send off Los Angeles' greatest metal band of the 21st century on June 5 at the Troubadour.
ISIS has reached an end. It's hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn't something that occurred over night and it hasn't been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close.
We've seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We've had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible. We never set any specific goals when the band was founded other than to make the music we wanted to hear and to play (and to stay true to that ideal), so everything else that has come along the long and winding path has been an absolute gift.
As with any momentous life-changing decision (which this certainly is for the 5 of us), we feel a very dynamic range of emotions about this and cannot express all of it within the space of a few sentences, and perhaps it's best to do what we've always done and let our music speak for us. It is and has been the truest expression of who we are as a collective and in some ways who we are as individuals for the 13 years in which we've been together. The last and perhaps most important thing we might say in relation to all this is how grateful we are for the people that have supported us over the years.
It is a lengthy list that would include those who put out our records, those that played on them and put them to tape, the many bands with whom we shared the stage, all of our family, friends and companions who supported us in our individual lives and thus made it possible for us to continue on in the band, and most importantly those who truly listened to our music whether in recorded form or by coming to out to our shows (or both).
It is quite true that we would never have done what we have without those people, that is many of you who are reading this. Our words can never fully express what we feel, but we hope that our music and the efforts made to bring it into being can serve as a more proper expression of gratitude for this life and for everyone in it. Thank you.
In more immediate and practical terms the tour we are about to embark upon is indeed our last. We are hoping that these final live rituals can help us bring a close to the life of this band in a celebratory and reverent way, and also provide us with a chance to say goodbye to many of those that have supported us over the years. While there is a measure of sadness that comes with the passing of this band, we hope that the final days can be joyous ones during which any and all that wish to come and join us will do so. It seems fitting that the last show of the tour and of our active existence will take place in Montreal, the site of the very first ISIS show in 1997 (though that was an unintentional move when booking the show initially). After the tour we also plan to follow through with other projects set in motion some time ago – pursuing the completion of a final EP, compiling live audio and visual material for future releases, and generally doing whatever we can to make our music available for as long as there are people who wish to hear it.
Thanks again to any and all,
ISIS, May 18 2010
May 26 2010 6:00P
The Casbah w/ Jakob & Tombs San Diego, California, US
May 29 2010 6:00P
Wow Hall w/ Jakob & Tombs Eugene, Oregon , US
May 30 2010 7:30P
Capitol Theatre w/ Jakob & Tombs Olympia, WA
May 31 2010 6:00P
Rickshaw Theatre w/ Jakob & Tombs Vancouver, British Co, CA
Jun 1 2010 6:00P
Neumo's w/ Jakob & Tombs Seattle, Washington, US
Jun 2 2010 6:00P
Doug Fir Lounge w/ Jakob & Tombs Portland, Oregon, US
Jun 4 2010 6:00P
Great American Music Hall w/ Jakob & Tombs San Francisco, California, US
Jun 5 2010 6:00P
The Troubadour w/ Jakob & Tombs Los Angeles, California, US
Jun 12 2010 6:00P
Bonnaroo Festival W/ Clutch, Melvins, Flaming Lips, etc. Manchester, Tennessee, US
Jun 14 2010 6:00P
40 Watt Club w/ Melvins Athens, Georgia, US
Jun 16 2010 6:00P
9:30 Club w/Melvins Washington, D.C., US
Jun 17 2010 6:00P
Theater Of Living Arts (TLA) w/ Melvins Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Jun 18 2010 6:00P
Webster Hall w/ Melvins New York, New York, US
Jun 19 2010 6:00P
Music Hall Of Williamsburg w/ Melvins Brooklyn, New York, US
Jun 20 2010 6:00
Paradise Rock Club w/ Melvins Boston, Massachusetts, US
Jun 21 2010 6:00P
Paradise Rock Club w/ Melvins Boston, Massachusetts, US
Jun 22 2010 6:00P
Port City Music Hall w/ Cave In Portland, Maine, US
Jun 23 2010 6:00P
Club Soda w/ Cave In Montreal, Quebec, CA