I've been thinking about how bands these days announce their break-ups. The phrase "indefinite hiatus" is most frequently used, but what does that really mean? In the case of Sleater-Kinney, some doors sound like they are open for possible reunions in the future. In regards to other bands that have used that phrase, some mudslinging has come out, implying that the doors are shut. Ex-members of At the Drive-In and blink-182 have made some rather choice words about certain other bandmates, but even with that, time only tells about these sorts of matters.
With blink-182, bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus recently did a long-ass interview about the unraveling of the band. Pointing at choices and decisions dictated by guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge as a big reason, what was once a democratic band was now rotating around one person. This of course doesn't paint DeLonge in a very positive light, but then again, the guy dug his own grave with his words a few months ago. Making bold claims about his new band, Angels and Airwaves, in print (check out my post on this) and making himself out as a goofball onstage (here's a live review), DeLonge definitely looks like the bad guy here. I'm not seeing a reunion in the near-future.
So why is all of this intriguing to me? Well, I find it's interesting how bands unravel, just like in ordinary, everyday relationships. Rock stardom can really change people and break up solid foundations seemingly forever. However, growing up with bands who claimed they would never get back together, it always seemed odd whenever the band did get back together. Lawsuits and mudslinging make for great copy, but that stuff tends to be made light of when the band reunites. Be it Pink Floyd, the Pixies or the Eagles, the reunited bandmates will often say that time heals as they go about a reunion show or tour.
Is "indefinite hiatus" a way of being optimistic for a reunion or is it just a phrase that pulls a curtain over a nasty break-up? I don't know, but each band is different. I'm not one that pines for reunions, but I am glad to see what appears to be happy endings.