Psych! Agalloch ARE Broken Up (We Think)

  • Axl Rosenberg

Yo, Agalloch got me feelin’ all Faye Dunaway in Chinatown n’ shit.

Six days ago, Agalloch announced they were breaking up.

Shortly after that, frontman John Haughm announced that they weren’t breaking up, but every member of the band besides him was leaving, and it might be a minute before he gets around to making new Agalloch music, assuming he gets around to new Agalloch music at all.

One day ago, that Facebook post was deleted, and this message was posted on Agalloch’s official site:

agalloch may 18 2016 post

So I guess no more Agalloch after all. Bummer if you got your hopes up… but without at least Don Anderson and Jason Walton, would it have really been Agalloch anyway?

Speaking of Don Anderson: he has also released a statement regarding the band’s break-up, and it sounds like it wasn’t exactly amicable.

Dear Everyone,

Usually statements like these open with expressions of gratitude for the fans, friends, colleagues, and people we’ve worked with. There is a sort of form to the break-up letter that long-running bands produce: “thanks everyone that has supported us over the years, bought our records, came to our shows,” and so forth. Then the apologies arrive from fans, friends, and family members: “we’re so sorry to hear this. We hope you are ok.” But, I can’t start like that—it seems too mechanical. I can’t start that way because it is I who should apologize to all of you.

I am sorry you won’t ever hear new music from Agalloch. I am sorry our fans in Latin America, China, Russia, Japan, Australia, will never see us play. I’m sorry I won’t personally meet many of you after a show and talk about music, movies, school, and share a shot of bourbon. I’m really, really sorry because I had every intention of continuing.

This was not my decision.

I did not want this.

I still maintain it was not necessary.

I’m sorry it had to be this way. I am personally devastated and have not felt this level of grief since my father passed away ten years ago. So, if you are sad, upset, pissed, or bitter—I share these feelings with you. I know Agalloch deeply touched a lot of people. And I honor that by grieving in solidarity with all of you. Agalloch was an incalculable part of my identity and I’ll be walking as half a man for some time now.

I want to thank many people. I am terrified of forgetting anyone as my mind isn’t all that clear today. So, for now, I really want to thank the fans from the bottom of my heart. My favorite activity was meeting all of you after a gig, or before a gig. The spiritual connection you and I shared during a show was the closest I, an atheist, have ever felt to God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You might think our music helped you through the dark times in your lives, but all along you were helping me avoid the darkness.

Don Anderson
New York, May 14, 2016

Although Anderson doesn’t go into specifics, even this vague statement seems to back up a recent Decibel editorial by Krieg’s Neill Jameson, which blames ego for Agalloch’s dissolution, calling the break-up “a textbook example of believing your own press.” Writes Jameson:

“Hours after [Haughm] fired his band, he called himself ‘visionary.’ The fucking hubris of this even took me by surprise and I’m used to people making wild claims about themselves to somehow appear more of an important or strong figure but this shit took that trope and ran with it, unfortunately not out in front of a bus. There was mention that Agalloch might continue or that the future was uncertain which made the situation so apparent even Helen Keller could see it and agree that it was horseshit. It can be construed as saying that the other three members of the band—some of which had been with Haughm for well over a decade—weren’t important in the grand scheme of things. And not only does that do them a great disservice, since without them he wouldn’t have been able to tour or record these albums, it’s also a giant dick move to publicly shit on your friends, people who have stood by you since before anyone gave a fuck about you. It shows a lack of class and character. It’s poor fucking form.”


You can read the rest of Jameson’s piece here. Then head to the comments section to argue about whether or not Haughm should have continued the band with a new line-up.

Thanks: Mark B.

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