… or maybe not? In any case, parts of the Kaizers Orchestra fan world seem to be collapsing right now. Because of this interview that I did with Janove. And of course I’m being asked what I think of the announcement of the break, and actually, I’m asking myself what I think of it.
Well, first of all: This is my personal view. No journalistic point of view, no fansite point of view, but I’m just talking as the common, yet crazy, fan that I am. No quoting without permission! 😉 (Hell, that interview is all over the Norwegian press right now. That was to be expected, but I had hoped I’d be wrong in my suspection…)
So, what do I think? First and foremost: They deserve the break. And they NEED the break. Desperately. As they say: They have been in this for 15 years, always pushing back other plans and needs and wishes, always together with the same group of people. And they need the break before it’s too late and the horse has escaped (or the kid fell into the well, whichever language you prefer *g*). A very important life lesson: If there are factors in your life that bring you down, that have a bad influence, or that make you feel bad in any way – get rid of them as soon as possible. And this part in the interview about getting a new life, finally getting to do things you wanted to do forever but couldn’t do because of the band … yep. That makes it totally clear that the band IS such a factor, at least at the moment, and that means they need the break.
And even if that wasn’t the case – I’m a strong defender of the attitude that whatever a band does, a band does. And I as a fan don’t have a say in that, and I don’t have the right to complain. I might not like something, but well, that’s my problem then, and not the band that has to change. So even if I would not agree that they deserve a break – the band wants the break, and so a break it is.
So, how do I feel about it? The break was no surprise whatsoever, and as stated above: they need it. So it’s great. (And honestly, I think we fans need a bit of a break once in a while as well… *g*) The part that was a surprise, however, was the length of the break. I had expected three, four years, maybe five. What I did not expect was the talk about “last” concerts, “last” tours, and the plan to focus on huge other projects (the musical) in the meantime. That caught me quite off-guard, actually (even though I managed to keep my poker face, I think *g*). And even though they start denying now that they were talking about a possibly ten-year break, I’m pretty sure they were. Or at least Janove was. Which of course is like the worst thing you can do promo-wise, so I can totally see why they play it down now, but it’s not all a misunderstanding …
But okay, let’s just assume we’re talking seven years, which was mentioned explicitly, at least as one option. That’s a LONG time. But here my attitude mentioned above kicks in: If that’s what the band wants, that’s what the band wants, and I gotta live with it. (Or well, I would have to live with it no matter what my attitude, but I can actually accept it without my world collapsing. Totally. And I’m SO looking forward to using my vacation days for some REAL vacation for a change!)
But then – if you plan to be away for a long time, and you don’t have ANY plans for afterwards – why do you call it a break? I just don’t get it. And this is actually the part that surprised me most. To the question regarding the plans, I expected an answer like “well, we don’t have any real plans yet, but once we’re ready we’ll get together and discuss how we want to continue”. And if even that “plan” isn’t there, wouldn’t it be more logical to break up, maybe with an option to reunite whenever the time is right? This “we just take a break” in combination with the huge intermediate plan of a musical (and – to be nitpicky – the mention of a “Kaizers Orchestra band”) makes it sound like a cheap way out to me. A cheap way out to allow to maybe never start again because other projects are more successful (and without a bad conscience that you let down the band for that, because you didn’t, the band is just taking a break), or to start again in several years with an all new group of musicians, still as Kaizers Orchestra.
So yes, there IS a dull feeling about all this. But again: what the band does is what the band does. I’m gonna see and wait and judge what I get to hear and experience, both in the meantime and after the break. I might be totally wrong in my interpretation, and we see Kaizers Orchestra back just like we know them in only a few years time. I might fall in love with the musical and grow older so much that I’m totally satisfied with just seeing the musical and won’t miss the concerts (ok, that’s a rather unlikely option *g*). And even if Kaizers Orchestra would start again years from now with a different set of members, I might still enjoy the music and the concerts, even though it’s not the same. In any case – if I like it, I’ll be the same kind of fan I am now. If I don’t, well, then I guess I’m beyond it and moving on.
Either way, it’s not the end of the world, not at all. It might be the end of the world as we know it, but then … there are other worlds than these.
(And if you don’t get the Stephen King reference in the end, you still got some of them to explore!)
PS: Oh, and by the way – I was expecting the break three years ago already …
Tags: Kaizers Orchestra
Absolutely agree that the band does what the band does. You can’t force them to change their minds, they’re grown-ups and it is THEIR life and THEIR career, and in the end, they don’t owe the fans anything, let alone to behave as the fans expect or want them to. As a fan, the only action one can take is to move on if you don’t like it. Period.
Maybe they just call it a break because to them, it needs to be a break rather than a break-up? Some sort of trial separation to see if the relationship benefits from it, a means to reassure yourself that a) you get the time off you desperately need and b) you still have a “home” to return to if needs be. Let’s call it a midlife crisis experiment and hope that this means there’s another 15 years of band life ahead some time in the future. 😉
A break is always the more comforting option than a split. Plus, the concept of a reunion tastes stale these days. Hey, even the Sex Pistols did it…
I remain optimistic about this. I think that there is enough friendship and love between the band members still (okay, I haven’t seen them live in ages, but hey!), and I try to tell myself that not every band is a business model rather than a bunch of mates, and thus I believe they will be back in their old glory some day. If only because they take too much pride in the concept of Kaizers to not bury it in style. 😉