OnlineRock Blog

11 January 2012

At the Drive-In Reunites and Joins Coachella Lineup

By Ana Diaz 

After a decade-long hiatus, the members of American post-hardcore band At the Drive-In will again take the stage together. On Monday afternoon, the band’s sparse Twitter account and webpage displayed an unexpected message: “¡ ATTENTION ! To whom it may concern: AT THE DRIVE-IN will be breaking their 11 year silence... THIS STATION IS …NOW…OPERATIONAL,” cryptically indicating that the band, with all five of its original members, has at last reunited.

This station is now operational!

Though At the Drive-In began to peak in the early 2000s, their journey began way back in 1993 as the post-hardcore genre began to fully unfurl. The band spent the next few years playing to empty clubs, but slowly, ATDI began to create place for itself by combining Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s strange lyrics with incredibly explosive and energetic live performances. This energy and tenacity paid off because by the first year of the new millennium, ATDI was embarking on a world wide tour and even gaining air time on MTV.

ATDI performing "One Armed Scissor" on Later... with Jools Holland in late 2000.

At the Drive-in initially broke up in early 2001 following the release and success of their critically acclaimed third album, Relationship of Command. Lead singer and lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala claimed responsibility for the 2001 breakup as he became more vocal of his belief that ATDI was hindering his creativity. Despite the loss of a band at the height of its popularity, the initial breakup spawned multiple equally talented musical endeavors. Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López went on to form the Grammy award-winning progressive rock band The Mars Volta. The remaining members continued with their rock influence and formed the band Sparta. Alongside these two main branches, some members also pursued other solo projects such as my personal ATDI branch-off favorite, Jim Ward’s country inspired Sleepercar.

The aftermath of a breakup: Sparta and The Mars Volta.

Signs that the members of At the Drive-In had made amends became apparent in 2009 when, in an interview, former front-man Bixler-Zavala stated he had apologized to his former band-mates and that the group was possibly considering becoming a collaborative whole again. So, bands that have broken up due to creative differences, take note because apologies and reconciliations do work. I’m specifically looking at you Morrissey and Johnny Marr.

One day……sigh.

Alongside the reunion notification, the band announced that they would also play at the Coachella Valley Arts and Music festival this year on April 15th and April 22nd. They are slated to be one of the closing acts on both of the festival’s Sunday nights. No formal announcements or indications of new material have been made yet.

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