Tag Archive: “Failure”

Los Angeles, California’s Mossbreaker’s deliver their debut LP, Between the Noise and You, which is a heavy and beautiful endeavor, born of pain and loss, that delves into both the raw uniqueness and universality of the human experience. Self-produced and mixed over the course of a year by the alt-rock trio at their home studio in Los Angeles, the album comes in the wake of singer/guitarist, Gabe VanBenschoten’s father’s death. The result is a powerful, haunting record, that offers layers of keen musicianship.

Between the Noise and You opens with “Song for My Father,” a modern-day dirge that sets the tone for the gravity to come. It’s followed by “Dissolve,” a Deftones-esque driving march that conveys VanBenschoten’s feelings of loss, with lines like, “I want to hold your hand / As you disappear.” That moves into the title track — a droning detuned, would-be radio hit layered with eerie guitar leads and driving rhythms. And “Shamer” is yet another heavy-hitter with a formula of minimalist verses flowing into catchy, larger-than-life choruses that’ll dig into listeners’ brains and take up residence there.

With each subsequent track, the band, which is also composed of bassist Kevin Lessley and drummer Jarred Tibbetts, creates a sonic masterpiece that blends energetic ‘90s-influenced rock, melancholy dream pop and shoegaze-soaked post-rock. Overall, it’s raw, yet composed; it’s mournful, but aggressive; it’s meticulous, yet sounds absolutely massive.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Tibbetts to discuss the loss of their first and most ardent supporter, collaborating with Failure’s Ken Andrews and five-time Grammy winner Roget Chahayed, and motivations for creating. This is what he told us.

This album comes in the wake of Gabe’s father passing and the music here is obviously influenced by that loss. Was the process of doing the album one of healing?

Yes, definitely. Gabe’s dad, Dr. Matt, passed about seven or eight months before we began recording the album, and all that time was spent writing and demoing. Gabe really poured everything into this record; emotionally, physically and even monetarily. It’s clearly reflected in the lyrics but Gabe also worked tirelessly on writing and recording. Any free time he had away from teching, Gabe was working on it.

We made it a point to be as meticulous as possible on the record, from the song choice to the performance down to the track ordering, to make Dr. Matt proud. He was probably the biggest fan of the band, way more than a regular parent. He was unbelievably supportive and it was a huge blow to all of us when he passed.

What is it about loss that makes it such a strong artistic catalyst?

I think art is the ultimate vehicle to express emotion, whether its happiness, anger, sadness, whatever. And loss, especially the loss of a parent, is one of the hardest things to bear. One day a person is there in your life, and the next they’re gone and a void gets left behind. I think an artist’s only way to process everything is to immerse his/herself in those feelings and create something to fill that void. You have to work through the pain to get over it, and if you don’t it just festers and manifests in much more sinister, devastating ways later on.

That said, what are some fond memories of Gabe’s dad?

Dr. Matt came to almost every show we played, and after every show he would have some amazing, over-the-top compliment and tell us that this show was better than the last. It always meant a lot to me because I have no formal training, never took drum lessons, but I had this amazing musician with decades of experience constantly complimenting and pumping me up.

I have two memories that stick out. The first is the very first day Gabe and I jammed as a two-piece. We were playing in the living room, jamming this syncopated, odd time signature thing and Dr. Matt burst into the living room with this look on his face like we just invented music. He was so blown away and tripping out on it. He just kept saying, “You guys are on fire!”

The second was when Dr. Matt joined us on stage early on in the band’s career. He was an amazing jazz bass player, so we asked him to play a song with us on his electric stand up. He played the song with us and then did this mind-altering solo with a bow. It was crazy. It was a nothing show other than that, but his playing with us cemented it as a milestone for me.

Why self-produce and mix the record? Did that afford you guys some freedom in terms of time? Or was there a more deliberate vision at work here?

Gabe is a recording engineer. He began working as an assistant engineer almost immediately following his education. It’s his passion and he obviously knows what he’s doing. So doing it ourselves was kind of a no-brainer. It definitely allowed us to work at our own pace and explore a lot more creatively.

But, I think the biggest reason was Gabe’s vision. He hears things in his head a certain way and he wants to make sure it comes out as close to that as possible. Big, slick and clean.

The album has a distinct ’90s post-rock and shoegaze vibe. What is it about those sounds and influences that stick with Mossbreaker?

To me, it’s just the next logical progression, musically speaking, after punk and hardcore. I was a kid in the ‘90s and the bands getting played on the radio were Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, etc. That sound always stayed with me: big heavy guitars, catchy-yet-grating vocals and beautiful melodies. Even when I got into punk in junior high and started playing drums, everything I heard just seeped in and weaved itself into my musical DNA.

Ken Andrews [Failure] does guest vocals on “Between the Noise and You” how did that come about? Has he provided any feedback on the album as a whole?

Yeah. Ken doing vocals was kind of unbelievable. I don’t think he’s ever done guest vocals for any other bands, aside from his own projects. Gabe actually became Ken’s assistant when he got out of recording school. He worked with him for a few years and started teching for Failure when they reunited, so they spent a lot of time together.

We started writing material for this record and Gabe just asked Ken if he would get involved in some way. He originally wanted to play guitar on a song, but he has such a distinct recognizable voice so it made sense for him to lend it to that song.

Ken is into the record. He’s the type of guy that only does something if he actually backs it.

Grammy nominated Roget Chahayed is also a contributor here. How did that collaboration surface?

Roget and Gabe have been good friends since high school. I met Roget through my girlfriend about six years ago. He was this virtuoso pianist that could just shred anything. He used to give lessons and play little jazz quartet gigs, and just make beats on the side. Now he’s a five-time platinum hip-hop producer. It’s a trip.

Will you be touring in support of the record?

Yeah we’re putting together a West Coast tour for early September and an East Coast and midwest after that.

Do you have lofty goals for Mossbreaker or is it “art for art’s sake”? Would you be making music if there was no one to hear it?

It would be nice to do big tours and make money doing Mossbreaker full time, but we all have jobs and responsibilities that take precedence. I think the goal is to find a happy medium between doing it as a job and doing it for fun. It’s obviously an important creative and emotional outlet for all of us to write and record, but we also love performing and playing live. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t play shows. We’d just hole up in Gabe’s studio and record songs that no one would ever hear. And I’d probably be fine with that too.

(Visit Mossbreaker here:





Failure return to the road in support of The Heart Is A Monster this October with a special friend in tow, former touring band member, Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age). Van Leeuwen was a touring member behind Fantastic Planet and played on four of the songs from The Heart Is A Monster.

“This is a very special tour to me for a couple of reasons,” says singer/guitar player Ken Andrews. “One reason is the fact that we have some very cool bands joining us: Hum, Torche, Local H, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The second reason this tour is so special to me is that we have managed to secure our dear friend and former band mate, Troy Van Leeuwen as the fourth member of Failure for this tour. I’m personally excited by this as it’s going to allow us to expand our live sound and repertoire. Think “Snow Angel” and “I Can See Houses” from The Heart Is A Monster, as well as a few gems from the past like our cover of “Enjoy The Silence.”

10/9 Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live w/ Hum, Torche
10/10 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution w/ Hum, Torche
10/11 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues w/ Hum, Torche
10/13 Norfolk, VA @ Norva w/ Torche
10/14 New York, NY @ FLOODfest (CMJ) – Brooklyn Bowl
10/15 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre w/ Torche
10/17 St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird w/ Local H
10/20 Tucson, AZ @ The Rock w/ Local H
10/21 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom w/ Local H
10/22 Las Vegas, NV @ Fremont Country Club w/ Local H
10/25 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival
10/27 Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent w/ Trail of the Dead, Local H
10/28 TBA
10/29 San Diego, CA @ The Music Box w/ Trail of the Dead, Local H

You wanted the best, you got the best! Ghettoblaster #41 is here and it’s a double cover with High On Fire on the front and Murs on the back. There’s also interviews with Prefuse73Built to SpillFailureDesaparecidos,METZLyrics Born, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mac McChaughan, Shilpa RayMega RanHeartless Bastardscourtney barnettLightning Bolt, comedians Jen Kirkman and Kyle KinaneDonnie Yen‘s new film Kung Fu Jungle, the new Batman: Arkham Knight game, a 3-page comic review of the Nelsonville Music Festival and so, so, so much more! 

You can order a copy soon over here, or you can fill out this form to subscribe for a whole year’s worth of Ghettoblaster delivered straight to your door!

Upstart Atlanta music festival, The Wrecking Ball ATL, is pleased to announce the addition of legendary superstar Alt rockers, FAILURE, to their inaugural lineup.

The festival, the debut edition of which serves as a 25th anniversary celebration for celebrated rock venue, The Masquerade, already boasts an unbelievably stacked bill of Punk, Hardcore, Alt, and Emo acts, both modern and historic.

The addition of FAILURE to the Aug. 8/9 weekend celebration serves to cement a lineup which already boasts a mind-blowing array of talent which includes COHEED AND CAMBRIA, DESCENDENTS, the reunion of THRICE, a rare appearance of GLASSJAW, a reunited THE MOVIELIFE, hardcore legends AMERICAN NIGHTMARE and JUDGE, as well as BASEMENT, BRAID, MODERN LIFE IS WAR, TITLE FIGHT, APPLESEED CAST and more.

FAILURE, who haven’t released a full length recording since 1996’s critically acclaimed, FANTASTIC PLANET, will perform material from their upcoming release, THE HEART IS A MONSTER; their first in 17 years.  The band has recently completed a tour, supporting TOOL and is currently on the road with JANE’S ADDICTION.


Failure quietly unveiled the song “Come Crashing” overnight via Bandcamp (failureband.bandcamp.com).

The song marks the band’s first new music since the 1996 release of the landmark album, Fantastic Planet, and arrives as the Los Angeles trio embarks on their first North American tour in seventeen years.

“Come Crashing” is also included on a tour only EP, Tree of Stars, which includes live recordings of “Let It Drip,” “Frogs,” Sergeant Politeness” and “Heliotropic.”

Failure announced their eagerly awaited reunion in November, which was followed in February by a sold out show at The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Spin said the performance “was so dynamic, sweeping, warm, and expansive that it felt like the perfect combination of an arena show with an intimate setting.” The band joined former touring partners, Tool, for a brief March outing and most recently helped Maynard James Keenan celebrate his 50th birthday at Cinquanta. In a recent interview with Noisey (http://noisey.vice.com/blog/failure-interview-ken-andrews), Ken Andrews revealed the band is currently working on a new album.

Tree of Stars North American Tour 2014

May 15     San Francisco, CA     Great American Music Hall

May 17     Vancouver, BC     Rickshaw Theatre

May 18     Seattle, WA     The Showbox

May 21     Minneapolis, MN     The Varsity

May 22     Chicago, IL     The Metro

May 24     Milwaukee, WI     The Rave

May 25     Detroit, MI     St. Andrew’s Hall

May 26     Toronto, ON     Mod Club

May 27     Toronto, ON     Mod Club

May 29     New York, NY     Irving Plaza

May 30     Philadelphia, PA     Theatre of Living Arts

May 31     Asbury Park, NJ     The Stone Pony

June 1     Boston, MA     Paradise Rock Club

June 3     Brooklyn, NY     Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 5     Silver Spring, MD     The Fillmore

June 6     Asheville, NC     The Orange Peel

June 7     Atlanta, GA     The Masquerade

June 8     Nashville, TN     Exit In

June 10     Dallas, TX     House of Blues

June 11     Houston, TX     House of Blues

June 13     Phoenix, AZ     The Marquee Theatre

June 14     Pomona, CA     The Glasshouse

June 15     San Diego, CA     House of Blues

June 18     Los Angeles, CA     The Fonda Theatre

Failure will hit the road this spring for the “Tree of Stars North American 2014 Tour”:

5/10 Los Angeles, CA Cinquanta (The Greek Theatre)
5/11 Los Angeles, CA Cinquanta (The Greek Theatre)
5/14 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
5/15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
5/17 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
5/18 Seattle, WA The Showbox
5/21 Minneapolis, MN The Varsity
5/22 Chicago, IL The Metro
5/24 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II
5/25 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
5/26 Toronto, ON Mod Club
5/27 Toronto, ON Mod Club
5/29 New York, NY Irving Plaza
5/30 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
5/31 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony
6/1 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
6/3 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
6/5 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore