Published Feb 11, 2008Renowned Montreal post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor have unofficially thrown in the towel or at least thats the way it seems.
In a recent interview, Godspeed founder and A Silver Mt. Zion member Efrim Menuck discussed the circumstances leading to the influential bands now-lengthy hiatus, as well as their untenable future. Yet Menuck didnt drop the old "musical difference line to explain the groups silence, but rather, of all things, laid the blame on the Iraq War.
"The last American tour that Godspeed did was in the run up to the current war in Iraq, Menuck told Drowned in Sound. "For what Godspeed did, it was very difficult for us to work out a way for us to communicate directly with the audience about what was going on. We would talk to people after the shows, or we could make announcements from the stage. But so much what Godspeed was, was one-way communication.
"And I had an existential freak-out about that that those tactics arent valid anymore. People didnt need a rock band pointing in the direction of [how the world was at that point]. Maybe what they needed is some clumsy words, a presentation that was a little more human.
"On a personal level I now find [Godspeed] to be inappropriate [to do]. Theres a complicated back-story. I reached a point whereby I was no longer willing to contribute to the steering of the ship; it was like, Okay now, someone else point the direction. I love all of you, but I need to ride shotgun for a while. While in the interview Menuck never directly says, "Godspeed have broken up, several news outlets over the weekend, such as gossipmongers NME, took Menucks words to mean a very definite end to the band. Perhaps this is jumping the gun a bit for the sake of good copy, but nevertheless, the Montrealers comments make any future Godspeed activity, especially any involving Menuck, seem unlikely at best.
Menuck formed Godspeed You! Black Emperor with Mike Moya and Mauro Pezzente in 1994, and by 1998, expanded the group into a loose nine-person collective. Alongside Mogwai and Tortoise, the group became one the major players in the post-rock movement of the mid- to late 90s and released three full-lengths and one EP before going on indefinite hiatus in 2003.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor "Dead Flag Blues