Giant Sand Call It Quits
Published Feb 09, 2016Thirty years into their career, Tucson Americana institution Giant Sand have announced the they're throwing in the towel. On the plus side, founder Howe Gelb revealed that the group will be ringing the requiem bell with the release of a retrospective box set.
Gelb issued a statement about the folding of Giant Sand, explaining that the band had accomplished quite a bit since forming in the mid-'80s.
"30 years seems an adequate number to aptly utter 'I kinda quit,'" he wrote, adding of the group's hefty back catalogue, "There's plenty enough here. More than imaginable."
Though his next step is unclear, Gelb did leave hope for new music arriving sometime later, just not as Giant Sand. "I'm very eager to see what the next blink will bring," he said. "Piano for now. Songs forever."
The band's finale will be marked with European dates this spring, as well as a forthcoming three-LP box set fittingly titled The Sun Set. The due date and the tracklist have yet to be revealed, but the collection will present highlights from the Giant Sand catalogue in chronological order. It will land later this year through Fire Records.
Giant Sand's debut LP was 1985's Valley of Rain. They would go on to issue dozens of releases over the years, flirting with elements of Americana, folk, alt-country and more. Gelb was a constant throughout, while other key players include Calexico's John Convertino and Joey Burns, Mark Walton (the Dream Syndicate), and Paula Jean Brown.
Among the guest musicians popping up on Giant Sand albums over the years are also Victoria Williams, Isobel Campbell, Neko Case, M. Ward, PJ Harvey and the late Vic Chesnutt.
Giant Sand's final full-length was 2015's Heartbreak Pass.
You'll find Gelb's statement in full down below.
30 years of giant sand
way back when it seemed like a long spans. but no. just a blink of the eye.
the flutter of the lid seems like it's in a slow-motion wow, but any motion is in fast-forward compared to still life.
albums live on a shelf like a still life collection collecting decades and dust.
what do we have here, collectively speaking ? musings set to motion. here in rewind and some in fast forward.
we know there's no comfortable category to place it all. perhaps because there is no categorical comfort.
the forefathers of this output have been set in rock: david bowie, john lennon, jimi hendrix, bob dylan and neil young.
the forefathers set in ivory are probably responsible for what's coming next.
but as far as rock erosion is concerned, with this collection of mega dust, this giant sand, it's high time to call it a day.
30 years seems an adequate number to aptly utter "I kinda quit". there's plenty enough here. more than imaginable.
i'm very eager to see what the next blink will bring. piano for now. songs forever.
so here's to the next 30 years of plunk rock. a circle of fifths in black and white blur. getting on a plane with no guitar bag slung. maybe a hat. .. bolo tie too.
thank you so very much for your participation in all of this. I will never thank you enough because I can't.
we are a fabric. a stitch in time. sonic threads woven by our space age muses.