I'm sorry to say that 2007 has already seen its first official band disbandment—Mon Frere announced New Year's Day that they've broken up. Sadly for fans, there will be no official last show.
"I guess I just didn't want to make a big deal out of it," says keyboardist and singer Nouela Johnston about why she decided not to play shows post-break-up announcement. "Quitting this band doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. I didn't want to do the awkwardness of a last show."
For now, Johnston is going to focus on working as a "keyboard player for hire." She's also given thought to working on a solo project, even if the term turns her off. ("Let's not call it a solo project," she says. "That sounds douchey." Agreed.)
As for her bandmates, guitarist Kyle Swisher and drummer Dustin McGhie, they'll also keep playing music, but neither of them have settled anywhere official yet. Swisher says that he hopes he and McGhie will continue playing together either in a new project, or in an already established band. Swisher also has some different material he'd like to explore.
"I'm looking forward to doing things with some songs that were never really right for Mon Frere. The material is more spacey and shoegazey, so maybe I'll start expanding on that," he says.
As for McGhie, Swisher says his talents will no doubt keep him busy. "Even throughout Mon Frere, Dustin has been getting offers to play in other people's bands. He can basically do it all. He listens to so much metal and hardcore, but he's also played in bands that wouldn't ever delve into those genres. He's very versatile."
Just back in November, Mon Frere shot a video for the song "Drain" with director Constellation Jones (who has also worked with Joan Jett and Talib Kweli). Thankfully, it won't go to waste, even though the band is done. "We'll definitely put it up on our website, and you'll probably be able to find it on YouTube and places like that," Swisher says.
On a completely unrelated note, there is some good news to share—as Ari Spool announced on Line Out (www.thestranger.com/lineout) earlier this week, Sonic Boom in Fremont is expanding, taking over the former Fremont News space next door. The vinyl annex that's currently downstairs from Sonic Boom will close, and all the new and used vinyl will move into the general store, where they'll also carry "magazines, books, drinks, snacks, toys, and more." It will officially open February 1.
Which is bad news for me. I already have enough trouble holding onto paychecks between Singles Going Steady, Easy Street, and the Boom as it exists now... The new store is sure to plunge me into debt.