If somebody 20 years ago had said that Ride, Slowdive and the Jesus and Mary Chain would be putting out records and touring in 2017, it wouldn’t have been a stretch to say they were mad. But lo and behold, here we are.
Back in January, Slowdive made an explosive return with Star Roving, the first single off their celestial self-titled LP, a first from the band since 1994’s Pygmalion. In June, following a few years of sporadic tours and reunion shows, Ride brought us Weather Diaries, their first album since 1996’s Tarantula. And in March, the Jesus and Mary Chain put out Damage and Joy, the band’s first record since Munki back in 1998.
In the wake of an unexpected shoegaze renaissance in 2017, we spoke with those who pioneered the genre in the early 90s and those who are holding the torch and running with it into the future.
…But why is it that something as ephemeral in its time as shoegaze has lingered for so long? Why is it that the ‘scene that celebrated itself’ is still being celebrated? And how has the genre changed since these bands disbanded?
We turned to those who experienced it first hand for answers.
“I’d like to think it was because we did something that had a bit of quality,” says Mark Gardener, who formed Ride alongside fellow singer and guitarist Andy Bell (who went on to play in Beady Eye alongside Liam Gallagher), drummer Laurence Colbert, and bassist Steve Queralt in 1988.
“It wasn’t strictly connected with a fashion or anything back in the day. And therefore the music has grown in our absence….”
Also in Issue 5
Burning the fucking joint down: we chat to A.B. Original
Keeping Sydney Open: a late night conversation with Tyson Koh
Mood, space and the art of invisibility with rising producer Antonia Gauci
Mapping sound and colour with Leif Podhajský