Remember The Mae Shi's "Run To Your Grave" and their dank as hell Miley Cyrus cover "See You Again"? Shit might not be happening again. Ever. The local six-piece has been popping out electro-skizz jams since 2002, but have split up, citing artistic and personal differences fueled by founding member Jeff Byron's alcohol and substance abuse, as well as personal tension over who was being marketed as the band's "front man."
Whispers of the disbandment started last Thursday when Pitchfork posted a misguided "news" piece about the band's fall out. Jeff Byron and fellow Mae Shi member Tim Byron reacted by clearly and honestly explaining the split on their Myspace page -- an endearing act for a band who has earned swarms of loyal fans. The story goes like this: in early in 2009, The Mae Shi got their "First real 'manager,' and we were being told that to be successful, we should market ourselves as a four-piece. We were told we needed to 'focus,' and the audience needed something to focus on. We needed a 'front man.' We took that advice, and took aim at the future as a quartet -- Jon, Jeff, Bill and Jacob. Jon was our front man, and he did it well. Brad was fine was this, as he wasn't interested in performing, only writing and producing, but Tim felt weird and a little hurt about it" the band explained in their open letter.
Bill Gray, John Gray and Jacob Cooper have formed a new group, Signals, who debuted some songs of theirs during The Mae Shi's scheduled set at Pitchfork Fest (they played without Jeff and Tim Byron and . Brad Breeck). Jeff Byron and Tim Byron will continue to play under the moniker The Mae Shi. Only time will tell how the new group's sound will stack up to the infectiously catchy and twitterpated dance thumps of The Mae Shi's previous hits.
Jeff and Tim Byron conclude their open letter on a melancholy, yet hopeful note, stating:
"This is all, in our view, a tremendous bummer. It makes us deeply sad.
The Mae Shi have had their share of tough times. We are a dysfunctional
bunch. But we've always been friends, and we've always believed that we
are generally good people. We've always been family -- real family.
Byrons and Grays, a Buchla, a Breeck, a Cooper. A Fogel and a Savino.
But this seems extremely opportunistic and inconsiderate, and not how
friends treat one another.
We feel very weird and sad about all of this. Because of Signals' press release, we are getting tons of emails and calls from friends asking if the band is over. We weren't prepared to discuss this; while Signals were building Myspace pages and booking shows, we were trying to get better. We've been told Signals is going to play Mae Shi songs, which also makes us feel weird.
So here is the hastily written story: We are the Mae Shi. We do not break up. Currently, we are Jeff and Tim Byron, and we hope to be more people in the future. The future is uncertain, but there is a future."