After breaking up in 2001, the Texan post-hardcore greats At The Drive-In got back together for a reunion tour in 2012. By most accounts the shows were fun, but certain members of the band, most notably co-leader Omar Rodríguez-López, did not seem especially happy to be there. The band broke up again in the same year, and things, for a while, were tumultuous between Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler Zavala, his fellow frontman. The Mars Volta, their longer-running band, broke up in 2013. Last year, though, they formed a new band called Antemasque that released one album. And now, it looks like ATDI are back on again, though there’s still some confusion about the reunion.
The Columbus, Ohio hard-rock festival Rock On The Range recently announced its lineup for next year, and it features At The Drive-In alongside a whole lot of metal and radio-rock. The festival runs 5/20-22, and its three headliners are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed, and Rob Zombie, and the lineup also features people like Megadeth, Death From Above 1979, Bring Me The Horizon, Lamb Of God, Pennywise, Ghost, Wolfmother, Clutch, the Sword, and Code Orange. And if you’re going just for ATDI, you will have to contend with a horde of Five Finger Death Punch fans. It’s just the way it is.
But at least one ATDI member might not know anything about this reunion. The El Paso Times interviewed former member Jim Ward a few weeks ago, and on the subject of ATDI reunion rumors, he said, “Let me know what you hear.” When the Rock On The Range lineup came out, the newspaper contacted Ward again, and he said he could neither confirm nor deny that they’d actually be performing. So maybe the reunion announcement is premature, or maybe it’ll be a reunion without all the original members.
As nice as it may be to have At The Drive-In back, everything about this reunion suggests that we won’t be getting anything like the classic ATDI live experience. Such is life.