Last updated: 09/28/2005
Every group runs its course. When that happens it's sometimes a good idea for the lead singer to check out. OD, car wreck, shooting (either accidental or deliberate) or plane crash have all been done. Death usually spares the band a long decline that ends on the county fair circuit. It also allows the record label to foist unreleased material and b-sides on mourning fans. Then, of course, there's the big cash-in from the "Greatest Hits" package. It works for everyone, except perhaps the lead singer.
Of course, death might strike some as extreme. For those types there is another course of action when a group finds itself at the nether end. Start a new one. Like death, this is a dicey proposition. On top of that, it usually yields lesser results. But you have to try. It's no good spending the rest of your life on the beach or hanging from the arm of your pop-songtress wife. Case in point, Bush's Gavin Rossdale. His group, Bush, put themselves on the Alt. Rock map with '94's "Everything Zen" and followed that with "Razorblade Suitcase" which contained the hit "Swallowed." A third album, "Sixteen Stone," also did well. From there it got tough going. However, Rossdale did manage to meet and marry Gwen Stefani (No Doubt). They got engaged on New Year's Eve, '01 (how romantic!) and were married on September 14th, '02 at London's St. Paul's Covent Garden.
With Gwen out pumping her solo career, it must have seemed a good idea to form a group. So Rossdale (vocals/guitar) launched Institute with Chris Traynor (guitar), Cache Tolman (bass guitar) and Charlie Walker (drums). Traynor (who toured with Bush in their final years) split his time between Institute and Helmet. And there was another Helmet connection. Many of the songs on the group's '05 debut, "Distort Yourself," were produced by Helmet frontman Page Hamilton