Agalloch's breakup earlier this year was unfortunate, entirely unexpected, and a convoluted affair that left a lot of people really confused. The band initially took to Facebook to announce that it had broken up, only for frontman and guitarist John Haughm to say that the band was on hiatus and would continue as a solo project. That is, until the band announced that it was totally broken up for real this time, a statement that came alongside some pissed off comments from its former non-Haughm bandmates.
Now, in an interview with Billboard, former guitarist, pianist, and vocalist Don Anderson says that himself, bassist Jason Walton, and drummer Aesop Dekker will continue on as another, less Agalloch-ey project.
Anderson stated that he, Walton and Dekker were moving forward as a new band, with a fourth member soon to be announced. A name and a label have not been chosen yet.
“We’re very excited about it,” says Anderson. “We’re currently demoing new material, and we hope to play live and tour … We’re definitely going to try to do something different, [but] we don’t want to soil the Agalloch name. We don’t want to recall it too easily.”
In a separate interview published in the same Billboard post, Haughm says he's not done with music despite the breakup. He also addresses the breakup as one that was coming for a while now due to the other member's alleged unwillingness to tour, and addresses when he called himself a visionary (a move that pissed off a few people).
Yes, and in hindsight he was right. I made a huge mistake with that clarification, which was written and posted in haste under a massive amount of stress. My use of the word “visionary” was completely taken out of context and I realized later that it probably would be, so I edited it out the following morning.
All I was trying to point out was that Agalloch was based on my vision. In the beginning, Don, Jason and I each had our main personal projects that we were in charge of … but Agalloch was the one that got popular and eventually took the majority of our attention. That never changed my role as the main creative force, however. I wrote all of the lyrics, designed all of the albums, wrote 80 percent of the music and later took on a lot of the business management roles as well. The band was my vision through and through.
With that said, I cannot disregard their roles in making my initial vision come alive. Especially after Pale Folklore, I welcomed a bit more of a collaborative effort, and I think it made the music stronger even if it created more internal artistic conflicts along the way. I agree that the misinterpretation of my statement made me sound like a pompous, egomaniac who trivialized the other members’ input. That was not my intention, and I apologize to them and to anyone who was put off by that.
So Agalloch sans-Haughm will continue in a very un-Agalloch band, and Haughm will continue on doing whatever he wants.