Musicians on Hiatus - Should We Care?
At last, here we are again at a classic celebrity crossroads: The Grand Hiatus. This path in an artist’s career usually follows one of two events: massive, mind-blowing success, or a total and very public breakdown. Of course, one cannot have a public breakdown without actually being successful enough for people to care (Or crazy enough. Amirite, Brit-Brit?). So, here are some of the best and worst music hiatuses, even before Sherlock made it cool.
Eminem: 2005-2008 (ish)
After releasing Encore in 2004, there were many rumours swirling around that Eminem was quitting the scene. During this time, he released a greatest hits album, usually a sign of a backsliding career, aptly named Curtain Call. Although 2005 was a rough year for Eminem in the media and press, he scheduled a tour which was eventually partly cancelled so that he could enter rehab. After a few years of sorting out “personal things,” Mr Mathers got back into the studio to release 2009’s Relapse. Eminem currently has a song sitting comfortably at #5 on the Hot 100. I’d say he came out alright.
John Mayer: 2009-2012
(Umm, yes I totally used this gif because I love them together and would it be so hard just once to invite me and my boyfriend on a double date with you two I mean c’mon)
I think we all remember the infamous John Mayer interviews in Rolling Stone and Playboy. I think we’re all glad that he moved to Montana and sorted himself out (and grew up a bit). However, I’m not sure we were all prepared for just how much cowboy-ness would be involved in his comeback. Even though Born and Raised was not the commercial success of 2009’s Battle Studies, Mayer showed a versatility that was refreshing, if not a little too Western. Also, he switched out Taylor Swift for Katy Perry. 3000% upgrade, well done, John!
Adele: The Fakiatus 2012
It’s pretty understandable that Adele would be hesitant to do another album so quickly after blowing up with one of the biggest albums of all time that also singlehandedly (well, with a little help from Gotye) kept the music industry afloat in 2012. However, saying you’re going off the grid for five years and living on an island is a bit much. Thankfully, the GRAMMY-award winner backpedaled on her decision and went straight back into the studio.
Since then, we’ve seen her active with “Skyfall,” for which she won an Oscar (anyone else feeling very talentless right now?), and she also collaborated with Wiz Khalifa on his 2013 album. Her next record is supposedly coming out soon and will be named 25.
And Many, Many More…
Justin Timberlake, Fall Out Boy, The Civil Wars (who sadly broke up before they could come back from theirs), Jonas Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182… And these are just recent ones. Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Grateful Dead, and even Mozart and Beethoven took hiatuses!
So, should you be massively worried that your favourite artist is taking a hiatus? Well, I guess it depends on what caused the hiatus.
- Massive success: Well, the artist needs time to rest creative muscles. We don’t expect olympians or ironman athletes to turn around and do it all again right after they’ve stepped off the podium. Creativity is difficult work, and those muscles need rest after a massive spurt of energy.
- Public breakdown: Judging from the past, I think you can be pretty sure that the artist will at least TRY to come back. Whether they’ll succeed is up to past fans and current tastes, but at the least, you’ll get a few last-attempt songs out of them before they finally move on to another career. On the bright side, many artists have seen massive success after a breakdown and subsequent hiatus, especially if they cleaned their act up while on hiatus.
- Band rift: If your favourite band went on a hiatus after a huge rift in the group, I think maybe you’d better start looking for a new favourite, just to be sure. In many (not all) cases, emotional problems are the hardest to repair in a group. Although some bands are able to replace a problem member and move on, many cannot function after a rift. The most recent, and still freshly painful, case was the sad split of the Civil Wars. One look at the comments on their fan page shows just how upset everyone really is over their final breakup after many months on an indefinite hiatus.
So next time a famous musician goes on hiatus, know the signs and consider the situation before you go into Twitter hysterics (here’s looking at you, Beliebers).
Remember, hiatus does not always mean bye-atus.