The Middle East announce break upYoung Townsville sextet The Middle East have announced their break up while on stage at Splendour in the Grass.
Rumours about the band's demise have been circulating for some time now, and with reports of not having especially enjoyed their recent rise to fame in Australia—as well as a gruelling recording session to produce their 2011 debut album, I Want That You Are Always Happy (review)—the announcement seemed inevitable. And as TheVine reporters at Splendour in the Grass put it in our live blog, the band took no less than three opportunities to tell the crowd from the stage that it was their "last show ever". The band then finished their set with the last song from their sole album, an event that TheVine said, "feels like a sad moment for Australian music."
Signs of the band's discomfort have been brewing for a while. During the promo period for I Want That You Are Always Happy, co-frontman Rohin Jones was forthright when describing the bands ambitions. Or lack of. Jones told TheVine in April this year that the recording sessions for their album were "a very taxing environment to record in," and that the group weren't especially looking to focus on the band any longer.
"I think we're going to take it a lot easier than we did in the last couple of years," said Jones. "We're all pretty young; we've all got other things that we want to do, as well. While the band is definitely a big part of our lives, I don't think we're going to sell our souls to it again, you know what I mean? We're just taking it at a leisurely pace. It takes its toll on your relationships, big-time. There's no medium; there's no balance. You're with a group of people for 24 hours a day, which is too much time to spend with anyone. And then the other people who're important in your life, you get to spend zero time with. Relationship strain is just a part of the road. For me personally, I didn't see my girlfriend for about four months, and I was just like: "Yeah, this is not gonna fly for me anymore."
Members of the band are expected to continue with various solo and side projects. The group leave behind one album and one EP.
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