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Whatever happened to...?

by Photo of Almas Korotana

An update on some bands who have gone a bit quiet recently.

Whatever happened to...?

A shuffle of my iPod brought up an old Kaiser Chiefs song which got me thinking about some of the bands I spent listening to in my teenage years who seem to have gone a bit quiet as of late. What have these guys been up to? So after a bit of research, I've found out what's happened to some of them...

Franz Ferdinand
The Scottish foursome first burst onto the scene in 2004 with modern classic "Take Me Out", shortly followed by their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. Although their next hastily-produced album, You Could Have It So Much Better, did not receive quite as much praise from critics when released 2005, it was hugely popular amongst the fans and brought in a new wave of support on both sides of the Atlantic. Taking some time for the next album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand was a global success reaching number 9 in the Billboard chart when released in 2009 and preluded a tour across the USA which included a set at Coachella.

Since then, the band have focused their efforts on festival appearances across the world and a fourth album has been in the works since 2010 which should be released some time this year. But don't ask the band exactly when, because according to frontman Alex Kapranos, the group are keen to keep a low profile and not over-publicize their progress like they have previously done. But we've got high hopes for this consistently solid group.

Panic! At the Disco
The boys from Las Vegas have been ominously quiet recently - a quick check of their Facebook and Twitter pages show that they are subject to infrequent updates and the last official statement we heard revealed that the band aimed to finish recording their fourth album by the end of 2012 with no release date yet planned. So where have they gone?

After forming in 2004, the band enjoyed the success of their debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, in the following year with a helping hand from Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz who saw their potential early on and quickly signed them onto his label, Decaydance Records. The album rocketed up the charts and the band won the Video of the Year trophy at the 2006 MTV VMA's for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." Following a line-up change, the group released their follow-up album Pretty. Odd. in 2008 to positive reviews from critics. The album charted highly across the world and would prove to be their most successful record to date. Another line-up change followed before the release of the the third album Vices and Virtues in 2011, which although not as successful as the initial two albums, still did very well globally. The group embarked on a typically eccentric tour which lasted until February 2012, after which they hit the studio to record that elusive fourth album which we eagarly await.

Velvet Revolver
American rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, whose line-up included members of Guns N' Roses, Wasted Youth and Stone Temple Pilots, released their highly anticipated debut album Contraband in 2004 after forming two years earlier. They went on to release a string of hit singles, winning a Grammy Award in the following year for their single "Slither" which reached number 1 in the Billboard 200. The next album Libertad received mixed reviews, but was largely successful and the band toured globally on-and-off until 2008.

However, the band would soon be dogged by drug and alcohol problems and internal tensions which culminated in frontman Scott Weiland announcing live on stage in Glasgow that this would be the band's final tour. Not only was this not actually agreed upon by the band or label, the other members had already planned to fire Weiland and continue without him. Weiland's departure came a month later in April 2008 when the band began to look for a new vocalist and have been ever since, while continuing to work individually on other side projects. With fans keen for their indefinite hiatus to come to an end soon, let's hope the band can find a new frontman and continue to make thrilling music together.

Kaiser Chiefs
Formed in Leeds, UK, in 1996, the band came to the public's attention in 2005 following promotion during the British NME Awards Tour and they enjoyed worldwide success with their first two albums, Employment and Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Following a string of hits which include "Oh My God", "I Predict a Riot" and "Ruby", global interest in the band seemed to wane with the release of their third album, Off With Their Heads and the most recent offering of June 2011, The Future Is Medieval, failed to even chart in many countries. What's more, drummer Nick Hodgson departed the band in late December 2012, replaced for live performances by Vijay Mistry from Club Smith.

But it's not all bad news - last summer saw the band perfom at the Olympic Closing Ceremony in London shortly after they released a greatest hits album, Souvenir. Furthemore, Kaiser Chiefs have been hard at work playing venues across the UK and will soon embark on a European tour before hitting the festival scene in the summer. According to frontman Ricky Wilson, progress on the next album has been slow but is most definitely in the works so hopefully 2013 will bring a fresh start and fresh sound for the band which harks back to those earlier glory days.

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