After a lengthy period of inactivity, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are officially done, according to their frontman.
“I thought people knew. I didn’t want to make a big announcement about it just in case something changed. What’s the point of saying, ‘Never again’?” Spencer said during a recent appearance on the Kreative Kontrol podcast.
Spencer goes on to say that after releasing final album ‘Freedom Tower’ in 2015 and going on tour, guitarist Judah Bauer began experiencing health issues. “He developed a respiratory problem. It was very, very hard, and it became impossible for him to travel.”
Though Spencer adds that Bauer’s condition has improved, he says the band “had a good long run”. Listen below – the full interview can be found here.
Spencer has since elaborated on his comments in a statement to Pitchfork. “Well, ‘never say never’ but for my own sanity I had to come to grips that the band was done—at least for the time being—and that I should move on,” he said.
“I have talked plainly about this in interviews over the past coupla years. No big secret and no big scoop.”
The trio – comprising Spencer, Bauer and Russell Simins – first announced their hiatus in 2016. Spencer later touched upon that decision in a 2018 interview with Louder, when asked, “The Blues Explosion have actually split this time? This is no hiatus?”
Spencer replied: “It’s hard to know what to say. It’s not like we had an official end but for me it was helpful in order to move forward and to do things like [2018 solo album] Spencer Sings The Hits to say, ‘OK, this is done. It’s over’ and to really acknowledge that. Maybe one day… I don’t know but it’s pretty much… Yeah, I had to get going.”
Formed in 1991 following Spencer’s stretch with ’80s rockers Pussy Galore and after playing in bands like Boss Hog and The Honeymoon Killers, the Blues Explosion broke out with their fourth studio album, 1994’s ‘Orange’.
In 2012, the band released their ninth studio album, ‘Meat + Bone’, which marked their first release in eight years. Their final album, ‘Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015’, would arrive three years later.