Self-described “soul punx” letlive. have announced via Facebook that the band will have “no further activity in the foreseeable future.”
Although the band formed in 2002, it wasn’t until 2010 that the band finally broke through with their album “Fake History.” A year later, they were signed to Equal Vision records, where they re-released “Fake History,” followed up by 2013’s “The Blackest Beautiful” and 2016’s “If I’m the Devil…”
The post-hardcore outfit was known for their eccentric live shows, which often included fans running on stage and sometimes even signing for frontman Jason Aalon Butler, destroyed equipment at the end of sets and Butler’s proclivity to dance on stage, crowd surf during songs and high energy. Butler was the only member remaining member from the band’s original lineup.
Their breakup is a significant loss to the post-hardcore scene. While the genre was drowning in the sing-scream-repeat formula made popular in the mid-2000s by bands like Senses Fail and Silverstein, “Fake History” was a much needed breath of fresh air. You were immediately hooked by the drums on the opening track “Le Prologue,” which lead right into “The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion,” a song that takes a direct shot at the state of the world.
By the time “The Blackest Beautiful” was released, letlive. were heavyweights, peaking as the No. 6 hard rock album on Billboard and the lyrics shifted their focus to making people more politically, personally and socially self-aware while simultaneously taking worthwhile risks. The bass line in “That Fear Fever” was a smash hit and proof that the afterthought instrument in a band can kick some serious ass. Seemingly since their breakthrough, they have drawn comparisons to Glassjaw, and it shows in tracks like “Empty Elvis” and “27 Club.”
Their most political song, however, was saved for their final album. Aptly titled “Good Mourning, America” kicks off with a melody of girls signing the song’s opening lyrics: “We ain’t so different now are we?/Said the cop to the killer inside of me. /I’ve heard your story, boy, and that shit gets old. /We’ve got the right to take your life, so do just what you’re told,” a direct shot at the state of America in light of the news being dominated by police officers murdering minorities in recent years.
In the end, however, it may have been the final album that did the band in. Unlike their previous recordings, members of letlive. found themselves fighting over what direction the album should go in, some preferred to stick to their punk rock roots, while others wanted to branch to traditional rock or, as Butler described in an interview with Revolver, “Kanye West meets Royal Blood.” Eventually the band decided to write the songs first and worry about how they feel about the song after.
None of the band members have any side projects. Butler has expressed an interest in fashion before and has his own clothing line, Gentlemen in Real Life.