Texas Is the Reason
Texas Is the Reason
Texas Is the Reason at Groezrock Festival 2013
|Origin||New York City, New York, USA|
|Genres||Emo, post-hardcore, indie rock|
|Years active||1994–97, 2006, 2012–13, 2016|
|Labels||Revelation, Your Choice, Jade Tree, Art Monk Construction|
|Associated acts||Shelter, 108, Jets to Brazil, New Rising Sons, Fountainhead, Copper|
|Past members||Norman Brannon|
Texas Is the Reason was an American emo/post-hardcore band founded by former Shelter guitarist Norman Brannon and 108 drummer Chris Daly in 1994. They disbanded in 1997, and held brief reunions in 2006 and 2012–2013. They are seen as one of the cornerstones of the ’90s emo movement and remain very influential in modern emo.
Formation, Do You Know Who You Are? and break-up (1994–97)
Norman Brannon (guitar), guitarist for the hardcore Hare Krishna band Shelter, formed Texas Is the Reason with friend and then fellow Hare Krishna devotee Chris Daly (drums), formerly of the band 108, which played music of a similar kind to Shelter's, some time in the early 1990s in New York City. They both desired to leave the macho attitude and religious preaching of their former projects. With former Fountainhead bassist Scott Winegard (bass), the three recruited one-time bassist for Buffalo's Copper, Garrett Klahn (guitar/vocals), to round out the quartet.
The name "Texas Is the Reason" is lifted from a Misfits song, entitled "Bullet". It also makes reference to a conspiracy theory about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in which the president was killed in a plot arranged by Texas Democrats in order to give Lyndon B. Johnson control of the White House. Releasing three songs on an EP, Texas Is the Reason became an underground smash and helped usher in an era of similarly motivated and styled emo bands. They then released a split single with The Promise Ring through Jade Tree. The following year (1995) they released another split single with Samuel through British record label Simba.
What followed was their first and only full-length album, Do You Know Who You Are?, named after the last statement John Lennon supposedly heard. Produced by Jawbox's J.Robbins and released on Revelation Records, Do You Know Who You Are? brought a lot of major-label courtship to Texas Is the Reason, who were being hailed as the "next big thing" in the growing punk explosion on MTV. Song titles from the album, such as "The Magic Bullet Theory" and "Back and to the Left", continued the allusion to one of the Kennedy assassination theories.
In 1997, on the eve of signing with Capitol Records, the band flew overseas for a European tour. Ongoing intra-band tensions arising from the major label attention reached their apex. The night of the final stop of the tour in Bielefeld, Germany, Daly and Brannon agreed before the show that if the show was "awesome", it would be their last. Brannon later related, "I walked on stage and we opened with 'Antique' and when Garrett started singing, there were eight hundred Germans singing along with us. I looked at Daly and knew that this was over."
Post-break-up and reunions (1998–present)
The members headed to various musical projects, with Klahn to New Rising Sons (1998) plus Solea (2001) and Daly to indie outfit Jets to Brazil. Winegard started putting out other bands' records through an imprint he co-owns called GrapeOS, while playing with other musicians in a band called the Americans. The only member to go inactive in the world of indie rock was guitarist Norman Brannon, living in Chicago and DJing for almost three years.
Winegard and Brannon joined Charlie Walker of Chamberlain and Jonah Matranga of Far and Onelinedrawing to form the band New End Original, which lasted from 2000 to 2003. Klahn's New Rising Sons released two EPs through GrapeOS, were dropped by Virgin Records, and then disbanded; he now plays in the band Atlantic/Pacific with John Herguth of House & Parish. Daly left the now-defunct Jets to Brazil sometime after their 2002 release, Perfecting Loneliness.
After nine years apart, the band decided to reunite to mark the tenth anniversary of the release of Do You Know Who You Are. A single show was scheduled for New York City's Irving Plaza on November 25, 2006, but a second show was added for the following night due to an unexpectedly quick sell-out of the first show. In interviews leading up to the reunion, the band noted their long-time disappointment at not playing a final show in their home city. The band also insisted that the reunion shows were a one-time event, and that they had no plans for further shows: "While we empathize with everyone who wants to come to the show, but can't come for any reason, this will not become a tour and we are not reforming the band. That is as clear a statement as anyone can make."
In January 2012, it was announced that Revelation Records would be holding a 25th anniversary celebration at The Glass House in Pomona, California in July of the same year. The band was approached to reunite once more, but ultimately refused the opportunity. Daly, however, traveled to California for the show, featuring a reunited Quicksand, and returned excited about the prospect of another reunion for Texas is the Reason. The band then agreed to headline the opening night of Revelation's east coast event in October 2012 at New York's Irving Plaza. The show sold out immediately upon going on sale, and the band announced a second night held at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Daly was quoted as saying, "It's like we have this really cool old car that's in really great shape…it's not built for, like, a cross-country trip, but it's good to take out and drive around the neighborhood."
After a European tour, the band ended its reunion at the Electric Ballroom in London on August 4, 2013. The band performed a 20th anniversary show for Do You Know Who You Are? on March 15, 2016 and at a memorial concert for Jon Bunch a few days later.
- Do You Know Who You Are? (1996, Revelation)
- Your Choice Live Series 037 – Split live album with Samiam. (1999, Your Choice)
- Texas Is the Reason (1995, Revelation)
- Split 7" with Samuel (1995, Simba Recordings and Art Monk Construction)
- Split 7" with The Promise Ring (1996, Jade Tree)
- Brannon, Norman. "Norman Brannon". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Strong, Martin (2003), The Great Indie Discography, Canongate Books, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
- Paul, Aubin. "Interviews: Texas Is the Reason". Punknews.org. September 22, 2006.
- Rock/Pop Listings, New York Times, 2006-11-24, retrieved 2008-11-24
- Heisel, Scott (2006-09-25), TEXAS IS THE REASON ON POSSIBLE REUNION TOUR: "NO, NO, NO.", Alternative Press, retrieved 2008-11-24
- Pedulla, Steve (2012-08-13), %5b%5bYouTube%5d%5d It Is Happening Again: A Texas is the Reason Microfilm (Part I), retrieved 2012-08-15
- "Hi New York. It's been a while since we... - Texas is the Reason - Facebook".
- Scott Heisel. "Sense Field, Texas Is The Reason, Knapsack, more to reunite for Jon Bunch memorial concert". Substream Magazine.
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