The Airborne Toxic Event
This indie rock band originally hails from Los Angeles, California. They are named after a section of Don DeLillo’s book, White Noise. Mikel Jollett is the singer-songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist of the band. Steven Chen is on guitar and keyboards. Another member of the band, Noah Harmon plays electric bass, upright bass and backs up vocals. Daren Taylor is on the drums with Anna Bulbrook playing viola, tambourine, keyboards and back up vocals.
The story of the formation of The Airborne Toxic Event is interesting. Mikel Jollett is the brains behind the increasingly successful band. The ever creative Jollett was initially a freelance fiction writer and an essayist. He turned to songwriting in 2006 due to some unfortunate events in his life. It could be safely said that his songwriting creativity comes at a high personal cost. He had had a break-up, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and he himself was diagnosed with a genetic disease. This disease has led to development of two physical conditions, loss of hair and change in skin color. It was this, which led him to write songs with intensity. It was also the same time when he first met Daren Taylor. The two started to rehearse together some of those songs which were to become part of their debut album later. Coincidently, Jollett met with Anna Bulbrook. She was invited to join the rehearsals, which she did and the duo turned into a trio. Next came Noah Harmon. He at the time was playing with different bands, while teaching guitar to children. At first he refused to join the band, but as fate would have it, joined months later. Jollett had known Steven Chen for years, as both were writers in San Francisco. He was offered the place of lead guitarist, which he happily accepted.
The story behind how the band came to have such a peculiar name is equally interesting. As mentioned above, its peculiar name comes from a book, White Noise. In the book, a fiction, a chemical spill takes place from a railcar that forms into a poisonous cloud. The media and the military dubbed it as “airborne toxic event.” This was good enough of a name for Jollett for his band, since the event symbolized fear of death and mortality in a man’s life. Jollett himself had such real life experiences.
The band’s debut performance was in 2006 at Echo Park. It was a well attended event. Within a couple of months of their debut performance, Rolling Stone magazine, named them one of the “Top 25 Bands on MySpace.” They were a big hit on iTunes as well.
In 2007, the British record label, Square Records, released a 7-inch of the band’s song “Does This Mean You Are Moving On?” The band further recorded 14 tracks with famous producer Pete Min, in Los Angeles. Ten of these songs later found their way into the band’s debut album.
The Airborne Toxic Event was released in 2008 under Los Angeles, Majordomo Records. The album was received favorably by mainstream media giants like the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly and others. The Boston Herald was so impressed that it named the album “The Debut Album of the Year.” Following the release and to promote the album, the band released videos and undertook series of tours. In December 2009, the band played its final gig in promotion of their debut album at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. It was a complete sold-out performance.
All at Once which is to be released shortly, would be The Airborne Toxic Event’s second album. Music Week reviewed the two released singles from the album as: “The LA group's new material is the sound of a band defining their identity. Produced by Dave Sardy, this is confident, ambitious and radio-friendly.”
The Los Angeles Times once described them as a band which “Made you want to move, and embrace, and embrace life…..” Do you too wanna move and embrace life? Well than its time to buy yourself the best seat in the house! Its time to buy The Airborne Toxic Event’s Tickets!
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