Morning Glory has garnered a pretty sizable fan base for not technically having been a real band until just recently. Their earliest demos and first full length were done almost entirely by lead singer Ezra Kire, playing every one of the instruments into an 8-track recorder in his New York apartment, save for the drums which were handled via a cheap drum machine. After that, there was an EP with an actual band, but that all fell apart pretty quickly into years of heroin abuse and empty promises for a proper album.
Now, after nearly a decade of fighting his addictions, Ezra is ready to give his full attention to Morning Glory. The long-anticipated album is due out in just over a week via Fat Wreck Chords, and his newly-reformed band just finished an East Coast tour of the US.
I've longed to see them live for what seems like a lifetime, so, I of course caught the Detroit show a few weeks back. It meant taking a vacation day at work and driving 4 hours round trip, but I made those sacrifices. The thing is, after the show ended a mere half an hour later, I wasn't sure if it was all worth it. But the more I thought about it, the more it felt like the entire concert was a farewell to their fans who might not be so willing to go along with them on this new journey of musical experimentation and discovery. Which, if true, is like having witnessed the death of a band, and the rebirth of a brand new Morning Glory to come.
See, after just getting over a pretty crippling addiction, Kire seems to be addicted to a new drug; his music. In the interview he gave to PunkNews.org he talked about the countless other songs they recorded and then threw out, opting for only the absolute best. He discussed how everyone had given up on funding his album at that point so he had to pay for it completely out of his own pocket, but he still sprung for a string quartet and horn section on one of the songs, rather than just hiring one of each and having them play each line separately.
He appears to be deeply passionate about making this album a brilliant evolution of any of the music he has put out in the past, even stating that it really doesn't fit in the same genre any more. So when an artist puts that much work into their art, and it is greeted with disdain, you can imagine they'd be a bit upset. And while I've seen plenty of praise for the two tracks from the new album that have been released so far, I've also read quite a few negative comments, including some pretty awful ones like, "This is bad....start doing heroin again and make good music."
|Because this is where musical genius is born, I guess.|
Nothing but old songs were played the entire show. Kire mentioned the new album and its release date once, then quickly got off the topic by saying something like, "I hope you guys will like it, but you don't seem to so far..." and then playing another old song. Toward the end of the set he thanked everyone for coming out, and said, "We'll be back next year, and I really hope some of you will be too."
I'm probably reading too much into it, but the little comments, the lack of any new material, and the very short set time all made me think this was Ezra's way of giving the old fans a "farewell tour". Like he was ready to divorce himself from his past, and step boldly into his future. Meaning it could have been the last time I will ever get the chance to see Morning Glory perform those songs.
Even if I'm wrong, it's obvious the band is ready to head in a brand new direction, and any time an artist does that they inevitably lose a group of fans that aren't willing to adapt. In Ezra Kire's case, the new direction also has the benefit of leaving behind a whole lot of baggage. His future looks bright, and there's no reason he needs to worry about trying to please complete pieces of trash who think abusing a toxic substance will help improve his music.