The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Break Up
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion have broken up, frontman Jon Spencer has confirmed. The New York blues trio announced a hiatus in 2016, but Spencer says the band no longer has plans to regroup.
Hot off his time in Pussy Galore, singer-guitarist Spencer formed the Blues Explosion with guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins in 1991, fusing blues and rock and roll guitar carnage with punk and soul. The trio released nine studio albums across their career; their last release was 2015’s Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015. In a new interview with Kreative Kontrol podcast, Spencer said that shortly after their last album’s release, Bauer contracted a respiratory illness that made it difficult for the band to continue.
“We had a good run,” Spencer said. The artist released his first solo album, Spencer Sings the Hits!, in 2018, and recently announced a new album with a band called the Hitmakers which features Quasi’s Sam Coomes on synth and co-vocals, M. Sord on drums, and Bob Bert on “trash.” What’s more, Janet Weiss drums in the touring lineup.
Spencer has hinted at the end of the Blues Explosion for quite some time. When asked about the hiatus in 2018, the musician said: “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 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.”
Speaking with Kreative Kontrol, Spencer explained that he never wanted to make a big breakup announcement in case something changed, but in a subsequent statement to Pitchfork he pretty much pt the final nail in the Blues Explosion coffin.
“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. Thus, the start of the Hitmakers,” Spencer said. “I have talked plainly about this in interviews over the past coupla years. No big secret and no big scoop.”