In May, it was announced that atmospheric folk black metal act Agalloch had disbanded after 21 years. The news came on the band’s Facebook page, with frontman John Haughm initially stating the uncertainty if he would continue Agalloch on his own. He later retracted the comment shortly after. Billboard reached out to ousted member Don Anderson as well as Haughm for clarification about the band’s dissolution.
“He wanted a band that could rehearse all the time,” began Anderson, who is a literary professor at SUNY Westchester Community College. Continuing, he stated that he understood the notion, adding, “He’s getting tour offers from all over the world, South America, Australia, places we’ve never been and he had to turn ’em down. That must be very difficult.” Citing being “friends first, a band second,” Anderson explained that this relationship had shifted as the band had now become a full-time priority for Haughm, though this was not the case for the rest of the members.
Haughm agreed that he and the rest of the band did not carry the same ideals, summing up the breakup saying, “…the band became a classic case of one member having totally different ambitions and goals than the other members and it eventually couldn’t work anymore. The band hit a wall.” He stated that the turmoil began back in 2005, but didn’t fully begin to present itself until 2014 when Anderson relocated to New York from the band’s Oregon home. Harboring no animosity, the frontman explained, “That was his life’s ambition and I can’t fault him for it. I think everyone should pursue their passions in life. However, it created a huge roadblock for band activity.”
Billboard also stated that Don Anderson, Jason William Walton and Aesop Dekker will be moving forward with a new band while Haughm is keeping busy with an ambient project. The Anderson, Walton, Dekker project has yet to decide on a name for their new band and will reveal their fourth member soon. The group has also yet to decide upon a label.
“We’re very excited about it,” says Anderson. “We’re currently demoing new material, and we hope to play live and tour … We’re definitely going to try to do something different, [but] we don’t want to soil the Agalloch name. We don’t want to recall it too easily.”