Stabbing Westward’s Christopher Hall Offers Insight on Band’s 2002 Break Up
Stabbing Westward are back with Chasing Ghosts, their brand new album, which is out today (March 18), and is their first since 2001. To commemorate the album's release, frontman Christopher Hall joined Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez for a chat, and he elaborated on why the band originally broke up back in 2002.
"I think that a bunch of simultaneous things happened. The music industry was crumbling, it was right — 2000 is right when Napster and musical downloads were just at an all-time high, and record labels were hemorrhaging money. They weren't selling. For a while they had a monopoly on the $15 CD, so they were making money hand over first, and then when people discovered MP3s, they were like, 'Oh, we can get every song ever recorded for free if I wanna just spend 72 hours straight drinking Mountain Dew and downloading songs,'" Hall recalled.
As a result of the lack of income the labels were pulling in, they started dropping bands, and Stabbing Westward were one of the victims dropped by Columbia. They discovered the news prior to the release of their fourth album, which Hall admitted put a lot of stress on himself and his bandmates.
Nevertheless, the band persisted, and landed another record deal on an indie label, which the vocalist pinpoints as when the dynamic within the band really started to get messy.
"There's people outside the band that were kind of whispering in our ears, saying things like, 'If you guys changed your sound, you could be much bigger than you are now. You should've been way bigger than you are.' People in the band were kind of buying into that, so there was a lot of pressure to try and reinvent the band, and then a couple of us were like, 'No, we think that we should just be who we are, we have a good, solid fanbase. Let's just hang onto them, not want more,' and it just kind of pulled the bands in two different directions," Hall continued.
Stabbing Westward released their eponymous fourth record via Koch Entertainment, which was acquired by Entertainment One in 2005. Hall noted that the album, indeed, had a different sound, and it wasn't successful for them. This only furthered the tensions between the band members, as some of them had pushed for a new sound, while others had not.
The band reunited for a tour in 2016 in celebration of their 30th anniversary as a band, but they didn't plan to make the reunion permanent at that time. However, in late 2019, they announced that a new EP titled Dead & Gone would come out in early 2020. In the fall of 2021, they performed a handful of shows, and then dropped the song "I Am Nothing."
Now, Chasing Ghosts is available everywhere. Stream the album below, and tune into Loudwire Nights tonight at 7PM ET to hear more details about the reunion and the album.
Loudwire Nights with Toni Gonzalez airs nightly starting at 7PM ET. You can tune in anytime, from anywhere right here or by downloading the Loudwire app.