There are a few inevitable facts that fans of a band can always see from a mile away. If one thing is for certain, groups break up and members leave regularly. When The White Stripes disbanded after Meg and Jack White had years of trouble, it was widely expected because Jack started his far superior side projects The Raconteurs plus The Dead Weather years early. Roger Waters left Pink Floyd after his ego got the best of him when The Wall was taking the band to a new level of popularity. Fans saw that coming and nobody was surprised when Waters didn't show up on the inferior records A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell. It’s a sad reality for most groups, but after years of playing together, it’s sometimes understood that members need their space.
Most reasons for a group breaking up can be expected, but others are so surprising it'll unsettle fans for some time. This is the case with Coheed and Cambria. After news broke out about bassist Mic Todd being arrested for robbing a Walgreens with an alleged bomb, fans of the prog group, including me, were flabbergasted. We all knew the guys who created Year of the Black Rainbow and the subsequent Amory Wars concept albums dealt with their fair share of drug problems, but this blew our minds. Todd held up a Walgreens for Oxycodone and brought rock star partying to a whole new level. Couldn't he just get his drugs from a groupie or roadie? Nonetheless, Claudio Sanchez and others have made the decision to boot the bassist from their circle. Though this is probably for the best, it’s still a sad day for all us Coheed fans.
Todd added a certain aspect to Sanchez’s songwriting that will be hard for others to replicate. Announcing the news on their official tumblr , the band states:
After a lot of thought, introspection and discussion, Coheed and Cambria will be continuing our journey without bassist Michael Todd… We have spoken to him and this is a mutual decision between both parties. Michael was a great contributor; our hearts go out to his family and to all those who appreciate his talents.
For as talented the man is, he still messed up royally and is now reaping the consequences. He might have been an important part to the band's unique sound, but drugs never lead to anything good. It’s better to break their ties now before things got worse. Longtime collaborator Wes Styles is taking over for Todd in the meantime and there will undoubtedly be a different sound on the band's unannounced next record. Whether or not that is a good thing, who knows? But variety is the spice of life, so maybe this will be an unexpected step forward for the band.
In a video found on Coheed and Cambria’s tumbler, you can see the group’s unique way of saying good bye to a close friend. It’s special, weird and a bit creepy. Check out the video: