LCD Soundsystem Did Not, in Fact, Break Up to Sell Out Madison Square Garden, Guitarist Al Doyle Explains

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Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Now that LCD Soundsystem has officially reunited, front man James Murphy has been looking back with bemused fondness at what had previously been the group’s final concert in 2011. Frustrated by the show promoter’s lack of faith in the band’s ability to fill the venue without a massive opener (specifically, of all people, Big Boi), Murphy says he pulled the trigger on breaking up the band. “Behind that idea was the promoters’ belief that we just weren’t going to sell any tickets unless there [was] some extra element,” he told Vulture. “So I got mad on the phone with them about it. I was like, ‘Well, how about it’s our last fucking show?’ And I hung up the phone. Then I was like, ‘I guess that’ll be our last show then.’” In an interview with the New York Times published yesterday, Murphy made his decision-making process even more black-and-white. “My theory was, if I make it our last show, we’ll sell it out in two weeks,” he said. “It wasn’t a total lark, but it was a bit larky.”

Subsequently, fans and critics took his explanation to mean LCD Soundsystem literally broke up to fill MSG. The band’s guitarist, Al Doyle (also of Hot Chip), took to Twitter this evening to make it clear that the group’s breakup was not, as some have assumed, a gimmick to sell out tickets. As he points out, ending a creative, career-defining endeavor to sell out a venue would be pretty silly. Instead, says Doyle, “The motivation was to make the show something incredible, something singular, strange and unrepeatable. Which it remains, I think.” In the end, the reasons behind the band’s temporary dissolution remain something of a mystery even to its members. “Even for me, it’s not been fully answered, & I don’t necessarily need it to be. But I do need y’all to know it wasn’t to grub ticket money,” Doyle says of Murphy’s decision. And if the band ever really did need to fill a massive venue again … LCD Soundsystem and Big Boi would be an undeniable double bill.

LCD Soundsystem Didn’t Split to Fill Madison Square Garden