From Failure to Chinese Astrology

When SoCal post-grunge band Failure broke up, great things were expected from all, and, in fact, the ex-bandmates lived up to expectations. Drummer Kelli Scott joined Blinker the Star, while guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen helped form A Perfect Circle. Failure's leaders, Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards, went their separate ways. While Edwards formed Autolux, Andrews, after a short-lived solo project called On, started Year of the Rabbit, whose debut CD hits shelves this June; we spoke with him recently by phone.

Q: After On, what made you decide to form a band again?

A: I think, basically, I had a craving for collaboration. It was a nice break, the On project, but having done it, I feel my best work is done in a group setting.

Q: Speaking of collaboration, in Failure, the credits for songs were nearly always Andrews/Edwards. How does having a more central role in the songwriting affect things?

A: I approached it in more of a classic way, where everyone sort of comes up with their own parts, but there's one songwriter who comes in with the nuts and bolts of the song... Everyone is expected to be creative in the band and come up with their parts, but overall, there's still the feeling that I'm guiding the ship, and I think the guys enjoy that. I think it's a healthy situation in a band to have one person who has final say.

Q: Do you think your years in Failure taught you that lesson?

A: (long pause) Yeah. And also watching a ton of other bands... struggle with that. It's got to be the right combination of personalities. I think these guys would tell you it's my personality to play that role, and they don't mind me doing it. With another combination, it [might not be that way], but it seems to be working for now. Cross my fingers.