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Live Reunites Original Lineup, Will Tour and Release New Music in 2017

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

After seven years of estrangement and lawsuits, singer Ed Kowalczyk has officially rejoined Live, the band he fronted to stardom in the mid-‘90s. Today (Dec. 12), the band announced that its original lineup of Kowalczyk, guitarist Chad Taylor, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad Gracey will embark on a world tour next year, and are in the process of writing and recording new music.

Although the dates were not announced, a press release said they will perform “a mix of select headlining shows and key festival appearances.” The tour is designed to mark their 25th anniversary of their debut, Mental Jewelry, which was released on Dec. 31, 1991. As for the new album, they’re unsure of the details, only that they’re committed to having something out in 2017.

“We have mutually decided not to rush the next project.,” Kowalczyk said. “We didn’t want the pressure of completing an entire album hanging over us before we got out and played some shows. I think the idea at the moment is to just go with flow, get onstage together and see where all of this new energy takes us creatively. We might release something new in the form of a shorter release in 2017, in anticipation of larger project in 2018. Stay tuned.”

For Taylor, this take-it-slow approach is refreshing. “For the first time in our career there was no record company pushing us for new ‘product,’ he added. “If anything, writing songs is more like the early garage days, no pressure and I think it shows in some of the work we’ve already done. We’re not focused on an album but rather seeing where we can take our creativity one track at a time.”

The announcement comes nearly a month after both Live and Kowalczyk had changed their social media profiles to acknowledge that a reunion was happening. It marks Kowalczyk’s return after a planned hiatus from 2009-2011 turned into a full-fledged split, with a handful of lawsuits over royalties and Kowalczyk’s use of the band’s name in his solo gigs. But Taylor acknowledged that their ugly recent past is far behind them.

“Ed, Chad, Patrick and I are no different than your average family,” he said. “We might divide ourselves or argue fiercely but thankfully time, and the grand gesture of forgiveness, helps to heal old wounds. We’ve worked hard to restore the tenants of faith and trust that bonded us in the beginning. It’s doesn’t hurt that our fans offered so much encouragement!”

Dahlheimer added that the band’s music can be a salve given the current state of the world. “Live needs no better reason to reform than to spread some light in this time of confusion and unease,” he said.

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