It takes a lack of superstition and a sense of sarcasm to call a band Failure in the first place — but around 1996, singer, guitarist and producer Ken Andrews had to be wondering if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy for his star-crossed Los Angeles trio.
For a group to make a career-defining work, only to have it go largely unheard, requires bad luck and bad timing — and Failure had both.
Their label, Warner Bros., had no idea what to do with “Fantastic Planet” — their 68-minute whale of a third album — and gave up promoting it after it failed to chart on Billboard’s Top 200.
“I’ll never fully understand why they got cold feet,” sighs the Seattle native in a phone interview. “I felt like people really just needed a minute to get to know us, to figure out what our sound was about… but they weren’t ready to make that commitment.”
But now, Andrews and his writing partner Greg Edwards — Failure’s bassist and co-founder — are getting their due. Last winter, they announced their first live performance since breaking up, at L.A.’s El Rey Theatre. It sold out instantly. They’ll play The Showbox Sunday.More