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Failure – Hot off their show in Los Angeles at the El Rey – a Quick Story

14 February 2014 17 Comments

By: Andrew

Failure Fantastic Planet CD Cover Album Art

A few years ago, we interviewed Brett Hestla, who at the time was out promoting Dark New Day. You may also remember Brett from Virgos Merlot, and/or possibly as Creed’s fill-in bass player, subsequent to Brian Marshall’s departure. So Brett’s on the show and at the end, we ask him to name one band that he loves, that no one else seems to know. He mentions Failure and the Fantastic Planet album.

Brett Hestla promo photo from Dark New Day

Brett Hestla, center

Both Darius and I, at the time, never heard of Failure, which is strange considering we’re walking Wikipedia’s of music knowledge. Immediately after the show, we’re both online listening to this band Failure and come to the realization the band is awesome. I immediately go to Amazon to buy Fantastic Planet. I tell Darius I’m doing this. I put it in my cart, but don’t immediately buy, because I’m listening to the other two records, deciding if I want to add them too. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, Darius goes to Amazon and buys Fantastic Planet from the same seller.

A few hours later, I go back to Amazon and attempt to checkout. Fantastic Planet is no longer available from the seller I selected. I remember thinking to myself, “This band must be somewhat popular.” I sent a text to Darius about it, and he replied he purchased it earlier in the day, thus costing me an extra 82 cents because I had to buy it from another seller. Still to this day, Darius has not offered to repay the 82 cents.

Failure band photo

Failure band photo

If nothing else, it’s a cool story about people that love music, and how we get turned on to new bands. For instance, anyone who has asked me a question similar to what we asked Brett has heard about Hum’s “You’d Prefer an Astronaut” album, or any of the Paw records.

A few weeks back, I’m talking to Darius and he says to me, “Dude, Failure is doing an L.A. show.” It shortly turned into, “Dude, Failure is playing the El Rey.” Then, “Dude, Failure sold out the El Rey in minutes.” Last night was Failure’s first show in a decade and a half, so everything came full circle. Now, this band who was mentioned to us, almost in passing, at the end of an All Knowing Force interview, has taken music center stage in both our lives. Darius attended the show last night at the El Rey, and text me the following last night…

“There was a great vibe at the show. Everyone knew they were watching something special.”

Needless to say, I was in a bit of a storytelling mood this morning. The Failure show last night at the El Rey was apparently exceptionally good. As I prepare for the day, I’m listening to their three records on shuffle, along with a record from Ken Andrews’ (Failure lead vocalist) defunct band, Year of the Rabbit. When you get some time to yourself, seek out some of this Failure material. It can’t be enjoyed properly in passing. In order to fall in love, you can’t multitask. Perhaps the best way to listen would be in the car, alone, on a long drive. You’ll quickly become a fan, perhaps as fast as we both did.

And to everyone who woke up to over a foot of snow like I did, stay safe driving, and good luck shoveling.

* Darius will be attending The Eagles of Death Metal show tonight at the Viper Room. Not a second has passed since he woke up this morning that he has not prayed Josh Homme will appear.

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  • shifterpitch said:

    Surprised y’all never heard of Failure. Don’t think they were as popular as Hum – if Hum even was popular. Glad to hear they’re back.

    How does he exactly owe you the $0.82? What are you claiming he did wrong?

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  • hades said:

    A buddy of mine was at the show last night. He called me this a.m. and told me it was all good.

    Brett Hestla is like one of those guys you know but you have no clue why you know him. He must have done pretty well with Creed for as long as he was.

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  • 1942 said:

    Darius committed a breach of man code.

    I walk into a bar with a friend.

    I notice a hot female first. My friend then goes and hits on her.


    John Mellencamp even wrote a song about this called KEY WEST INTERMEZZO (I SAW YOUR FIRST).

    *Get off me.

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  • Arched Isis Byleveling said:


    Great band. Great, great band with some phenomenal cuts and 3 solid records.

    To the dude above this is the purchase of a CD, what does that have to do with man code? Seriously.

    Verdict- Darius is right. He does not owe the 82 pennies.

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  • Mud Shuvel said:

    This is such a petty argument. I am only here because I was at the show last night and Googled this monstrosity of a post.

    I will weigh in because I require a modest amount of stupidity.

    Darius essentially stole Andrew’s CD and Andrew had to go rebuy it. That’s the freaking logic you use here. The 82 pennies is owed.

    Warrant wrote a song 32 pennies, so it’s 50 cents more, also in a ragu jar. RIP Jani Lane. Don’t ever bring up John Mellencamp unless he’s throwing shadow jabs by a shady tree.

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  • bhest ehver said:

    Mellencamp was a poor man’s Springsteen AT BEST just like this band is a wannabe Tool. They fall into the Chevelle category.

    This band is terrible.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:


    I am owed the $0.82 as a matter of principle.


    Preach, 1942. I have to ask since you’ve commented for years. Did you take your name from the NES game? Just curious. By the way, that game was awful. Gradius all day and all night.

    Mud Shuvel,

    Jani Lane is one of the most under-appreciated songwriters of his generation. He’s a tragic story. If I ever recover the 82 cents, I will gladly put it in a Ragu jar, or some sort of glass sauce jar…out of respect for Jani’s songwriting.

    bhest ehver,

    Failure and Tool may have a lot in common, but in no way did this band copy Tool. Just from a timing perspective, it’s not possible. Sure, they may have taken ideas here and there…maybe — but what you’re saying is definitely untrue. I enjoy Chevelle music tremendously, by the way.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Darius said:

    First of all… all is fair in the war of amazon commerce. Andrew and I learned about the band simultaneously and therefore each had equal opportunity in moving forward with a purchase.

    The best part of the story (to me) is that Andrew’s Failure cd arrived weeks afterwards and he had to fight with the seller to get it, while I received mine in a matter of days.

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  • goody2shoes said:

    Thankfully you’re now talking about bands like Failure, Hum, Paw instead of the usual Filter, 7Dust fare.

    Darius does not owe the 82 cents. He should not be penalized for moving faster. The analogy of the girls in the bar thing words but no man code was broken.

    The guy who made the comment about Tool and Failure gave me a good laugh, in a Can’t believe he wrote that kind of way.

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  • jgoblin said:

    I loved Failure’s stuff man. I still do. Live they’re pretty lame and boring and blah. He’s not upset over 82 cents. He’s just busting balls. Don’t take it seriously.

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  • corduroy said:

    Kudos to you both for actually buying the album. Whoohoo! No one gets credit for but Amazon got a nice cut. Everything Brett Hestla has done is poor. DND is a disappointment and I’m a big 7D guy saying that.

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  • 5150 said:

    All I’m going to say is I personally just went on m’fn Amazon and picked up this shizzit now (had it back in the day). I dig the album cover.

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  • droid said:

    This band puts me to sleep. I don’t see the appeal and never did. They seem to have become more popular when they were defunct. Watching some of the live clips from the reunion show almost put me to sleep.

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  • nerd venom said:

    I worked on a couple projects with Andrew back in the day and he’s likely serious about the $0.82. He’d buy me lunch way more than I’d buy him and one day he was upset because he donated a dollar on my behalf to some charity and wanted it back. Some kid was in the street with a bell. He gave him a dollar and I asked him to give the kid one for me. He wanted that dollar back for some reason but failed to bring up that I prolly had a $75-$100 deficit in lunch payments. I don’t know how his mind words but he was probably half busting balls and half serious.

    I was at this show at the El Rey and it was something to see. My buddy had a different perspective. I was always a fan and he came on board in maybe 02. For me it was nostalgia because I had seen them before but to him it was one of the greatest shows ever. That’s what they call PERSPECTIVE. Interesting, huh?

    Anyway if I was Darius I’d go to my online bill pay, send the dude the $0.82 check and laugh as he has to bring it to the bank to deposit it.

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  • Sweet Sally Brown said:

    nerd venom,

    I can see how your experiences at the LA show differed like that. I find that interesting as well.

    Andrew would get the check and never cash it. He’d complain he has to do physical work to deposit it. I think he’d want 4 quarters.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    I’m enjoying reading the posts on this thread. Darius is correct in his assertion that his CD came immediately and mine took weeks. The insult to injury was added, and actually my $0.82 is now $40.00 with pain, suffering, frustration, and interest. In all seriousness, though, I’m just, simply, screwing around. I’m about 10% serious about the $0.82 (that has now ballooned to be $40.00).

    Sweet Sally Brown,

    I’m not sure who you are, but using that Paw song as your posting name is pretty awesome.

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  • Killer Khan said:

    23 years old and from coming here for a bit I must be one of the younger ones.

    NEVER heard of this band and I consider myself advanced for 23. Been listening to this all day and I can see easily this becoming one of my favorite bands. Each listen gets better and better.

    I don’t wanna know the backstory either as to why they split or stopped cuz that’ll just ruin the music experience for me. I CAN ONLY HOPE FOR A NY OR NJ DATE.

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