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The Class Of 2000: Where Are They Now?

Whatever happened to the millennium's next big things?

Each year the music industry throws up a fresh batch of bands with ‘Next Big Thing’ tags attached. Some fly, others crash and burn with dreams and potential unfulfilled: hey, no-one ever said life was fair. Today we look back at ten bands tipped for greatness at the start of the millennium and ask ‘Where are they now?’

AMEN

Then: Fronted by psychotic Furby Casey Chaos, and produced by Slipknot/Korn desk-jockey Ross Robinson, incendiary punk-metal LA quintet Amen arrived fully-formed with the release of their self-titled Roadrunner Records debut in September 1999: a move to Virgin Records for its intense follow-up We Have Come For Your Parents was supposed to push the band into metal’s premier league.

Now: Despite rave reviews and thrillingly combustible live shows, Amen never truly ‘happened’. Blame ‘The Man’, if you like. A new album (recorded with Dave Lombardo on drums) is still awaiting a release date. Casey Chaos has also suggested that three Amen albums he recorded with original drummer Shannon Larkin might appear online at some point in the near future too. Ballads are unlikely to feature.

AT THE DRIVE-IN

Then: Following two excellent underground releases (1996’s Acrobatic Tenement and 1998’s In/Casino/Out) At The Drive-In were propelled into the spotlight by their stunning third album, 2000’s Relationship Of Command (produced, again, by producer-du-jour Ross Robinson), released on the Beastie Boys’ super-hip Grand Royal imprint. On the back of some jaw-dropping live shows and a memorable appearance on Later…, the frothing UK music press instantly proclaimed the El Paso hardcore crew to be ‘The New Nirvana’. Within a year, they imploded.

Now: Since calling an indefinite hiatus on ATD-I in 2001, vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez have been pretty much inseparable (barring the odd squabble): the pair are currently playing together in the excellent Antemasque, their most accessible project since ATD-I. To everyone’s surprise, At The Drive-In actually reformed for shows in 2012, and again in 2016. Fans remain hopeful of new music.

CYCLEFLY

Then: A Cork-based Irish/French/Italian quintet taking musical cues from Jane’s Addiction, Tool, Zeppelin and Soundgarden, Cyclefly became a ‘buzz’ band with the release of their Generation Sap debut in the summer of 1999. Fronted by the delightfully unhinged Declan O’Shea – an Iggy Pop/Perry Farrell hybrid prone to wearing red PVC suits – the band forged a close friendship with LA newbies Linkin Park, and were tipped for a big-time breakthrough with 2002’s Crave, which featured a guest appearance from Chester Bennington.

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