THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT RETURNS WITH SIXTH ALBUM & MIKEL JOLLETT’S MEMOIR: HOLLYWOOD PARK
November 13, 2019
ACCLAIMED LOS ANGELES-BASED BAND ANNOUNCES FIRST NEW ALBUM IN FIVE YEARS
NEW LP TO BE RELEASED ALONGSIDE EXTRAORDINARY NEW MEMOIR
BY FRONTMAN MIKEL JOLLETT
HOLLYWOOD PARK BY MIKEL JOLLETT TO BE PUBLISHED BY CELADON BOOKS, A DIVISION OF MACMILLAN ON TUESDAY, MAY 5
HOLLYWOOD PARK ARRIVES VIA ROUNDER RECORDS ON FRIDAY, MAY 8
FOUR-NIGHT RESIDENCIES IN LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK CITY – BOTH SOLD OUT IN 30 SECONDS
The Airborne Toxic Event has announced the release of their new album. The Los Angeles-based band’s sixth LP and first new music in half a decade, HOLLYWOOD PARK arrives Friday, May 8 via Rounder Records.
HOLLYWOOD PARK arrives alongside a new literary work of the same name by Airborne Toxic Event founder and frontman Mikel Jollett, to be published by Celadon Books, a division of MacMillan, on May 5, 2020; pre-orders are available HERE. Hollywood Parksees Jollett chronicling his extraordinary personal journey, from his early childhood in one of the most infamous cults of the 1970s, through a childhood of poverty and emotional abuse, before finding his voice as an artist among the confusion of an adult life spent nursing the wounds of childhood, and the redemption which came from looking inward and an acceptance of self and the fierce love of family.
Produced and mixed by the band’s longtime collaborator, multiple GRAMMY® Award-nominee Mark Needham (The Killers, Fleetwood Mac), HOLLYWOOD PARK serves as both companion volume and musical soundtrack to Jollett’s remarkable memoir, adding vivid sonic color to his wrenching and ultimately life-affirming personal chronicle. Indeed, both the album and book were fueled in large part by the untimely death of Jollett’s father. Devastated to his very core, he withdrew from both the world and his work for nearly a year before ultimately finding the strength to begin anew.
“Sitting in the confusion and bafflement his death created, I started writing songs again,” says Jollett. “Not with any particular destination in mind but just because I needed the music. To understand myself or maybe to cope. Maybe so I could make a thing and then look at it, play it over and over again and be lost in it, which though the songs were very sad, was a great comfort, for reasons that are hard to explain. I forgot about all those dumb rules and music became my companion again, just as it had been before I started the band. It wasn’t anything I planned to ever put out.
“Around this same time I decided to write a book. At first it was just going to be a short memoir about my father’s life (because it was a fascinating one). But every time I tried to explain what he meant to me, every time I tried to bring someone into this moment, this overwhelming grief, I found I had to start from an earlier point. How do I explain that he taught me so much about family and love without explaining that I was born without one, inside an orphanage in a cult?
“I spent the better part of the last four years locked in this little room in my basement writing. I’ve never loved something I’ve worked on so much. I’ve never worked so hard on something, to the point of exhaustion and near mental collapse. This has been a daily twelve-hour toil for nearly four years.
“So here we are. In the first week of May, both the book and the record will be coming out. The record is a soundtrack to the book, an hour-long concept record taken from scenes from the book, from my attempt to make sense of the forces which have touched my life. The record is a studio-live rock ‘n’ roll record. We were helped by choirs, string musicians, horn players, and others helping us make this record full of screams and whispers and everything we love about music.
“People have asked me what I hope others will take away from this project. I guess there are some fancy things I could say about emotional resonance, landscapes of the mind, and that little sob in the spine of the artist-reader (that’s how Nabokov put it) but any first-time author is lying who doesn’t simply say, I really hope people like my book. (And in this case, the soundtrack to it).”
The Airborne Toxic Event will herald HOLLYWOOD PARK with a pair of hugely anticipated four-night-stands at Los Angeles, CA’s El Rey Theatre (March 31, April 1, 2, 4) and New York City’s Bowery Ballroom (April 7-10), with all eight shows sold out within 30 seconds of ticket release. A complete North American live schedule – including an epic headline tour and top-billed festival appearances – will be announced soon. For updates and more, please visit www.theairbornetoxicevent.com/shows.
In addition, Jollett will be traveling on a wide-ranging book tour slated to visit independent bookstores across the U.S. through mid-May, beginning Friday, May 1 in Los Angeles and then making stops in San Francisco, Brooklyn, NYC, Washington, DC, Providence, Boston, Austin, Chicago, and Denver, with more to be announced. Highlights include a very special publication day event at New York’s world famous The Stand’s Rare Book Room on Tuesday, May 5. For complete details, please see here.
The Airborne Toxic Event first emerged in 2006, centered around the powerful songcraft of Mikel Jollett, already an acclaimed freelance journalist, editor, and writer whose work had appeared in such prestigious publications as McSweeney’s, the Los Angeles Times, and FILTER, among many others. The band’s self-titled debut album followed two years later, highlighted of course by the breakthrough hit single, “Sometime Around Midnight,” an RIAA gold-certified, top 5 smash on Billboard’s “Alternative Songs” chart, later ranked at #1 on iTunes’ “Best of 2008: Alternative” tally.
The Airborne Toxic Event spent much of its time on the road in the years that followed, including sold out world headline tours, countless international festival sets spanning Coachella and Lollapalooza to Japan’s Fuji Rock and the UK’s Reading/Leeds, and more. Known for their epic sonic energy and potent showmanship, the band have performed with a number of American symphony orchestras – including the Louisville Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra — in addition to collaborations with the Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet, the Lalo Guerrero School of Music Choir, and Los Angeles’ Belmont High School Marching Band, among others.
HOLLYWOOD PARK marks The Airborne Toxic Event’s first new album since 2015’s DOPE MACHINES and its limited edition companion volume, SONGS OF GOD AND WHISKEY, both followed in 2016 by the standalone single, “America.” DOPE MACHINES in particular was greeted by a rush of critical acclaim, with the Los Angeles Times raving, “the record marks a profound sonic turnaround for the band; instead of the yearning post-punk and folk flourishes of prior releases, they’ve picked up a minimal, purposefully synthetic sound, drawn from frontman Mikel Jollett’s new investment in production techniques.” “Never before have The Airborne Toxic Event sounded as freewheeling and creatively uninhibited as they do on DOPE MACHINES,” declared Atwood Magazine. “Dark electronic indie rock is applied in both minimalistic and anthemic settings to create a panoply of new sounds with catchy hooks… It reads like a book from start to finish, featuring hooks, engaging passages and a few surprise twists and turns.” DOPE MACHINES is “moody and dead serious, layered with deep cushions of synthesizers and airy echoed backing vocals,” wrote the Los Angeles Review of Books. “(Jollett’s songs are) vividly mindful of the high stakes for men and women whose primary experience of the world is that they are solitary beings surrounded by an ‘endless expanse of space,’ and who believe the only way to cross that expanse is to give oneself up to love.”
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THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT
ON TOUR 2020
31 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre SOLD OUT
1 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre SOLD OUT
2 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre SOLD OUT
4 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre SOLD OUT
7 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
8 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
9 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
10 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
MIKEL JOLLETT SOLO BOOK TOUR:
1 – Los Angeles, CA – West Hollywood Library
2 – San Francisco, CA – First Unitarian Society of San Francisco
4 – Brooklyn, NY – St. Joseph’s College
5 – New York, NY – The Strand
6 – Washington DC – GW Betts
7 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
8 – Boston, MA – The Brattle
9 – Austin, TX – Central Presbyterian
11 – Chicago, IL – Everybody’s Coffee: Wilson’s Abbey
12 – Denver, CO – Tattered Cover (Colfax)
13 – Seattle, WA – Town Hall