War Party are not a band content to go quietly in that good night. The Fort Worth turf rock outfit has been awfully busy by most bands' standards — especially one getting ready to say goodbye.
Tuesday saw the release of a new video for their song “No Exit” from their album Pure Destroyer, and on Wednesday came a new single, “Much Polite (It’s Happening),” ahead of their Sunday performance at this year’s Fortress Festival in the band’s hometown.
The “No Exit” video “is somewhat of a farewell to this project,” according to singer and guitarist Cameron Smith.
“It’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek jabbing,” Smith says, laughing about the band’s faux-infighting and fans saying “fuck War Party” in the video. “Feels like when things come to a close, people have a tendency to get reverent, but War Party is not that kind of group.”
“It’s like a laugh at a funeral, maybe,” Smith adds. “But I don’t think of it as a death, really, just more like it is complete. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to make something entirely different.”
The video features a live performance of the band at Three Links, their arrival at Ridglea Theater for the Fort Worth Weekly Awards and other members of the DFW music scene — such as Hunter Moehring of Sealion and Jordan Richardson of Son of Stan — joining in the not-so-fond farewell sentiments.
In truth, the band’s farewell is more about the completion of a project than it is about infighting or fans getting sick of them.
“It just sort of seems like everything happened to be finished at the right time,” Smith says. “[The band] feels like it’s a finished body of work. Like there is a complete little world of albums and EPs and singles and videos with Easter eggs and all sorts of stuff for anyone to get lost in if they ever get the notion.”
War Party's run stretches back eight years to 2011, when Smith first joined forces with band mate Peter Marsh. They were soon joined by Tyler Moore and Rick Williford, with Chris Waldon added to the lineup a couple of years after that. “We formed a bit of a sonic identity and toured around and played some great shows, then Tyler left the group to join the military and Jesse [Gage] took over on bass and brought some new life and we wrote two new songs, 'Much Polite (It’s Happening)' being one of them,” Smith recalls.
“I was thinking maybe I was ready to focus on other things right after Pure Destroyer,” Smith adds, “so these two songs feel like a bonus bon voyage to the band I learned how to play and write in.”
The cover of the single is an original painting entitled Much Polite by artist Jeremy Joel, which is currently on display at Shipping & Receiving in Fort Worth. Joel gave the band permission to use it as the cover and was delighted to hear that the band had used the title of the painting for their single.
Fans will have a chance to hear War Party’s final song when it is released on the Dreamy Life Records' Group Therapy compilation, which will be released in August.
“We may perform at that release show,” Smith says, “and maybe the random one-off show, but I don’t really have plans to write another War Party album or even song, really.”
That means that the last chance to see War Party perform live could be at their 3 p.m. set on Sunday at Fortress Festival, where they will be joined on stage by another member of Sealion, bass player Sam Villavert — a performance that may offer some clue as to what's next for the members of War Party.
“There is a big new collaboration on the horizon,” Smith says. “The guys from War Party and I will be focusing on a new, unnamed project that will also feature many of the members of Sealion.”
Smith is remaining tight-lipped about any other future details, but based on what we know of these two bands, there will surely be some big sounds to come from any potential meeting of the minds.
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