"AT LONG LAST, THE FALL"
An Elegy for 98 MUTE
"Down there all speech is vain. There, forgetting and passing by are the best wisdom: that I have learned now. He who would grasp everything human would have to grapple with everything. But for that my hands are too clean. I do not even want to inhale their breath; alas, that I lived so long among their noises and vile breath!"
-JUSTIN THIRSK (drummer)
Here, applying a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra to 98 MUTE's permanent withdrawal in a 2002 interview
There are moments in human history, whether preordained or coincidental, during Death's ceaseless and unrepentant harvest when its cold blade severs a root of life at a point when the designated person achieves singular glory, fame, bravery, or lasting peace amidst his/her final hours before the plundered soul is hijacked and ferried off to the great unknown that awaits all humankind once mortal residency is expired. But such heroism and romance will not be found in the fleeting moments of the eleventh hour for a particular band of degenerates, whose term in the music industry has been long overstayed. As if one needed to be told, it is the boys of 98 MUTE that we now speak. With the failed attempt to resuscitate a doomed and decaying musical career made ambitiously in the public's full view with the release of their latest album, ironically titled After the Fall (which would have found better and more accurate use as the name of their second album, Class of 98) ended in disaster, Pat, Jason, Doug, and Justin have at long last resolved to abort their shammed hostile takeover of the music scene and take an overdue jump overboard to abandon ship. And no one is happier for their demise than the generous, maternal, ever-supportive label of Epitaph, who along with former sponsor Theologian Records has embraced and coddled the four ingrates of 98 MUTE with loving, nurturing arms since their troubled infancy. But no longer will the band feel such gentle caresses of encouragement. No more will the patient, forgiving fans flock to the stores swollen with eager hope that the trustworthy lads and lasses at Epitaph and Theologian will at last present them with a 98 MUTE album worth listening to with the volume on. Never again will the ultra-mega-sub-par sounds of South Bay's most disastrous ensemble of musicians ever bask in the undeserved limelight of stardom.
Hardly penitent of the irremovable stain they have tarnished the noble Hermosa Beach musical legacy with, 98 MUTE take their malevolent pride with them to the grave, cackling at the havoc and ruin they have marred the world with. But before magnums of the bubbly burst in celebration and the confetti and streamers descend upon the rejoicing masses flooding the city streets, take heed: though the pale light of the silver moon may illuminate the 98 MUTE moniker chiseled into the slab of a tombstone, their evil presence in this realm has not terminated. Indeed, this band's treachery runs deeper than once perceived. Lurking in the shadows of society, using their human disguises to find employment in local businesses, the four maladies of 98 MUTE now carry out their vile designs in secret by tampering with the US legal system, messing with your taxes, corrupting young Americans in the classroom, and contaminating your drinks with arcane concoctions of lethal elixirs at the pub. None are safe from their villainy---not even their fans.
To the members of the various satanic sects who loyally supported 98 MUTE throughout their career with the hopes of ushering in a global apocalypse through the group's music, the four band mates offer their utmost thanks and appreciation for the cheers and jeers they have leant to the band over the years, despite the abuse and ostracism these fans doubtlessly have suffered for their allegiance. A well-deserved bow of gratitude is also made in the direction of the men and women at Epitaph and Theologian Records, who, like saints, have stood by 98 MUTE through thick and thin, risking their credibility and noble reputation as an epicenter of ground-breaking musical outfits by lending support to the band (though this altruism has met little approval by peers in the music industry, local and federal governments, and the remainder of intelligent life throughout the universe as we know it).
But, alas, the long anticipated day of reckoning has come: when 98 MUTE sets sail into the fiery horizon, forever departing from these shores, chasing a westering sun that makes its twilight plunge into the distant sea beneath the encroaching tides of the inky firmament, relinquishing its dominion of the skies to the reign of night. Though we lucky few will wake tomorrow to behold the nourishing light of day, the damned lot of Justin, Jason, Pat, and Doug will aimlessly wander in ubiquitous darkness for all eternity, shameless of their crimes. And with that said, it is now time to draw the curtain. No encores, no round of applause, no final bows, no more bombastic and verbose prose, no last words. Fuck no. Only a hushed, whimpering, wretched diminishment. Just as mysteriously and quietly as they appeared on the scene, the 98 MUTE quartet recedes into the shadows that spawned them, shrouded behind the cloak of oblivion where they will forever remain, alone and forgotten by the world and time. Adieu.