Discover & Download - The Airborne Toxic Event

April 13, 2020
Airborne Toxic Event
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Formed by novelist Mikel Jollett during a tumultuous period in his life, the Airborne Toxic Event (named after a section in American author Don DeLillo's novel White Noise) combine literate indie rock with real literary cred. Formed in 2006, the group initially took shape as a Los Angeles-based duo, with Jollett and drummer Daren Taylor serving as the only members. A roster expansion was eventually needed; as a result, classically trained violinist Anna Bulbrook was brought in to play viola and keyboards (Anna is no longer a member of TATE today), jazz bassist Noah Harmon joined up, and the empty guitar slot was filled by Steven Chen. The band's first show as the Airborne Toxic Event took place in fall of 2006, and was followed by a regional rise to stardom, attracting offers from indie labels and accolades from magazines like Rolling Stone.

Riding the wave of industry buzz, the Event released their first EP and accompanying single (both titled Does This Mean You're Moving On?) in 2007, which only helped to heighten the band's standing in the indie scene. They signed with Majordomo Records in 2008 and released their self-titled first album, The Airborne Toxic Event, later that year. "Sometime Around Midnight" became a Top Ten modern rock hit, prompting Island Records to sign the band in early 2009. Two years later, the Airborne Toxic Event -- now signed to the same label as one of their major influences, U2 -- issued their sophomore release, All at Once. A third album, Such Hot Blood, arrived on the label in 2013; the album peaked at 27 on the Billboard 200. During 2014, the Event replaced bassist Noah Harmon with Adrian Rodriguez and jumped from Island Records to Epic. Their first album for Epic, Dope Machines, saw release in February 2015.

Mikel Jollett is a musician, songwriter and writer. Born in Santa Monica in 1974 in the utopian drug-rehab cult, Synanon, Jollett escaped with his mother and brother in 1978. After witnessing acts of violence and threats of kidnapping, the three moved to Oregon in secrecy. Jollett moved to Los Angeles in 1985 to live with his ex-con, ex-heroin addict father and step mother (also a Synanon survivor). Jollett became a standout student and athlete. He was eventually admitted to Stanford University in 1992 and graduated with honors in 1996. After graduating from Stanford University, Jollett became a frequent contributor to All Things Considered on NPR. An on-air essayist discussing culture and music, his radio essay "My Dad, the Ex-Con," was selected by NPR for its year-end compilation of most popular stories entitled Driveway Moments. Jollett was additionally Editor-at-Large for Men's Health Magazine, and the Managing Editor of Filter Magzine. His first short story, The Crack, was published in issue 27 of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. For this story, Jollett was admitted into the Yaddo writer's colony, which he turned down to start The Airborne Toxic Event. @Mikel_Jollett