This year marks 25 years since +LIVE+’s seminal debut album, Mental Jewelry. Since then, the band has enjoyed multi-platinum sales status. 

Comprising of Ed Kowalczyk (lead vocalist, guitarist), Chad Taylor (guitarist, backing vocalist), Patrick Dahlheimer (bassist) and Chad Gracey (drummer, percussionist), +LIVE+ first got together in 1989.

In 2009, the four parted ways and decided in 2012 to get back together – but without Kowalczyk. Chris Shinn (of Unified Theory) took over lead vocals duty and brought his rhythm guitar to this version of +LIVE+. That was up until last year. In December, +LIVE+ announced that Kowalczyk was back in. And Shinn? Well, no mention of him was made in the announcement.

Die-hard +LIVE+ fans will be happy to know that the original posse is back in business. Brought to you by AMP Events, all four of them will hit Cape Town on November 7 before they head to Pretoria on November 10. 

There will be a limited amount of meet-and-greet packages on sale. 

Tonight got an exclusive Q&A with the band and found out that quite a lot of healing has taken place in order to make way for the restoration of friendship and good music.

What led to the original line-up’s reunion?

Ed Kowalczyk (EK): After a pretty long break, it was exciting to find that we all felt, in a sense, like we were starting over again – albeit with this amazing foundation and fanbase all over the world that we established. You could say we took the long road home, but it feels good to be back.

Chad Taylor (CT): Ed, Chad, Patrick and I are no different than your average family. We might divide ourselves or argue fiercely but thankfully time, and the grand gesture of forgiveness, helps to heal old wounds. We’ve worked hard to restore the tenets of faith and trust that bonded us in the beginning. It doesn’t hurt that our fans offered so much encouragement!

Patrick Dahlheimer (PD): +LIVE+ needs no better reason to reform than to spread some light in this time of confusion and unease.

Chad Gracey (CG): One word: friendship. We lost our way with that a bit but are now back to being friends and respect each other again. That’s what counts.

Can we expect new music from you?

EK: We are writing and recording at the moment. We have mutually decided not to rush the next project. We didn’t want the pressure of completing an entire album hanging over us before we got out and played some shows. I think the idea at the moment is to just go with the flow, get onstage together and see where all of this new energy takes us creatively. We might release something new in the form of a shorter release in 2017, in anticipation of larger project in 2018. Stay tuned.

CT: I had no expectations when it came to making new music. For the first time in our career, there was no record company pushing us for new “product”. If anything, writing songs is more like the early garage days: no pressure. I think it shows in some of the work we’ve already done. We’re not focused on an album but rather seeing where we can take our creativity one track at a time.

PD: New music is all around us and we have already captured some of it. Who knows when or if or how new music will come out? I’m living this +LIVE+ one day at a time.

CG: We’ll release new music sometime in ’17.

* Catch +LIVE+ at the GrandWest Arena in Cape Town on November 7 and at the Sun Arena-Time Square in Pretoria on November 10

Tickets will be available at Computicket tomorrow.