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. Hollywood Park sees 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
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 – CitySpace
9 – Austin, TX – Book People
11 – Chicago, IL – Everybody’s Coffee: Wilson’s Abbey
12 – Denver, CO – Tattered Cover (Colfax)
13 – Seattle, WA – Town Hall