Australian pop-punk phenomenon Short Stack have called it quits, leaving behind a career which includes a chart-topping platinum album and countless broken hearts.
The teen idols from Budgewoi on the New South Wales Central Coast broke the news today on the band's Facebook page. Like everything the band has done since they formed eight years ago, the news was met with outpourings of agony and antipathy, in roughly the same amounts.
Comprising frontman, guitarist and songwriter Shaun Diviney, bass player Andy Clemmensen and drummer Bradie Webb, Short Stack's mastery of the social networks paid-up with big piles of record sales Down Under.
The trio galvanized an enormous female fanbase through YouTube and MySpace and opened their account with a No. 1 bow for their debut Stack Is The New Black, which achieved the feat in 2009 without conventional marketing.
"Short Stack" TV home-made episodes have captured more than 9.2 million views. Their streams on MySpace have generated more than 5.1 million plays to-date.
The sophomore album saw the group take a different musical direction. With British producer Lee Groves (Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Marilyn Manson) at the mixing desk, the album peaked at No. 6 on its release in 2010. But it failed to match the buzz of its predecessor. In the same year, the group's record company Universal Music Australia launched a Short Stack app, one of the first times an Australian act had made that step.
Short Stack's chart, box-office and online metrics tell only some of the story. The trio were a once-in-a-generation phenomenon, their young female fans in Australia every bit as ravenous as those who follow Justin Bieber. And like Bieber, Short Stack endured a torrent of scorn and critics from the general public.
"[Haters are] part of being in a band. You've got to have a thick skin," bass Clemmensen told this reporter in a 2010 interview. "No matter what people are going to love you, people are going to hate you. It's something you just have to learn to deal with."