Nineties indie rockers The Promise Ring, a band tabbed “emo” long before the masses caught on, recently announced plans for multiple reunion gigs to coincide with the release of a rarities compilation in 2012.
Two dates are already confirmed: Feb. 24 at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall and Feb. 25 at The Metro in Chicago. The band is currently plotting the rest of its 2012 itinerary (which could include festival dates), according to drummer Dan Didier.
“We’re not gonna get back in a van and go around doing that type of touring,” Didier tells Billboard.com. “We’re just going to try to do select cities and mainly fly-ins or short drives. It’ll probably be anywhere between 10 and 15 shows. We’ll go from there.”
Where might that lead? Didier won’t completely deny the possibility of new material, though the idea remains “highly unlikely.” However, the band has confirmed the 2012 release of a rarities compilation, via Dangerbird Records. The compilation will primarily pull from the band’s latter days, particularly their final LP, 2002’s “Wood/Water,” released through ANTI-.
“We’re still working out the tracklist; a lot also depends on some hard drives that have crashed on me over the years,” Didier says. “There’s a song we recorded during the ‘Wood/Water’ session that isn’t anywhere, so we’ll probably throw that on as maybe the main track. The other song from that session is called ‘All Good Souls’ — it was the bonus track on the 10 inch of ‘Wood/Water.’ From there we have some demos we recorded for that didn’t even make the recording of the record.”
Around the time of the Promise Ring’s demise, several others achieved mainstream success via the emo tag: longtime friends/touring partners Jimmy Eat World broke the mainstream with their single “The Middle,” and Promise Ring bassist Scott Schoenbeck (who will be part of the reunion lineup) joined Dashboard Confessional. However, Didier harbors no hard feelings towards the dreaded “e-word.”
“It didn’t really bother me because you need to call it something. I never thought I identified with it [emo] or understood what it actually meant… Any band that has gone through playing shitty shows, touring and all that, any of those bands that saw success like Death Cab For Cutie and At The Drive-In, it’s all deserved.”
Aside from Didier and Schoenbeck, the Promise Ring’s reunion lineup will include guitarist Jason Gnewikow and vocalist/guitarist Davey Von Bohlen, who has released four albums with Didier in the indie pop outfit Maritime, most recently 2011’s “Human Hearts.”
Since splitting in 2002 after eight years and four full length records, the quartet had previously reunited just once- for a single 2005 gig in Chicago.
The band’s official Twitter account is currently seeking set list requests for the upcoming reunion dates.