Obituary‘s second act has now lasted longer than their initial run, and drummer Donald Tardy says that it might not have happened without a little nudge from his onetime bandmate Andrew W.K. While speaking with Chaoszine (as seen in the video below), Tardy revealed how his stint with the white T-shirt wearing rocker after Obituary’s breakup in 1997 ultimately helped bring the band back together in 2003.
Tardy recalled (as transcribed by Metal Injection), “I was on Ozzfest with Andrew, and we were playing in Florida and again, we were never not friends Obituary [even though we went on hiatus]. We still were hanging out watching sports together, you know, watching NASCAR, football, partying – but we just took a break from it. It was Andrew on the Ozzfest where, even though Andrew’s set was only for 30 minutes, and even though we only had a 30 minute set he said, ‘Do you think you think you guys would want to come out and do like, two Obituary songs?'”
At that point, the band had been split for six years, but just being able to round up all the guys for this special Ozzfest appearance was all it took to stoke the fire again.
“That literally sparked the flame back into how much my brother [John Tardy] and Trevor [Peres] realized how much [fun] it is to be touring. So you can half thank Andrew for being such a fan of Obituary that he invited us to do two songs on his stage with him.”
Since that 2003 reunion, the band has gone on to record and release five more studio albums, the most recent being 2017’s self-titled set.
While each of the band members used their time during the split differently, Tardy didn’t stray too far from music and it was a call from W.K. that piqued his interest to play in a band again. With Tardy’s help, W.K. put together his band and the drummer recalls how great it was to build something from the ground up and watch it take off.
“I watched it go from a concept to literally 1,000 miles an hour – a gold record, playing Ozzfest… I performed on Saturday Night Live with Andrew, I played on Conan O’Brien, I played you know, all these late night shows. I mean, it’s funny. I went from Obituary and taking a hiatus to Andrew, from zero to a thousand miles an hour. Next thing you know, we’re on learjets and uh Ozzfests and Saturday Night Live. We actually opened for Aerosmith in America for 11 shows. It was just incredible. It was awesome.”
He concludes, “When the [Obituary] kind of went home and wanted to get away from the scene, I dove right into it and and was doing some of the biggest shows I’ve ever even considered doing.”
Obituary were initially together from 1984-1997. The band has reportedly been working on new material with the intent of a new record arriving later this year.