In modern-day music speak, "indefinite hiatus" can mean many, many different things. Fall Out Boy always intended to get back together, but we're guessing One Direction has no plans for a five-year reunion. Sometimes it's easier to sugarcoat a breakup by beating around the bush, but we just want to know if our faves are intending to pull a Jonas Brothers and stage a triumphant comeback after years out of the spotlight. These seventeen bands need to reunite ASAP before their break becomes a break-up. The world won't wait forever.
The writing was on the wall for our generation’s defining boy band from the moment Zayn Malik announced his departure in 2015, but the remaining four did their best to continue without him for another album cycle. That honestly could have just been done to spite Zayn and prove the show could and would go on without him, but nevertheless, the band announced an eighteen-month hiatus less than a year after he went solo. The boys have released their own music with varying amounts of success, but it’s time for the prodigal sons to return. Considering the barbs Zayn and One Direction’s current lineup have been trading in the press, it seems like a long shot for the original five to ever reunite, but Harry, Louis, Liam, and Niall can get along just fine without him.
No Doubt just isn’t No Doubt without Gwen Stefani. The boys in the band may have started a new side project with AFI frontman Davey Havok to explore dreams of punk stardom, but the ‘90s third-wave ska band we know and love is still officially in the midst of its second hiatus. Gwen has talked about coming out of their first, four-year hiatus with feelings of obligation and guilt that caused their record Push and Shove to feel a little burnt out, but we’d love for the band to naturally gravitate back to a place where they can make music because they want to. Tragic Kingdom was famously written and recorded after Gwen and the band's bassist Tony Kanal went through a messy breakup, but instead of letting their personal drama kill the band, they developed a unique artistic partnership through the shared pain that hasn’t been replicated since.
This might be a crazy thought, but groups that were brought together randomly by reality television shows aren’t exactly built to last. Unless musicians come together over a shared musical goal, they’re either just in it for the fame or taking advantage on an opportunity that was thrust upon them. We can’t blame ‘em, we’d do the same, but if fame is the end goal and one member becomes the breakout star, they’ll probably break out of their *contract* as soon as legally possible. Unless you’re counting K-Pop acts like BLACKPINK, a successor hasn’t arisen to claim Fifth Harmony’s girl group throne. Still, as the girls all kill it and grow into musicians in their own right post-split, we can’t help but hope that this diverse group of dynamic soloists can find their way back to each other. We could use some girl power right around now.
A split helped No Doubt thrive, but it doomed Sonic Youth. The seminal band was thirty years into their historic career when Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore separated after three decades of marriage, launching an indefinite hiatus that Kim doesn’t see ending any time soon. She referred to the band “splitting up” multiple times in her autobiography despite Thurston’s insistence that it’s still just a hiatus, and we’re hoping that the “Kool Thing” rockers can follow in the footsteps of Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, and Sleater-Kinney and overcome their heartbreak for the sake of their music.
The Spice Girls are currently touring, much to the delight of fans that will take anything they can get after nearly twenty years without new music and only sporadic appearances since they announced their hiatus. Without Victoria Beckham or any plans for new music, this isn’t a reunion so much as their regularly scheduled victory lap. Clearly there’s still a lot of love amongst the quintet and as the best-selling female group of all time, there’s definitely a market for new music. It seems like the only thing holding these girls back is timing.
Big Time Rush was formed alongside their Nickelodeon sitcom, but that doesn’t mean the boy band didn’t release a few bangers in their time. With The Jonas Brothers back, hopefully for good, nostalgia for the early ‘00s is at an all-time high. The band toured a little after the Big Time Rush television series ended before pursuing solo careers but since we couldn’t name a single member from memory, it doesn’t seem like those went too well. Kendall Schmidt said they’d like to come back together eventually, but we’re hoping it’s sooner rather than later.
People miss Fugazi. Experimental punk isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if it’s something you’re open to trying out, Fugazi is the best there’s ever been. We’re approaching two decades of their hiatus but co-leader Ian MacKaye gave us a glimmer of hope in 2011 when he made it clear the only thing stopping a reunion was geography and time. Their bassist, Joe Lally, lives in Rome and the band would practice nearly forty hours a week at the peak of their fame, but Ian characterized his bandmates as family, with no hard feelings to speak of. They’ve been working on digitizing their music and video recordings of their live shows, so at least we have something to look forward to until they come back together.
It’s fairly obvious that The Wanted began as an attempt to cash in on One Direction’s fame. Where would *NSYNC be without The Backstreet Boys to battle with? In a perfect world, The Wanted and One Direction would have formed an epic rivalry, boosting each other’s catalogs in the process as the public took sides, but the OG British boy band couldn’t be challenged, even by a group managed by star-maker Scooter Braun. Once One Direction began to fall apart in 2014, The Wanted mysteriously vanished in an indefinite hiatus to pursue solo projects, but it almost seems like they wanted to finally beat 1D to the punch. Now, there’s no British boy band for Gen-Z to fawn over, leaving the court wide open for The Wanted to finally control the market.
Fueled by Ramen
Jack Antonoff is too busy adding synths to perfectly decent albums to tour and record with fun., the band that made him and Nate Ruess household names. We’re honestly more bitter that Bleachers disappeared, but it would be a little hard for Jack to reunite with *himself*. fun. made the type of songs people want to graduate high school to, made for the background of emotional montages in movies and closing credits. No one else has appeared to fill their niche since they disappeared in 2015, and the class of 2025 is going to need something to play while they matriculate.
The Backstreet Boys are back, so it’s time for *NSYNC to say “hi, hi, hi.” After a partial reunion during Arichella, Lance Bass confirmed the band is considering a reunion due to renewed fan interest. If they do end their break, even sans Justin Timberlake, we’ll have Ariana Grande to thank. The timing is perfect for Justin to tap back into his pop roots now that his Man of the Woods era has ended, and we'd love to see what the '90s boy band's new music would look like in the 21st century.
Japan’s oldest and most beloved pop group Arashi announced that they’d be starting an indefinite hiatus in 2020. The 38-year-old band leader Satoshi Ono wants to leave and experience a normal life out of the spotlight, but that his career is only “on hold” and not over. Their fans are shocked, but after appearing in movies, television dramas, variety shows, and commercials while constantly churning out hotly anticipated hits, they can understand why Satoshi and his bandmates would be tired, but we’re all hoping they rest up quickly and come back to music ASAP.
Andre 3000 and Big Boi have found thriving careers outside of Outkast, but the pure ecstasy of their high school pursuits hasn’t been matched by *anyone* since the group went on break in 2007. The group briefly reunited for their twentieth reunion, but no new music came out of their victory lap. Seeing what Andre and Big Boi could make after growing so much in their solo careers would be an entrancing experiment in how time apart can change such a finely tuned sound.
The Walkmen aren’t as widely known as peers like Vampire Weekend, The Shins, or band off-shoot Fleet Foxes, but the aughts’ indie rock darlings broke hearts when they slowly disappeared following their tenth anniversary tour and its subsequent album, Heaven. It’s only been six years since they announced an “extreme hiatus,” not with a bang, but with a whimper. After their set was cruelly cut short at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2013, it seems as if the band just calmly agreed it was time to move on. They’d hit one too many roadblocks en route to rightful fame and naturally drifted apart. They faded out slowly, but it’s only a matter of time before rock music becomes popular again, and we’re hoping their natural impulse to make music together slowly fades back in with it.
Were The Pussycat Dolls ever really a band? Their music was the type of danceable, suggestive pop that could make good girls go bad, but it was always just Nicole Scherzinger and her regular cast of burlesque dancers. It can’t be that hard to reunite a group that was just one girl singing pre-written hits, but despite attempts to reunite the original sextet (a fitting number, considering their niche) that included Nicole, member Carmit Bachar wasn’t on board and plans were postponed. Rumor has it they’re trying again, and we can’t wait to finally have new music for our clubbing pre-games. Nothing gasses a girl up like “Buttons.”
Third Man/Warner Bros.
In a rare twist, former spouses Jack and Meg White recorded their first successful record *after* their separation, creepily leading the press to believe that they were siblings for arguably too long. Like, even after a Detroit newspaper outed them as exes, they kept claiming to be brother and sister despite their weirdly connected onstage personas. Jack White’s music remains a roller coaster that only goes up, reaching peak after peak, but his work with Meg remains some of his most beloved. The band quietly announced they wouldn’t be working together in 2011, apparently because Meg was largely apathetic for their entire tenure as a band and preferred life out of the spotlight. Maybe she’ll get bored one day and bless us with another White Stripes coffee table book.
Neutral Milk Hotel briefly reunited for an uncloaked cash grab in 2013. Maybe they thought showing their faces after so many years would quell the rising lore surrounding Jeff Mangum, who had become less of a man and more of a legend. Maybe they just had mortgages and children with mouths to feed. Either way, after years of moralistic, concrete hermit-ing, Jeff and the gang toured for the first time since In The Aeroplane Over The Sea went from a decent album to a revered piece of folk history. If Neutral Milk Hotel ever truly comes back from their hiatus, as a band and not some props being paraded across the country, they would need some mind-blowingly amazing music to do it. After twenty-two years to let the creative voices in his head ramble and yell with no outlet, we’re sure Jeff has made something for himself. It’s about time he shares with the class.
As far as the Talking Heads are concerned, they never broke up. David Byrne just left. The rest of the band continued with business as usual recording under the name The Heads because David would take legal action if they tried to use the Talking Heads name, and the band’s married couple Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth have been recording as the Tom Tom Club before the band’s sudden split. Chris has said the ball is in David’s court as far as renewing their relationship, either musical or personal, but Tina has also characterized David as “a man incapable of returning friendship” in the press, so it doesn’t seem like they’re off to a great start. Still, the thought of a reunion has never been entirely nixed by either side and the hunger from music fans hasn’t waned either.