A Brief! Guide to Godspeed You! Black Emperor Side Projects and Name Changes

Godspeed You! Black Emperor -- the Artists Formerly Punctuated as Godspeed You Black Emperor! -- have announced that "god's pee has decided to roll again." That is, the Canadian post-rock experimentalists are going back on tour after a decade-long hiatus and playing nine U.S. shows, along with a handful of European dates.

In spite of the announcement's self-referential allusion to a vehicle left to rust in the rain, it's not exactly like the radical GY!BE members have been stagnant in recent years. In addition to child-rearing, composing film soundtracks, and vegetable gardening, the band have spent the last decade splintering off into about a billion different side projects, each with its own lengthy moniker and apocalyptic forebodings. Unless you founded Wikipedia, it's nearly impossible to track every band name change and instrumental switch-up, but here's a brief tour through a few of Godspeed's many, many offshoots and their corresponding nomenclature.

The most noted Godspeed side project is that of guitarist and singer Efrim Menuck, which began as A Silver Mt. Zion in 1999. For a dude who's seemingly very concerned with the political weight of his music, Menuck certainly rushed into the inappropriate naming of the group. "Politically, the idea of Zionism is something that we abhor ... if we'd thought about it a bit harder, we probably would've thought more carefully about using that word in the band name, because it really is a loaded term," he said in this interview.

It's a good thing he's got an endless capacity for band name changes! Except that "Zion" was never removed ... weird. A few years after the release of their debut He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms ... (deeeeep breath), A Silver Mt. Zion added a slew of musicians and kept on changing its name, again and again, to reflect the new line-ups. The band has since been referred to as:
    The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
    The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band
    The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band With Choir
Thee Silver Mountain Reveries

Now they're officially known as Thee Silver Mount Zion, and I'm officially known as exhausted. But wait. There's more.

Set Fire to Flames, which includes a bunch of Godspeed's members, managed to put out two albums in the early part of last decade under the same name.

There are also dozens of musical operations that aren't direct spawn of GY!BE but have drawn contributions from members, including the Montreal experimental band Fly Pan Am (also known as Le Fly Pan Am). Oh yeah, and Menuck spent time mixing tracks for a band called Lesbians on Ecstasy (also known as Lezbians on Ecstasy, or Lezzies on X) at one point.

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