Speech On The Arrested Development Split

They are no more. Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

ATN La-La Land correspondent Mark Brown (also

of the

Orange County Register) reports: It's a cliché to talk about the

curse

of winning the Grammy for "Best New Artist." But there's a reason these things

become clichés: they're usually truisms. "Best New Artist" equals another old

cliché: Kiss of Death.

Now Arrested Development (as ATN reported some weeks

back), through attrition, neglect and outside ambition, is no more. "At this

point, it's more of an organic split. It's definitely not an official one,"

Speech said in an interview this past week. "I feel comfortable with that. God

has definitely shined down on that group. We'll wait for inspiration to come

back together.

"The people in Arrested Development were sort of going their

own directions, in different directions," Speech, 27, added. "I was just

continuing to make music. I wasn't making it for any particular project. I was

just making music."

Next week, AD leader Speech releases his solo album,

Speech, a tuneful, easy-to-like, solid piece of work. "It's definitely a

different time for me. I want people very badly to hear this new energy,"

Speech said. "It's not to replace Arrested Development, but to add to what they

already know about me as an artist. Nowadays you know more about a producer

than you do about an artist. (I prefer) really growing with that artist and

knowing what they've been through in their music."

Success took its toll on

AD. "No doubt, there was a lot of confusion," Speech said. "Here are seven very

young people exposed to so much exposure and so much popularity and fame, so

many different people whispering in their ears _ in my ears and all the group

members' ears. Obviously that caused confusion, even for strong-minded

people.

"What ultimately took place was the grass is greener on the other

side scenario," he continued. "If the group ever gets back and records again, I

hope that every group member has a huge hit album so when they come back

together, they won't think about the other side. They'll think about what they

had as a group, which is very special."

Speech was always acknowledged as

leader of the group, so having such a great success in his past is more a

launching pad rather than an albatross. "I feel like Arrested Development

doesn't have a shadow. It more has light. Arrested Development was such a

beautiful point in my life that this album can only be given more light because

of it," Speech said.

Less rap than Arrested Development, Speech's solo

album culls more from influences such as late '60s/early-'70s soul and

R&B--Spinners-style light musical flights, at times sounding like pre-weirdness

Prince. "This album is the opportunity to show people the other side of me as

an artist," he said. "It gives me a chance to show my live instrumentation

background, my diversity as a producer.

"The birth of my son had a lot to

do with it. Especially `Insomnia Song,"' Speech laughed. "Just having a son and

being married has sort of had its spirit on this record. There's no doubt about

it. At the time I wrote this record, I had this son going on, I had this new

family scenario and I'm listening to Joni Mitchell CDs. There were all these

things that I was sort of vibing on. And that energy came through in the

music."