The Airborne Toxic Event
Over the course of his youth, Mikel Jollett endured poverty, neglect, emotional injury, and sporadic physical violence. He overcame those challenges to become an accomplished distance runner and honor student, earning a full scholarship to Stanford then worked as a correspondent for NPR and music journalist before becoming a musician himself. In 2006, Jollett founded THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT, a reference to the 1985 Don DeLillo novel White Noise (although referring to a chemical spill in the book, the name presciently evokes terror of the COVID era). Quickly making waves in the indie-rock scene, the band often performed with orchestral groups, and released memorable tracks such as “Sometime Around Midnight,” “Changing,” “All I Ever Wanted,” and “Wishing Well.” The band currently comprises Jollett, original members Daren Taylor (drums, percussion) and Steven Chen (guitars, piano), as well as Adrian Rodriguez (bass, piano, guitars). Airborne Toxic Event’s sixth studio album, Hollywood Park—the band’s first in five years and first on Rounder Records—was released alongside Jolett’s acclaimed memoir of the same title, published in May by Celadon Books, a division of MacMillan.