For a portion of us who buy records and obsess over ‘em, The Gotobeds first came to our attention when word began to spread that Kim Phuc guitarist Eli Kasan and drummer Tom Payne had a new band. That powerhouse pedigree certainly didn’t hurt, but non-residents of Blitzburgh were in for a slight headfuck upon hearing The Gotobeds’ debut 7”, “Ipso Facto (It’s All Happening)” (Mind Cure) in the Fall of 2013. Teamed with bassist Gavin Jensen and drummer Cary Belbeck, the quartet’s chaotic take on smart-dude avant punk could’ve passed for one of the best singles of 1979, ’89, ’99, really, any year that ended in a 9. 1859. 2019.
A subsequent 45 for Mind Cure, spring 2014’s “New York’s Alright (If You Like Sex & Phones)” upped the ante considerably ; though one publication called it Lee Ving-baiting, ’twas a Parquet Courts LP that was smashed into tiny pieces in the song’s widely seen music video. Lest anyone believes this was manufactured attempt at creating a feud, the simple fact of the matter is that hardly anyone is willing to talk about the consequences of poor LP handling. You call it a promotional clip, I call it a PSA —- can’t we simply agree the song was amazing?
After some OTT blog hyperventilating and an action-packed trip to SXSW and back, we can fast forward to ‘Poor People Are Revolting’, as confident and filler-free a debut rock album as you’re gonna hear in these sad, sloppy times. HOW DID IT ALL COME TO BE? Let Eli tell the tale :
"Around March 2009 I bumped into my longtime friend Cary at an all-night art gallery and we talked about finally making a band stick beyond a couple of drunken, hazy practices since I had recently lost my job. Pittsburgh at the time had a nice Thatcher-esque feel in the housing bubble collapse so I was keen to do something beyond getting up at noon & trying to hit my favorite brunch spot. But not too much more."
"I had all of these songs sitting around that didn't make sense for Kim Phuc: Cary wasn't really a drummer & I wasn't really a singer so it seemed natural that we'd try our hand at doing each because that's what we wanted to do. We'd make these long lists of bands and strange sounds we wanted to try out. Being from a city has great bands but is removed from most things gave us time to gestate, and if yr intelligent enough to read between the lines you know I'm covering for the fact that we were initially pretty terrible. Gavin joined quickly once he made the correct decision to move from Chicago to Pittsburgh, with myself being one of the only people he knew. As far as guitar players go we had several in our initial infancy - each players stint turned out to be a point where their lives were in some kinda transitional chaos period before they resigned themselves to the rat race. TFP who drummed in Kim Phuc asked to play with us & our final lineup was complete."
"We kicked around for a few years to find our footing. It's easy to form a band with an initial sound or look that is someone else's but that's always the least interesting way to go about things. So we tried on a few hats to figure out that they didn't fit or they wouldn't get us laid. Most of what we agree on is stuff with guitars in it."
"I wanted to be the Swell Maps and just make a big bunch of classic songs with junk on top, but any other DIY/Punk/Post-Punk/Indie sound of The Fall, early Pavement, Wire, Wipers, Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth to the modern sounds of Total Control, Tyvek, Protomartyr etc is what we ended up with."
"Though we don't share their sounds as much, something like how the Replacements made "Let It Be" with the cheeky title and grab bag of disparate strands of rock is how we approached writing our first lp. Every band is trying to incorporate too much shit so we just wanted to make sounds that we all loved & lucked in to recording all of the songs in one day. Secs Tape, Jenna Rations & Fucking Machine are all first takes. The 90's are back! We're waiting to cash our checks."
"Important sales note: The Gotobeds is one word. It's someones name. We're like a punk family like The Ramones or the Osmonds. We're not going-to-bed anytime soon."
Jah Bless - Hazy Lazer 2014.
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