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The Gotobeds talk new album ‘Debt Begins at 30′ (stream it)

photo: Shawn Brackbill
photo: Shawn Brackbill

Pittsburgh four-piece The Gotobeds‘ new album Debt Begins at 30, out next week, is their idea of a punk/indie rock equivalent of a trap mixtape, featuring guests on every track. Those include Protomartyr’s Joe Casey on the fierce “Slang Words,” his bandmate Greg Ahee, who contributes atmospheric guitar on the introspective “On Loan,” and Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich who brings his spirited voice to the sharp “Dross.” There’s also Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett on the anthemic “Parallel,” Tracy Wilson of Positive No contributes to the very catchy and Pavement-y “Twin Cities,” and there are two different versions of the title track — one featuring Bob Weston of Shellac/Mission of Burma, and a Spanish language version with Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys. And more! It’s an ambitious record, but one that never doesn’t sound like The Gotobeds.

We’re premiering a stream of the entire record which you can listen to below. We also asked singer/guitarist Eli Kasan a few questions about how the concept for the album came about and you can read that Q&A below as well.

The Gotobeds play a hometown record release show on Saturday (5/25) and then they’ll be out on the road in short bursts in June, July and August, with two NYC-area shows: Brooklyn’s Union Pool on July 17 (tickets), and Kingston, NY’s Tubby’s on July 19 (more info). All dates are listed below.

It’s been three years since your last album — why the long gap?

I remember reading some Christopher Walken quote where he talked about living in Hollywood and never going [out], so as to “make them miss me.” We had some delays with adding all of the guests and keeping it on track, our engineer had some life shit come up, tfp had a baby – though I would’ve preferred it out sooner I’m glad we’ll never give our fans Ty Segall-syndrome (no hate, just can’t keep up).

Was this album conceived as having collaborations on every song? If so, what was the inspiration?

We’ve had some folks guest on everything (my old roommate Evan is on every record, my sister in law Danielle is too), originally it was touring a bunch with Protomartyr and having Joe guest so that when we played together you could see us perform it. Since we were going to be recording in Chicago, somewhat at the behest of Tim Midyett, we talked about him guesting again. Cary joked at practice “let’s have guests on each track like trap mixtape,” so there you have it. From there it was just figuring out which of our friends fit where.

Who was the hardest to convince to be on the record?

John Sharkey III. So hard, he’s not even fucking on it!!!

Were there any people you wanted but couldn’t get?

No, sans Sharkey, who was going to but got busy and missed our deadline. Would’ve loved to have him as he’s great and I love Dark Blue. Think he was fleeing America at the time.

Did you try and get Bob Nastanovich to play on Pavement-y “Twin Cities” or would that have been too on-the-nose?

I thought this song sounded like Josef K or Omni so I wanted to mix it up with Tracy singing. Bob was always slated for Dross because, and I’ll quote him, “I can’t really sing but I call yell. A lot.” That’s what we wanted from him, but cool that you got something different out of it.

Some of these songs might be hard to play without the guests. What’s the plan? Thought about doing a Festival Express type tour for the album with everyone on a bus?

Though I’d love a big revival tent style charade for this LP, I’m sure it’s not slated. Most of these sound fine without the guests, “Twin Cities” being the biggest caveat there. As always, we never sound 100% like our records live, so I can’t imagine someone expecting us to now.

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The Gotobeds – 2019 Tour Dates:
May 25 – Pittsburgh, PA – Babyland (album release show)
Jun. 20 – Pittsburgh, PA – Babyland %
Jun. 21 – Chicago, IL – Sleeping Village
Jun. 23 – Columbus, IL – Ace of Cups
Jul. 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Jul. 17 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
Jul. 18 – D.C, Washington – Comet Ping Pong
Jul. 19 – Kingston, NY – Tubby’s
Aug. 01 – Bloomington, IN – Bishop
Aug. 02 – Nashville, TN – DRKMTTR
Aug. 05 – Dallas, TX – Ruins
Aug. 06 – Austin, TX – Vegas
Aug. 07 – Houston, TX – Satellite
Aug. 08 – New Orleans, LA – Santos
Aug. 09 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Aug. 10 – Cincinnati, OH – NSYC
Oct. 17 – Millvale, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre ^
% w/ Lithics
^ w/ Mudhoney

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