The Longshots: Go Big or Go Home
Ah, to be young and sexy. In other words, The Longshots can’t fail.
The Stones-esque garage-rock quintet is about to release its debut, self-titled album on Mock Records, part of the Frenchkiss Label Group (founded by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas). Recorded last year at Barry Eaton’s Justin studio (nicknamed The Swamp) by the Fort Worth-born 2014 Grammy winner Jordan Richardson (Son of Stan, Skeleton Coast, We’reWolves), the nine-track recording won’t officially be released until Tuesday, Feb. 25. But Fort Worthians will get a first crack at buying that sucker on Friday, Feb. 21, when The Longshots and two other amazing Fort Worth acts, Fungi Girls and War Party, throw a big ol’ raunchy party at The Where House (2510 Hemphill St., 817-913-7777).
Along with all of the traditional formats, The Longshots will be released on cassette tape, courtesy of Dallas Distortion Music. The album follows only one previous Longshots recording, a 45-inch split with Pujol, a Nashville band on Jack White’s label (Third Man Records), released by Austin’s Pau Wau Records last spring.
Longshots co-frontman Joey Gorman attributes the long delay to routine industry machinations. Apparently, it’s simply taken this many months for a big forthcoming press push to be assembled. The album, Gorman said, “needs attention.”
Enter: The Longshots’ upcoming 33-day American tour. In between shows in Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, and Albuquerque, Gorman and company also will play South by Southwest, the annual music festival and conference in Austin. Getting to spend some time in Texas, though, won’t represent any “safe harbor,” Gorman said. “You’ve got to fend for yourself. You’ve got to take care of yourself. You’ve got to make sure everyone in the band’s not drinking only beer.”
The Longshots have changed a bit since their original incarnation circa 2011. Jake Paleschic, who co-founded the band with Gorman, guitarist/co-frontman Alex Zobel, and drummer/bassist Kris Luther, left a couple of months ago to focus on his chief songwriting vehicle, the throwback-country quartet Patriot. Luther switched to bass and was replaced behind the kit by Brady Hamilton, who with Luther and Zobel also plays in The Hanna Barbarians. (Luther, Gorman said, was a little worried about the transition. “He broke it down for me,” Gorman remembered. “It was like the saddest part in a Muppets movie. He brought me some weed, and he said, ‘I don’t know what to do. This is one of the best projects I’ve ever been in, but I just hate the fucking drums.’ I said, ‘The only reason we made you play drums is because we wanted you in the band. Why don’t you play bass?’ ”)
Around the same time of Paleschic’s departure, The Longshots added a third guitarist, SpiderFriends’ Parker Donaldson, a singer-songwriter who, Gorman said, hasn’t gotten his due. “He’s amazing,” Gorman continued. “He’s the [David] Bowie in the band. [Paleschic] gave us an Iggy/Lou Reed vibe that we still try to maintain, but [Donaldson is] our Bowie. He knows how to write a rock ’n’ roll song.”
Three guitars in a gritty rock band, though? “It’s not like Van Halen,” Gorman asserted. “It’s the most beautiful part. And that’s where [Hamilton] comes in. He’s a powerhouse. For whatever extra gain that third guitar’s bringing in, you’ve got a brick wall behind you.”
Expecting some national press, The Longshots will be waving the Fort Worth flag. A lot. “Eventually, this town will get the credit it deserves,” he said. “It’s our home, and we love it.”
Gorman said he’s never been more amped about the future. “It’s the most excited I’ve been in my entire life,” he said. “I’m ready to milk it for all it’s worth, and I’m happy to be in a band with my brothers and best friends. We’re all equally motivated. … I’ve always wanted to combine the three things I love: not working a 9-to-5, traveling, and playing music. … The fire hasn’t been this strong since it started.”
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