By Jess Goulart
Photos courtesy of Gosh Pith.
Transcendence never seemed so close as when you’re listening to the noir-ish, late night, trappy electronica crafted by Gosh Pith, a duo of musicians out of Detroit.
The two combine electric guitar with heavy beats–in the vein of Darkside’s aesthetic–for luring riffs that immediately cling to you. Hypnotic vocals slip in and out of a lull, then a build, then a lull, then a build, and before you know it, an atmospheric current has carried you out to synth-pop sea.
Over the past year, Josh Smith (aka Taylor Thrift) and Josh Freed (aka Dustin Crumbs) have released several popular singles, but they tell BTR an EP is in the works.
BreakThruRadio (BTR): Tell me a little background about yourselves as musicians.
Josh Freed (JF): We started out just making beats by ourselves, honing our craft, selling them for weed. You know, getting good at what we were doing.
Josh Smith (JS): Yeah, when I first started hanging out with Josh Freed, he had this super deep wealth of knowledge about boom-bap hip hop, Jzilla, Questlove, like some 12 year old kids posting on Questlove forums at OkPlayer, so we dug pretty deep into those experiences.
JF: And Josh put me on to a whole bunch of new music that I didn’t know about and didn’t grow up with. His dad is a huge record collector, has like tens of thousands of records, so he was put onto a bunch of really interesting weird psychedelic music and all sorts of shit he came up on that I didn’t.
BTR: And how long have you guys been under the moniker Gosh Pith?
JS: We’ve been making music as Gosh Pith for almost a year new. Early 2014.
BTR: Are you guys on tour right now?
JS: We’re sort of in the middle of it, yeah, but the funny thing about it is that it looks like we’re on tour but we’re really just playing a ton of shows and then coming back and going to work, back to our day jobs!
BTR: Busy life! You guys just played Baby’s All Right in New York, how was that?
JS: It was awesome!
JF: Yeah, it was a great show!
BTR: Any favorite venues?
JS: That place Baby’s is a really fun and hilarious place. The food there is really dope. We slurped down some poached eggs right before we went on. Very good.
BTR: Yeah they have a killer brunch. So tell me a little about the making of your music. Do you both contribute or does one person make the beats and the other build on them?
JS: It’s good that you asked that ’cause we literally just started making a song like ten minutes ago… but usually it varies–it all starts out with some inspiration. Like, Josh was just like “I thought of this cool hi-hat delay” and started fucking with the sound and then was two refrains deep with a bunch of instrumentation laid out, and I’m just sittin’ here listening to it, writing lyrics and playing guitar and shit.
JF: Yeah there’s no one part of the song that comes first–sometimes it’s the drums, sometimes it’s something on the guitar, sometimes it’s a sample.
BTR: And how do you guys record?
JS: Well at first we didn’t really have a space to record when we put out “Waves” and “Smoke Bellow.” It was more a scattered process because we didn’t have a home base. We were recording anywhere we could–in friends’ spots, if hommie’s parents were out of town, we’d just go there and set up some monitors, just all around Detroit. We used to, like, mix the record in Josh’s car.
BTR: Do you have a studio now?
JF: Yeah. Well, sort of, we have a big beautiful house in Detroit where we have a studio room, a chill room, a kitchen. So I was making some drums in the studio room just now and Josh was sitting on the couch in the chill room, we’ll probably switch it up in a little bit, I’ll go cook some dinner while he finishes the drums. It’s a cool environment to make music in.
JS: We have two roommates here, too; one of them is a Zen Master so he’s constantly meditating and doing yoga and repeating. It’s good vibes.
BTR: That sounds like a fun household, kind of jealous. So you guys do some awesome videos, can you tell me about the recent one you made for “Smoke Bellow”?
JS: We collaborated with one of our good friends and chief inspirations, Tony Katai. He’s a visual visionary. That video was inspired by some psychedelic conversations with him and also embracing that Detroit aesthetic of when you’re in a mid-west industrial town and you don’t get the idea that people are looking at you and your crew for beauty. But that’s why people get together and find new ways to invent that beauty and that energy. And we were encapsulating that visual. It was very dreamlike.
JF: There’s a third guy in the back of the truck with us in the video, that’s Jamie Neacs, and he’s our… spiritual advisor, you could say.
BTR: What does a spiritual advisor do?
JS: He connected us, basically. We met in ‘99 in the summer–we were camping in Canada–and then Jamie ended up being our mutual friend that reconnected us 10 years later.
BTR: So do you have any plans to release an EP?
JS: I mean, we’re really working on music all the time, but yeah we’re working on an EP. We wrote a song a week ago, we got to go into the studio so that was cool. We made a track called “New Balance” that we want to put out as a single if we can get it mastered. We’re gonna put it out as soon as possible… but, the EP should come in the next couple months and then… then a lot more cool tunes after that!