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'Yeah, We're Going to Do this Forever' — GumShoe is Back, Keeping its Word to a Fallen Brother

(EDITOR’S NOTES — To say we’re grateful to the members of GumShoe for taking the time to meet with us recently would be an understatement. This coming Friday, March 8, the Batavia-based band returns to the stage for the first time in nearly a year. It’s a remarkable story — one filled with loss, emotion, resilience, and hope. On June 30, just days after completing a video shoot for their single ‘Leave this Town,’ GumShoe’s guitarist, Jared Diehl, passed away unexpectedly. For the band’s surviving members, Dan Eick and Todd Townsend, the loss was both unfathomable and immeasurable. More than a bandmate, Jared was a deeply loved friend and brother. Somewhat eerily, as you’ll read below, just days prior to his death, Jared made Todd and Dan promise they would play music ‘forever.’ In wake of Jared’s death, the guys knew they needed to keep their promise, but, as they acknowledge, they weren’t quite sure how. But then fate happened — a fate seemingly arranged by Jared himself — as Batavia guitarist Tim Mc Jury got together one day with Dan and Todd to jam. It wasn’t long afterward that GumShoe was reborn. Please read the band’s amazing story below. — Photos by Matt Smith/1120 Press.)



1120 Press: Thank you for speaking with us. This is a big week for you guys as it marks your return to the stage — (Friday at Mohawk Place for Burt Fest) — for the first time since Jared’s passing almost nine months ago. Before we get into the upcoming show, as a starting off point, can you take us back to that time last summer after Jared’s death and the emotions that we’re swirling through the band, and how those emotions factored into what you thought the future was going to hold?

 

DAN: We’ll, there was a moment where Todd and I were like, ‘What do we do now?’ It was a shock. I found Jared. So, on top of everything else, that alone was emotional and something I needed to get through. Getting through all that was really, really tough. But, I think, in the end it made us stronger.

 

TODD: We were here a lot (at GumShoe’s band space in Batavia, above which Dan and Jared lived.) We spent a lot of time both with his parents, and just me and Dan. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We tried to pick up our guitars but nothing really felt right. But one thing we decided within 48 hours or so was, ‘Yeah, we’re going to keep doing this.’ We don’t know what ‘this’ was going to be moving forward … We didn’t know whether we were going continue as GumShoe. But we knew we were going to keep playing music together.

 

Coincidentally, a week before Jared passed, we finished filming a music video for ‘Leave this Town.’ After we got done that day, all three of us rode back together from Buffalo to Batavia. We were in the car and Jared was driving, and we just got done saying goodbye to our video producer. Jared looked at us and goes, ‘So, we’re just going to do this forever, right? Because I love this shit.’ And we just looked at each other, and we’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do this forever.’ He was making sure we were never going to stop. We didn’t know how much that was going to weigh on us — how important that little passive promise to each other was going to mean. So, it kind of felt like we had no choice but to keep going. We told him we would.

 

TIM: It was weird for me. I hadn’t talked to these guys in a long time, but I had talked to Jared about a week before he died. And he had asked me if I wanted to come jam with them. I was like, ‘Yeah, I want to get back into being with a band.’ So I got ahold of them, and said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry about Jared. If you guys want to get together, let me know.’

 

DAN: I think what we all talked about was the fact that it’s just nice to play. Doing this doesn’t have to be like we’re playing out or working toward something else. Just the act of playing together was like therapy for us.


1120: So, at what point did it feel right that it was OK to carry on as GumShoe?

 

TODD: The funny thing was, Jared had reached out to Tim asking if he wanted to come join our band. We didn’t even have this discussion as a band. The only discussion we had at the time was maybe we would bring in another guitar player. We knew that Tim was a good guitar player, and a good singer. But Jared didn’t talk to us about this. It was almost like he was looking out for us.

 

Jared passed on June 30… We decided within a few weeks we were going to jam with Tim. We didn’t send him a text saying anything like, ‘Hey do you wanna join our band?’ It was more along the lines of ‘Do you wanna come hang out in the space?’ Dan and I thought it would be therapeutic to hang out with someone.

 

The first practice, we jammed and showed Tim a couple of things. After the second time we played together, we were all on the same page. And right then and there it was like, “OK, do you wanna do this? Let’s do it.”

 

1120: What was it like the first time you jammed with Tim, and you looked over and saw him there?


TODD: Before Tim had come over and played with us, me and Dan had taken the whole practice space and flipped it. Everything was laid out (previously) completely different. We just flipped everything so that way it didn’t feel like we were looking over at the same exact spot where Jared used to be and now someone else was standing there.

 

DAN: Just flipping the room around, it really did make things feel a little easier.

 

TODD: Yeah, it didn’t feel like we were walking into the same spot. It felt different.

There’s not one thing in this room that’s anywhere close to where it was before. So, when I look over there, I don’t think, ‘Oh man, that’s where Jared used to stand.’ Now, I look over at the corner where Tim sets up and I think, ‘That’s where my really good friend Tim sets up his stuff.’

 

1120: So, you picked up and decided to move on together as GumShoe. Time has

passed. How are things going now?


DAN: I think things are going really well.

 

TODD: Yeah, I think Tim was a rejuvenating force. He’s reinvigorated us.


1120: And you guys have a shoot later this month for a new video, so you guys are writing again. Tell us everything going on.

 

TODD: We just got back from GCR and recording with Jay Zubricky. We recorded two new singles, one of which is called ‘Monster Bitch.’ That’s going to be our first single, and the one we’re going to be shooting the video for with Matt Salzer at Kinetic Lab Films. And then we have another song called ‘Head on Straight.’ Those are the two songs we’ll be promoting this summer. And then we did a song for a little indie film. They reached out to us and asked us to do a cover of the Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer,’ but with a request that we change the song and the lyrics to match a ‘Psycho Kitty’ theme. (laughs)

 

TIM: And we nailed it. (laughs) It has a punk feel to it.

 

TODD: Yeah, they wanted a sassy punk vibe and so we went in the studio and planned on giving them this two-minute song and hoped for the best. But in the end it turned out to be quite a banger. (laughs)

 

1120: You guys have worked before with Jay Zubricky and will be in the near future again, too. What is it  about him that you like?

 

TODD: He has an excellent bedside manner.

 

TIM: He’s enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. As far as the studio environment, it’s just comfortable there for us.

 

DAN: It feels like home when you’re there.

 

1120: On Friday you will be playing Burt Fest at Mohawk Place, and it will mark your first time returning to the stage since Jared passed away, and your first time on stage with Tim. How in your mind are you viewing this show? Is it just another gig, or does it mark a triumphant return…?

 

TIM: I think it’s going to be amazing. We haven’t played out in a long time and I haven’t played out in years.

 

DAN: I’m ready. Every Sunday we get together and now we’re ready to go. We’re pumped.

 

TODD: We have probably rehearsed this set a dozen times over the last few weeks, so we’re ready! It’s the perfect spot for our first show back. Mohawk Place is a great venue. I think of it as the first step — our first show of many to come. Not so much our triumphant return, but something …

 

DAN: … something a little different.

 

TODD: Right, a little different. It’s exciting. We have a lot of friends and family coming out for this show. But yeah… I guess in a little way it does feel like our triumphant return. But it also just feels like, ‘Yeah, we fucking did it, man!’

 

DAN: Yeah, you know, we’ve just been through so much.

 

TODD: And we’ve refused to give up.

 

1120: Do you guys still feel Jared’s presence?


TIM, DAN and TODD: (Laughs) Yes!

 

DAN: Oh my God, yes.

 

TODD: Easiest ‘yes’ ever.

 

TIM: I think he turns on my pedals. (Laughs)

 

DAN: Yeah, once in a while, pedals will be pressed out of nowhere or there will just be this random stuff that happens here.

 

TODD: Noises will be heard here that just don’t make sense. Yeah, Jared is definitely here with us. We always feel his presence.

 

TIM: Sometimes, I even feel like he’s jamming with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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