(this story is from Oct 2016, Watershed playing Ace of Cups- Columbus, Ohio Dec23 2016.)
Colin Answers Your Watershed Questions Before Gig This Weekend
--So what’s going on in Detroit this Saturday?
C.G. – Our good pals The Fags are doing a reunion show at Small’s in Detroit and asked us to come open the show. In fact they are working on a new record. (Click here for more info on that at Pledge music) It was too good of an offer to pass up, so Joe is flying to Cbus, we are going to rehearse for a bit and then pile in the van for the short ride to Motown. We are on around 10pm.
(Note: As of this publishing, Joe Oestreich is literally filling sandbags to protect his pad in S.C. from Hurricane Matthew. If he can't make the show, the rest of us will and it will rock. Besides, it's The Fags show anyway.)
(Note 2: Due to said hurricane 'n' stuff we got cancelled for the show in Detroit. Read more on that here )
--That sure seems like a lot of work for just an opening gig. Why?
C.G. - Obviously, we are huge fans of the band and go way back with John and Jimmy, but without Tim Patalan producing “The More it Hurts” and “5th of July,” it’s safe to say Watershed would have disappeared long ago. He was the missing - and much more musical - member of Watershed we never had. I love all of our albums but anytime Tim works with us, something special happens. Though I’m sure we are literally in some sort of debt to Tim, we will figuratively be in his debt forever. And those Fags sure can party.
--There is a new Watershed single produced by Tim Patalan but I can’t find it anywhere. WTF?
C.G. - Yes, in Oct. 2015 we returned to The Loft for four chilly days and long nights. It had been a long time since we had worked with Tim, not because we didn’t want to, just life and all that stuff getting in the way. Tim has a certain production style that doesn’t lend it self to tidy schedules and advance planning. Though I love his method, it’s tough to implement with jobs, kids, travel and all that.
We brought in about 8 songs. Tim listened patiently to all and said, “I think the chorus of the last one is good, but we need to rewrite the rest of it. And you guys should just write another brand new song while you are here. Okay, get to work, I’ll be back later.” We got to work and eventually ended up with “Hey Lydia” (song #1) and “Best Worst Night.” Shout out to Andy Harrison for jumping on board at the last minute to help in all fashions. It was some serious Brill Building shit as Andy would help engineer upstairs while the rest of us worked on the songwriting downstairs.
But I’m off track – we offered an advance version through Kickstarter as part of the Single Series. It had the two new tracks, plus a slew of old nuggets all tied directly into the book Hitless Wonder. Biggie did an amazing job with the artwork and we hit the goal in just two days (THANK YOU!) and sent them all out this summer. Sorry, no hard copies available that I know of. I bet Ricki C. could hook you up, though. Good news is that is all goes streaming I-Tunes Friday Oct. 7th before the gig in Detroit.
Last time Watershed played in Columbus, Herb Schupp was back on drums. What happened to Dave?
C.G. - Sorry to say, for a variety of reasons, it just wasn’t happening with Dave anymore. It was a decision we took very seriously to the point we considered just ending the band. Dave’s drumming, along with Tim Patalan’s production took us to heights we never imagined. Dave at his best is as good as any rock n roll drummer that ever played. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m telling you it’s true. Give a listen to Watershed Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust II if you want to hear for yourself. That record is basically a rock n roll drum clinic with some hacks singing over top of it. He played with finesse, musicality and personality. He played for the song. He knew where the song was going. He showed up to every practice and every gig and never sweated the small stuff. He rode in the van and never complained. He loved it all.
But in the end, we lost the thread. It was time to move on. Many drummers were considered but it was a pretty easy choice to go back to original drummer Herb Schupp. Watershed are friends first, so that dictates many of our decisions for better or worse. I think anybody who saw the “new” line-up last summer in Columbus would agree it was the right call. It’s sorta like Tom Petty going from Ron to Howie on bass, then back to Ron.
Does Dave play on the new single?
C.G. - Yes, that is Dave in all his glory trying to please Tim Patalan. It was the prefect way to go out. And his last gig with Watershed was opening for Cheap Trick. I feel good about that. (click here to read more about that show)
What happened to Joe Peppercorn?
C.G. - For those not from Columbus, Joe is a powerhouse in his own right. Around the time of Brick and Mortar, Joe was a little burned out leading his own projects while juggling raising young kids. He would tend bar at the Treehouse on Wednesdays and I would stop by some nights to chat. I could empathize with where he was at in his career because I had been there myself. Drummers leaving the band, no money and young kids running around the house.
We knew that doing the record in Columbus without Tim, we could really use a person with the musical talent of Joe Peppercorn. So we proposed that he join the band and help with the new record. For once, he wouldn’t have to shoulder the load all alone. Contribute some tunes, play some parts and drink some beer. Or put in rock n roll terms, he could be the Ron Wood of Watershed for a while. Essential to the sound, but free not worry about all of the nonsense.
He jumped at the opportunity and I think the record we made and live shows we played together more than justified the decision. That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. And we could not have done it without Joe Peppercorn. (And Mike Landolt.) Alas, Joe is a bandleader par excellence himself and eventually got back to doing his own thing. His band The Whiles have a new record due out soon and every December he fronts a band that plays EVERY Beatles song in chronological order in one 13 hour show. Yup. Whatever Joe Peppercorn does, you need to take an interest. He is one of the best.
Who was the other guy on guitar at Ace of Cups?
C.G. - That would be the man behind the curtain, Rick Kinsinger. He produced The League Bowlers, Dead Schembechlers, and helps out on our studio stuff. Since we all play in the Bones together it was a no-brainer for him to join up.
What are the chords to Plan B?
C.G. - G-E-C-D (sometimes I capo up a step)
A question from New Zealand: How can I get some Watershed shirts over here?
C.G. - I will pass this on to Biggie, but hit us up with a FB message and we will find a way to hook you up. I am a fan of The Bats. Could we trade shirts?
Why Isn't Ted Nugent in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame instead of Cheap Trick?
C.G. - Easy. Because of this..
After many years, League Bowlers have re-emerged and I'm so excited. Being totally honest, I liked the Bowlers better than Watershed. Why now and what's up?
C.G. - After seeing Dan Baird at RT33 Rhythm and Brews many folks were asking what happened to The League Bowlers. Well, damn, since Rick and Herb are now playing in Watershed, maybe it's time to call Jim and Mike to get the Bowlers rocking again. Our show at Comfest was a gas and we have been playing Sunday Noon shows at Dan's Four String Brew Taproom on occasion. We have also been recording and hope to have a "Some Balls" deluxe reissue with new tracks available in 2017. Find us on facebook here. We will be very close friends.
I was a fan of Colin Gawel and The Lonely Bones but right after Superior, the "Best of" album was released, you guys just kinda disappeared. WTF?
C.G. - A tough question but a fair one. Well, I just sort of follow my muse and I felt it was time to focus on Watershed and The League Bowlers. And I forgot about "Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame?" Yeah, had to do that too. I'm super thrilled with "Superior - The Best of Colin Gawel" but I was waiting for Wal to finish the video for "Dad Can't Help You Now" before pushing it. That song deserves a little time. So once that is done, I'll push the solo record. Maybe next fall I'll tour solo?
What is up with a possible new Watershed full length record?
C.G. - We spent a week last January recording new demos at the fabulous Pleztone recording studios in Conway, SC. We have since cut 10 basic tracks in Columbus with Mike Landolt behind the curtain. Our hopes are to finish up this winter and perhaps a new Watershed record summer 2017, and some tour dates too. Fingers crossed.