With members from bands like the Arrivals, Smoking Popes and the Lawrence Arms, Chicago’s psych-rock band Treasure Fleet has a solid punk lineage. This spring, the band released the LP Cocamotion, displaying a more drug-induced, ’70s psych flavor than you might expect from a band with such an impressive punk pedigree.
However, Treasure Fleet is now set to release Future Ways, which was recorded back in 2011 and was originally intended to be the band’s debut, this fall on Recess Records. Future Ways is said to be grounded in the band’s more aggressive roots and today we have proof of that with the premiere of its first single, “Nitsa.” The track features a classically-punk driving bassline that leads through poppy, melodious singing and paranoid, grungy guitar sections.
We talked to founding vocalist Isaac Thotz about the real-life “Nitsa,” what musically inspired it and how he finally got Future Ways off the shelf. Check that out below with the stream of the track.
What does the title “Nitsa” refer to? Is it based on a real person?
Yeah. Nitsa is my daughter. I hardly ever write sentimental lyrics, but there are a couple sentimental songs on this record; “Nitsa” is one of them. I decided I wanted to do this band that eventually became Treasure Fleet all in one shot, one weekend back in 2007. With my other band, the Arrivals, I’d sort of been laboring over writing songs and lyrics at the time, and it was bumming me out to be trying so hard and caring so much, so I figured with this new band I was just going to go with anything that popped into my head, fast, just to get it out… On the demo of the song, you can hear Nitsa talking in the background and she shakes one of those rattle eggs right at the end—that’s how I remember that she was there.
What inspired the track musically?
This is embarrassing to admit, but I know almost exactly what inspired “Nitsa” musically: The Who’s “Sunrise.” If you listen to the demo of “Nitsa”, you can especially hear it, but even with the album version, I think you’ll be able to tell now that I’ve mentioned it… But, yeah, anyway, I should say, it’s not like I set out to rip off tunes or anything, and it’s not meant as a tribute to the Who, but I was just in it, and trying to write fast, and that’s just what came out—”Nitsa”. The Who, Syd Barrett, T. Rex that stuff was just there at my fingertips at the time.
Were you ever worried that this Treasure Fleet album would stay on the shelf and stay un-released forever?
Well, yes and no… Now that it’s done and and the rest of the world will be able to hear and enjoy it— honestly, it seems like it had to have been. It had to come out eventually. It’s really easy to say now.