RIP the Goondas

RIP the Goondas
Photo by Alexander Uhrich

Earlier today, bluesy bad-boy rockers the Goondas announced on social media that their upcoming show at First Avenue, opening for Run Westy Run on December 27, will be their last as a band.

Though it hasn't been made explicitly clear whether this will be a permanent breakup for the four-piece that first started playing together in Chanhassen five years ago, it looks as though this will be the last we'll hear from the Goondas.

See Also: The Goondas engineer the Dog Show

It's not the first intimation in recent weeks that the band would be taking some sort of time off. They said as much on Twitter last month, ahead of their spot on the bill for First Communion Afterparty's album release at the Turf Club:

But, according to their Facebook page, it seems as though the expected break has become a more permanent proposition:

The Goondas last show will be December 27th at First Ave. Thank you all for your support over the last five years. Get a ticket for you and someone you like... we hear it might sell out. Did we mention Run West Run will be headlining??

Gimme Noise reached out to the band to find out more about the announcement, and guitarist Jackson Atkins confirmed that the planned hiatus has become a full-fledged breakup. "We were planning on an indefinite break, but looking at it realistically it's more of a breakup," Atkins says. "We were given the opportunity to open for Run Westy Run, and it seemed like a good show to say farewell."

The Goondas, if not exactly outsiders, have never really seemed to find a comfortable place in the local scene. Their music, a throwback to old blues and gritty rock riffing, inevitably took a back seat to their reputation for wild and unpredictable live performances -- a fact that likely took its toll over the years. Speaking with City Pages last spring about their last album, Dog Show -- which went a little overlooked, in spite of some sharp songwriting -- the band were keenly aware of the fact, too: "A lot of the songs, I thought [singer] Brenden [Green] was writing about us," said bassist Andy Meuwissen. "It was kind of eye-opening."

Added Atkins, "I feel like the shows have become a thing where people are expecting to see something [happen]."

While it's not clear if any of the band members are planning to pursue other projects in the immediate future, it does seem that it's become more difficult for everyone to delegate time to the band -- a fact perhaps not helped by a recent fire in their practice space. Nonetheless, the Goondas are also leaving the door open for the future.

"Some of us are back in school and things have been a bit crazy lately," Atkins says. "I'm not going to say this is the last time the Goondas will ever play a show, but after December 27, we are officially broken up."

City of Music: The Goondas from MPLS.TV on Vimeo.

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