Posts Tagged ‘Nic Gohl’

What do you do when pain blots out joy? How do you learn to take care of yourself? What happens when the things you think are helping end up doing the most harm? ‘Auto-Pain’ is the Sophomore album from Deeper, a record that finds the band embracing open space, using synths to create shadows where bricks of guitars once would’ve blocked out the sun. The group — singer and guitarist Nic Gohl, bassist Drew McBride, and drummer Shiraz Bhatti — were all graduates of Chicago’s rich DIY scene who came together around their love of Wire, Devo, Gang of Four, and Television.

While the new record is still within the Great Lakes post-punk tradition of their debut, the album isn’t as insular as its predecessor; it’s less interested in pile-driving and more willing to dwell in liminal spaces. Guitars enter the picture precisely, locked bass grooves propel things forward. Drummer Shiraz Bhatti, who is half-Pakistani and half-Native American, embraced the drumming patterns he’d heard growing up at pow-wows, channeling the anxieties of his heritage into his playing and keeping the group grounded when they switch into all-out percussive attack. The result is an album both more nuanced and catchy.


A complete triumph–a document of overcoming total loss. one of the most exhilarating records of the year, These guys can put out some stunning music. They do a great job making something exciting and original out of their influences, even when dealing with some heavy and serious subjects.

Deeper is a band based in Chicago, Illinois and consists of Shiraz Bhatti, Nic Gohl, and Drew McBride.

Released March 27th, 2020

Deeper know tragedy better than most. While recording their sophomore album Auto-Pain, guitarist Mike Clawson left the band due to deteriorating relationships with the Chicago group’s other three members. Later, after their record was finished and the post-punk act was touring in Europe, they received the news that Clawson had taken his own life. Throughout this catastrophic period, Deeper decided not to let Clawson’s passing derail their tour and release schedule, instead using them as a way to pay tribute to his contributions to the band and speak out about mental health .

As lead singer and guitarist Nic Gohl mentioned in an interview , Auto-Pain was completed prior to Clawson’s death, but the album’s lyrics, written as a stream of consciousness, took on a completely different meaning. And it’s hard to listen to them any other way: Some depict graphic images of self-harm and violence (“Forced to set yourself on fire tonight / You shouldn’t count on the sun” from “Run,” or “I just want you to feel sick / Cause you’re better as you’re lying on the bathroom floor” from “Lake Song”) while others are a bit more abstract (“Is it any wonder / I feel so gray” from “Esoteric”). Auto-Pain is an album built on hues of blacks and grays, depicting a shadowy, sinister world. Clawson’s suicide turns those already gloomy colours into something several shades darker.

Auto-Pain represents the constant wave of depression felt by many in everyday life. Stemmed from Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, Auto-Pain is a concept meant to be an inverse to soma, a pill in the book which makes everything numb. The idea of auto-pain is to epitomize the desire to return to a connection with thoughts and clarity, which comes at the expense of feeling everything simultaneously. The album artwork features the now-demolished Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago capturing the band’s rounded-off brutalism, and the album title appears in Urdu, a nod to drummer Shiraz Bhatti’s Pakistani heritage.

Released March 27th, 2020

A portion of the proceeds from Auto-Pain will be donated to Hope For The Day an organization that actively works to break the silence surrounding mental health.


Chicago band Deeper have just released their new album, “Auto-Pain” and they’ve just shared one last appetizer before we can hear the whole thing. “The Knife” is a jagged post-punk ripper, moody and measured, that comes with a genuinely excellent, equally tense music video set in an auto garage. Following up their 2018 s/t debut, their new album feels leaner and more to the point. The jagged guitar licks and Nic Gohl’s vocals cut right to bone and creates a tension that I am unable shake throughout. Bassist Drew McBride, and drummer Shiraz Bhatti are on point throughout. While they don’t sound anything like The National, the rhythm section reminds me of how it takes me couple of listens of their albums to fully digest what they’re doing and really appreciate it. Deeper were on tour with Montreal’s Corridor when the coronavirus pandemic took hold and they’re now back at home in Chicago.

Inspired by Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic Brave New World, the timing of this album feels like it was preordained for these crazy times with Chicago’s weather particularly gray and dreary. As the listener I am on edge throughout and sucked into their sphere.

With the debut album from Chicago based band Deeper. Origins of the project date back to 2014 where the band has made their mark locally supporting like minded acts Omni, Protomartyr, Chris Cohen & fellow Chicago powerhouses Whitney & Ne-Hi. Fresh off official after show appearances at Pitchfork & Lollapalooza the band is poised to jump out wide with this debut record. 9 tracks channel the anxiety and uneasiness of modern life in this pit of endless internet, chiming post punk rave ups with pointed “of the times” lyrics & gorgeous ambient interludes woven in.

“The Chicago quartet’s debut is well-oiled and worn-in indie rock, played with the precision and confidence typically expected from a band much further along in its career.”


Band Members
Michael Clawson,
Shiraz Bhatti,
Nic Gohl,
Drew McBride,

From Deeper’s Self Titled debut album out on Fire Talk Records.