Interview by Robert Cavuoto
Kurt Neumann and BoDeans will be releasing 4 The Last Time on June 24th via MRI.
The BoDeans continue to contribute to the American songbook as a tried-and-true institution. Band founder, and frontman, Kurt Neumann wrote, recorded, engineered, mixed, and produced the album while performing every instrument with the guitars all recorded live. The album is dripping with powerful emotion from the first track of “Loved” to the last, “Don’t Be Late.” Songs that vibrate positive energy that only Kurt can create while delivering his slice of Americana. These songs will make you laugh, cry, and take you home with a smile. Pre-orders can be found here: https://orcd.co/4thelasttime.
I had the pleasure of speaking with multi-instrumentalist Kurt Neumann about the creation of 4 The Last Time, the special meaning behind the title track as well as many others, and how he always tries to incorporate his love of life with all the good and hard times into his lyrics, and how he will continue to tour this summer in support of the release. Join in on this insightful conversation. Remember that for more interviews and other daily content, make sure to follow My Global Mind on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about new content we published daily.
Kurt Neumann and BoDeans have announced a June 24 release date for the band’s new studio album titled 4 The Last Time. A pre-order goes live today here: https://orcd.co/4thelasttime. To preview the lead single and screen the official video for “Ya Gotta Go Crazy” click here: https://youtu.be/KjHViDZHokA.
Band founder, frontman, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Kurt Neumann shares, “When Spring came in Wisconsin, everyone rolled their windows down and turned the radio up,” he recalls. “The music sounded so good. This is meant to be one of those songs that makes you crank the volume and have some fun. In light of difficult times when you’re dealing with depression or challenges, sometimes you’ve got to go out and do some shit that seems a little crazy.” On 4 The Last Time, Neumann wrote, recorded, engineered, mixed, and produced the album, while performing every instrument. The guitars featured on these recordings, and at all live appearances, were created with his own hands. The album was mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway (http://www.gatewaymastering. com/adam-ayan/).
With countless tunes you know from the first note, rip-roaring gigs you can count on, and a whole lot of energy you’ll take home with you, BoDeans continue to contribute to the American songbook as a tried-and-true institution. Band leader Neumann remains at the helm, and continues to create adding to the already existing generational anthems such as “Good Things,” You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” and “Closer To Free,” just to name a few. The band and Neumann still reflect the soul and spirit of the modern American experience on their fourteenth full-length offering, 4 The Last Time. “The music of BoDeans has defined much of my life,” muses Kurt. “I consider myself fortunate to be able to do what I enjoy. I wanted to creatively do something positive for the world instead of just taking from it. So, this is what I’ve chosen to do with my life. The music was always about the blue-collar dream of a better life, and it still is.”
BoDeans emerged out of Waukesha, WI in 1986 with the seminal debut, Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, produced by T Bone Burnett. Following Outside Looking In , Home , and Black and White , Go Slow Down  yielded “Closer To Free,” which famously served as the theme song for the smash hit television series Party of Five. With a sought-after discography, their music landed hundreds of television and film placements. Meanwhile, they transformed into a proven live phenomenon by supporting the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, The Pretenders, and David Bowie in addition to gracing the bills of Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL. Speaking to the group’s legacy, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame permanently entrenched BoDeans in the Midwest Artists exhibit. Most recently, 2017’s Thirteen arrived to widespread acclaim from The Chicago Tribune and Glide Magazine who spotlighted the music’s “understated grace—an attribute that no doubt fuels the steadfast approach Kurt Neumann has employed of his thirty-plus years as a ‘BoDean’.” Along the way, NETFLIX’s The Ranch also utilized over 70 tunes from Kurt, and he launched his own podcast Staring At The World.
In the midst of the Global Pandemic, he wrote and recorded what would become 4 The Last Time in his Austin, TX studio. “We have a classic guitar-driven midwestern rock pop sound,” he goes on. “I wanted to make sure there was still some music out there with guitars on it. I feel like I’m getting better at this in my fifties. So, there are a lot of those big rock songs we’ve done for years. I got that vibe down on this record.”
“On the day Tom Petty died, I was really sad,” he admits. “I’ve always been astounded by how good he was—from the time I discovered him at 15 until now. This is my little nod to Tom and The Heartbreakers for what they gave me.” On “I’m A Mess,” he examines the two lives of a career musician. “I’ve done this for 35 years,” he says. “As you get older, you start a family. When you’re on the traveling circus, you feel really disconnected from your life at home. You’re a mess without the other half of your life.” “Anyone But You” unfolds as a poignant love song over dreamy piano. Meanwhile, the title track “4 The Last Time” captures the breaking point of a relationship through an emotionally charged vocal originally popularized through an early incarnation of the tune on The Ranch. “It’s about the despair you go through when a relationship is dying and you can’t save it,” he continues. “It’s a tough and painful place to be. When ‘4 The Last Time’ was on The Ranch, I got so many messages asking for a full version. I thought the title might get everyone talking since we’ve been around for so long. Is this the last time? It’s a topic of conversation when you mention the history of the band.” The opener “Loved” importantly doubles as a mission statement. With its robust guitars and wild solo, it culminates on a promise to his kids, “You’re gonna know you were loved.” “It wasn’t until later I found out my mom sent me to the ER when I was two-years-old for getting fingerprints on the dining room table,” he sighs. “I was just surviving as a kid. I have children, and I want them to know how much I love them and how much they mean to me. I didn’t get that from my parents. It’s a message to my kids that I’m going to make sure they know how important they are.” In the end, BoDeans make an impact through such honesty.
“For the next year, I’m going to be showing up in towns everywhere and trying to bring people together a little more,” he leaves off. “Come to a BoDeans gig, sing along, and forget about everything else. That’s why I play nowadays. I’d like to keep pushing that message as long as I can.”