Pipeline To Göliad talks first single as new band


Photo Courtesy of Pipeline To Göliad

Pipeline To Göliad performs in Urbana in early October. The band recently released a single and is also working on an EP.

By Vivian La, Staff Writer

In the backyard of a sage green house in Urbana, the porch serves as a stage, filled with various speakers, microphone stands and multi-colored cords. 

It’s early October and people mill about the yard, sunlight streaming through trees and creating shadows on the table of petitions where a banner for Amnesty International hangs.

Chicago suburb-based band, Pipeline To Göliad, is performing on stage for the first time at Jamnesty, a benefit concert to raise money for Afghan refugees. The youngest person on stage is 14 years old and the oldest members are 18. Sounds of intense guitars and vocals fill the air.

During the band’s last song, they’re interrupted by police who arrive at the house after receiving a noise complaint. The issue is resolved and the band leaves the stage in applause.

18-year-old frontman and guitarist Caden Kratsch said it’s a cool story they can tell about their first gig, which they were able to play because one of their members, 18-year-old guitarist and vocalist Leah Tritabaugh, is a University student in Amnesty International.

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“I talked to so many people at the show and they were super excited to hear about what the next move for us is,” Kratsch said.

Especially since the majority of the band members are still in high school, they weren’t expecting college students to be cool with them, Tritabaugh said.

Since then, Pipeline To Göliad has released their first single, called “Not Friends.” The band describe their sound as art rock – or a blend of noise rock and progressive rock.

At a rehearsal in Kratsch’s basement in November, the band said it was exciting to finally have a song out. Kratsch lives in Montgomery, three members live in Geneva and Tritabaugh is usually on campus.

“It’s kind of surreal, seeing music that we made put out on Spotify,” said 14-year-old Dax Nichols, guitarist for Pipeline To Göliad. “It’s weird just being able to access it so easily without having a Google Drive or some weird stuff.”

The song is about Kratsch’s previous relationship that some of the members can relate to, with lyrics like “Who told you about my problems?” and “Don’t talk to me, leave me be.”

“It’s very universal; like, I don’t like this person anymore,” Kratsch said. “You can literally apply that to any experience that you’ve had in your lifetime, whether it be from a young age or where you are at now.”

For most of the band members, it’s their first time recording a song. Jack Smith, high school junior and drummer, said it’s stressful knowing he can’t mess up. But he’s getting better.

Practices these days consist of rehearsing so they can record and release more music. They play, fix broken guitar strings, stop to make changes on a particular part and keep playing.

All the members met at School of Rock in Geneva, a music program that gives students opportunities to learn what it’s like to be in a band. 

Pipeline To Göliad formed this past summer, and they didn’t finalize the band’s name until a week before their first performance. 

They settled on the name of a town in Texas that “sounded cool” then added the umlaut on the “o,” said Ryan Tritabaugh, high school sophomore and Leah’s younger brother. He plays the bass for the band.

Leah Tritabaugh said COVID-19 made it easy for everyone to get together.

“It just gave us more time to explore different kinds of music,” she said. “So when we got the chance to, like, come together I think we had a lot of new ideas and we were just extra excited to get back and play together.”

But these days, between school, work and one of their members mostly in Champaign, getting together to rehearse can be hard, Kratsch said.

Pipeline To Göliad rehearses their performance. (Vivian La)

Nichols, a freshman in high school, said he sometimes brings his homework to practice, usually AP Human Geography.

“It’s always been tough mixing music with schoolwork,” Smith said. “Because you always got schoolwork to do but there’s also always music to learn. So you just gotta find the right balance.”

Leah Tritabaugh said she usually rehearses on her own until school breaks. She’s also part of a band with other University students, called Decapitation in the Food Court.

It’s during their school breaks that the band hopes to record songs for an upcoming EP, which Kratsch said will be a concept album.

A concept album is easier in the sense that it’s one central idea. But he said there will definitely be some difficulties.

“I think the hardest part of writing music as a group is lyrics, especially for us because we’re all young and we have no idea what we’re doing,” he said.

Nonetheless, the members of Pipeline To Göliad are up to the challenge.

“I’ve always wanted to be in a band,” Smith said. “I’m just happy to be here.”


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