The Debut

The Debut

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The Debut writes some of the catchiest, hookiest power pop you have ever heard, but also finds many ways to avoid being formulaic. The Debut prides themselves on mixing rock melodies almost seamlessly with sprawling instrumental breakdowns. And they bring ridiculous energy to their live shows!


On a blustery winter night in 2001, singer/guitarist Ben Gurstelle and drummer Ben Mulhern met at a keg party on the University of Wisconsin's campus. They became fast friends, talking musical influences, freestyle rapping (one was an accomplished MC, one was certainly not) and doing the college thing. They released a 3-song hip-hop EP, but decided that it was ultimately not the direction they wanted to go with and began writing rock music as a duo. Shortly thereafter, Alex Puetz heard them jamming on a porch and wandered over with his bass guitar, knowing that bass men were in short supply and high demand. Economic theory, however, did not interest Alex, so he joined the band. They remained a three-piece until the Fall of 2004, when Al brought over his ex-roommate and guitar virtuoso Jordan Koel to jam. Although the other two were wary of his hippie influences, he ended up a full-fledged, integral member of the group. They moved to Minneapolis to pursue band-dom further a year later.

The Debut is influenced by a number of bands: The Replacements, Built to Spill, Wilco, Weeezer, The Pixies, Pavement and the Cure, to name several.
But they will let Minneapolis music critic Nathan Dean sum up their sound:
"The band deftly mixes curveballs into their propulsive pop formula, occasionally slowing their insistent rhythms and allowing the songs to stretch out in interesting directions."

The Debut practices their music in a freezing cold basement so they light cigarettes to stay warm. They found a mysterious chest in which were a number of instruments. Their TV gets no reception so they read the classics and some current non fiction. The Debut goes out for happy hour 3 to 5 times weekly, which they acknowledge is more than they should. The Debut writes music constantly and are hard at work on their 2nd Album. They are making pins, stickers, shirts and noise for you. The Debut gets all of its pleasure from playing live and therefore make the most of every performance. See them at their next show.


ALBUM: "This Record is About Cars", released on February 6th, 2007.
Songs "The Big Bang" "The Photograph Song" and "Castawayz" have received airplay on MPR's 89.3 The Current and Clear Channel's 97.1 Cities 97.
The song "Hey!" was featured on the music for robots music blog.
*New EP "Come to the Cooldown Show" due Early 2010
*New Lp "Rose of Sharon" Summer 2010

Set List

Typical Set is 50 mins. and 12 songs long:
The Photograph Song
Portrait of a Young Man
The Big Bang
Defense Wins Championships
Long Lines/NYC
A Man is More than His Chemistry
Out of Joint
New Mexico
I Got a Phone Call.

We will occasionally do covers. Pretenders, The Cure, "Let's Dance" era Bowie, Prince and Queen have been featured in past shows.