Built to Spill

Built to Spill is an American indie rock band based in Boise, Idaho. The band has released eight full-length albums. Their most recent album, Untethered Moon, was released on April 21, 2015.

Built to Spill
Built to Spill Treefort 2016 2
Built to Spill at Treefort Music Fest 2016
Background information
OriginBoise, Idaho, U.S.
GenresIndie rock
Years active1992–present
LabelsWarner Bros., Up, ATP Recordings
Associated actsTreepeople, The Halo Benders, Caustic Resin, Butterfly Train, Helvetia
MembersDoug Martsch
Past membersRalf Youtz
Andy Capps
Brett Nelson
Brett Netson
Scott Plouf
Jim Roth
Steve Gere
Jason Albertini


Former Treepeople guitarist/vocalist Doug Martsch formed Built to Spill in 1992 with Brett Netson and Ralf Youtz as the band's original members. In an interview with Spin, Martsch stated that he intended to change the band's lineup for every album, himself being the only permanent member. After the band's first album, Ultimate Alternative Wavers, was released in 1993, Netson and Youtz were replaced by Brett Nelson and Andy Capps for 1994's There's Nothing Wrong with Love. A compilation album called The Normal Years followed, which included recordings by both lineups. Built to Spill Caustic Resin, an EP that features Martsch with the members of Caustic Resin, was released in 1996. Between recording albums in 1995, the band gained exposure by playing on the Lollapalooza tour. Also in 1995, the band collaborated on the song "Still Flat" for the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Bothered, produced by the Red Hot Organization.

Martsch signed Built to Spill to Warner Bros. Records in 1995. Unlike many artists signed to major labels, the deal the band brokered with Warner Bros. allowed it to retain a large degree of creative control over future albums. Built to Spill produced its first major label release in 1997 with Perfect from Now On. By this time, the band consisted of Martsch, Nelson, Netson, and Scott Plouf. Perfect from Now On was met with critical success and caused Built to Spill to become one of the United States' most recognizable indie rock bands. Before releasing another album, Martsch made Nelson and Plouf permanent members of the band. In 1999, the band released Keep It Like a Secret to continued critical success and for the first time, significant commercial success. Live was released in 2000, and the band's fifth studio album, Ancient Melodies of the Future, was released in 2001.

In 2002, Martsch released Now You Know, a solo album with both blues and folk elements. He performed numerous solo concerts in support of the album. Built to Spill was on hiatus for most of this period.

Doug Martsch performing with the band at Primavera Sound Festival.

Warner Bros. Records optioned the band for another album.[1] From 2003 to 2005, Built to Spill toured extensively, performing over 150 dates[2] that included new songs from as early as 2004. Its sixth studio album, You in Reverse, was recorded in Portland in 2004 but was not released until April 11, 2006. The band's official lineup for the album was Martsch, Nelson, Plouf, and Jim Roth, who was formerly only a touring guitarist. Brett Netson provided guitar work on several songs and later rejoined the band as a full-time member.

After the release of You in Reverse, Built to Spill continued touring almost non-stop. In March 2006, Martsch suffered a detached retina, which required surgery. This forced the band to miss an appearance at the South by Southwest music festival and postpone several dates of the tour.[3] Even worse news came when former drummer Andy Capps was found dead in his home on May 18, 2006.[4][5]

The band resumed touring on June 3, 2006, with a show that included four new songs. This show and many on the tour included the dedication of the song "Car" to Capps, who had played on the track when it was recorded.[6]

Warner Bros. Records stated that Built to Spill had been recording its follow-up to You in Reverse on and off during the 2006 tour,[7] but nothing appeared until the July 10, 2007, release of a 12" single, "They Got Away"/"Re-Arrange". "They Got Away" is a heavily reggae-influenced original song, while "Re-Arrange" is a cover of a song by the reggae band the Gladiators.

The US tour was scheduled through October 2007, followed by an Australian tour. Martsch stated in a September 2007 interview that he didn't want to tour in the United States again until the band records;[8] however, the band then announced a one-month US national tour for spring of 2008.[9]

In a March 2008 interview with Playback:stl,[10] Martsch spoke of new material from the Halo Benders, a collaboration between Martsch, Calvin Johnson, Steve Fisk, former Treepeople member Wayne "Rhino" Flower, and original Built to Spill drummer Ralf Youtz, but "we started that about a year ago, we have not even got anything off the ground." Later in the interview, Martsch gave his perspective on the future of Built to Spill past the current material; "I do think that Built to Spill could be something better than ever just because our lineup is better than ever ... I think there is potential for the five of us to collaborate on something that is just way better than anything that I have ever come up with by myself or that we have done in the past." Martsch also interjected that "This coming record we're not doing that—it's mostly going to be songs that I have been working on." The band extended its 2008 tour in the United States and Europe, performing the album Perfect from Now On in its entirety.

In 2009, the band announced its next album, There Is No Enemy. The track list and album art were revealed on August 17, 2009, the first single, "Hindsight", was released on September 8, and the album was released on October 6, 2009.[11] The band toured from August through November 2009[12] and for much of 2010, including performances at the Pitchfork Music Festival and the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, curated by Matt Groening.

In July 2010, Martsch appeared on the first release from Brett Nelson's the Electric Anthology Project, in which Nelson creates covers from an artist in a synth-pop style, featuring the vocalist from the original version. This self-titled EP, which featured one song from each Built to Spill record (using anagrams of their original titles) and newly recorded vocals by Doug Martsch, received a moderately favorable review in Pitchfork, even though "it was obviously released as a goof," and the "good moments almost make you wish Martsch had taken this concept more seriously."[13][14]

On October 25, 2012, Built to Spill played a secret, invitation-only show at the Bunk Bar in Portland, Oregon, with a new rhythm section consisting of Jason Albertini (Helvetia, Duster) on bass and Stephen Gere (Uzala, Brett Netson Band, Atomic Mama) on drums.[15] On January 7, 2013, Martsch, Netson and guitarist Jim Roth announced that Albertini and Gere would be permanent replacements for Plouf and Nelson, who were departing the band amicably.[16] Built to Spill continued touring periodically as a five-piece but didn't release another album for several years. Marsch would later state that a 2012 album was abandoned due to the departure of Nelson and Plouf and his dissatisfaction with the songs.[17]

Untethered Moon was released on April 18, 2015. The album was recorded as a trio with Martsch, Albertini, and Gere and was co-produced by Martsch and frequent Built to Spill guest keyboardist and Quasi frontman Sam Coomes. The band toured summer/fall 2015 in support of the new album.[18]

Brett Netson and Jim Roth left the band in the latter half of 2015 and a trio lineup of Martsch, Albertini and Gere debuted on a spring 2016 West Coast run.

On September 14th, 2017 Built to Spill announced on their Facebook page that they were moving on from Warner Brothers and taking over the management of builttospill.com.


Studio albums

Compilations and live albums



  • "Car" / "Girl" 7" (Atlas Records, 1994)
  • "Distopian Dream Girl" / "Scarin'" 7" (UP015, Up Records, 1994)
  • "Joyride" / "Sick and Wrong" 7" (K Records, 1994)
  • "So and So So and So from Wherever Wherever" / "Terrible/Perfect" 7" (Saturnine Records, 1995)
  • "Car" / "Scarin" (City Slang Records, 1995)
  • "By the Way" split 7" (K Records, 1999) – cover of a song by pre-Marine Research band, Heavenly. Marine Research covers Built to Spill's "Sick and Wrong" on the flip side
  • "Carry The Zero" radio promo (Warner Bros., 1999)
  • "Strange" / "Instrumental No. 2" (Warner Bros., 2001)
  • "Freebird" (Warner Bros., 2002) – one-track promo CD, recorded live at House of Blues, Los Angeles on November 7, 2001
  • "Conventional Wisdom" 7" (Warner Bros., 2006) – Song split on two sides
  • "They Got Away" / "Re-Arrange" (Warner Bros., 2007)
  • "Don't Try (Live in Seattle)" / "The Source (Live in Seattle)" 7" (Warner Bros, 2008)
  • "Water Sleepers" / "Linus & Lucy (Live)" 7" (Warner Bros., 2010) – Record Store Day Release
  • "Ripple" 7" Grateful Dead Cover (Warner Bros., 2011) – Record Store Day Release
  • "Living Zoo" promo (Warner Bros., 2015)

Appearances on other compilations

  • Rotating Tongues (Screemin' Fez Records, 1994) – Song: "Short Cut"
  • Northwest Post-Grunge (Elemental Records, 1994) – Song: "Terrible/Perfect"
  • Bite Back: Live at the Crocodile Cafe (PopLlama Records, 1996) – Song: "Allen the Cowboy" (later retitled "Big Dipper")
  • Spunk Magazine Issue 6 – Song: "Just a Habit" (1997)
  • Yoyo a Go Go: Another Live Compilation (Yoyo Records, 1998) – Song: "Stop the Show"
  • Here: A Fort Hazel Magic Compilation (Fort Hazel, 1999) – Song: "The Last Long Song"
  • Keep Left, Vol. 1: A Benefit for David Barsamian and Alternative Radio (Ace Fu Records, 2000) – Song: "This Is What I Believe"
  • Idaho Greentracks: A Party Sampler (2004) – Song: "Mr. Crowley"
  • Awesome Record, Great Songs! Volume One (Williams Street Music Label, LLC, 2008) – Song: "Come Over (feat. Built to Spill)"
  • Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One (ATO Records, 2014) - Song: "Jokerman"[19]


  1. ^ "ModernFix – Built to Spill – Interview by Gordon Downs". ModernFix.com. 2008-02-26. Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  2. ^ "Built to Spill – Live Chronology". Bts.23.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  3. ^ "Pitchfork – Built to Spill Postpone U.S. Tour, Play B-ball Instead". PitchforkMedia.com. 2008-03-16. Archived from the original on 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  4. ^ "Death Notices". Newsbank archive. Idaho Statesman. May 25, 2006. Retrieved 2010-09-19.(subscription required)
  5. ^ "Former Built To Spill Member Andy Capps Has Died - Music - News - Static Multimedia". StaticmultiMedia.com. Archived from the original on 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  6. ^ "de.etree.org – Built To Spill 06/03/06". Db.etree.org. 2006-06-03. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  7. ^ "Pitchfork – Built to Spill Working on New Album". PitchforkMedia.com. 2008-12-18. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  8. ^ "LiveDaily – Built to Spill balances albums, shows". LiveDaily.com. 2008-07-20. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  9. ^ "Pitchfork – 2008 tour announcement". PitchforkMedia.com. 2008-12-10. Archived from the original on 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  10. ^ "Playback:stl – Built To Spill – Unassumingly Successful". Playbackstl.com. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  11. ^ Built to Spill's Doug Martsch Talks New LP, Pitchfork Media, June 9, 2009.
  12. ^ Built to Spill hit the road for headlining U.S. tour in August. Builttospill.com, August 4, 2009. Press release. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  13. ^ Built to Spill remix their own songs. Pop Candy, USA Today. July 30, 2010.
  14. ^ Greene, Jayson (August 25, 2010). The Electronic Anthology Project (review). Pitchfork Media.
  15. ^ "Review: Built to Spill secret show at Bunk Bar". Oregonian. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  16. ^ Deeds, Michael (January 7, 2013). "Built to Spill hits road with band lineup changes" Archived June 29, 2013, at Archive.today (Includes press release). Idaho Statesman.
  17. ^ Miasnikov, Cassandra (April 9, 2015). "Built to Spill's New Album Was a Long Time Coming".
  18. ^ Welby, Augustus (March 4, 2016). "Built to Spill: Follow the Leader".
  19. ^ "Built To Spill – "Jokerman" (Bob Dylan Cover)". Stereogum. 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-07-26.

External links

Ancient Melodies of the Future

Ancient Melodies of the Future is the fifth full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill. The core line-up of the band remained as it had for the previous two albums, with singer/guitarist Doug Martsch, bassist Brett Nelson, and drummer Scott Plouf. The album was recorded at Bear Creek in Woodinville, Washington, with overdubs recorded at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington, and Martsch's studio, The Manhouse, in Boise, Idaho. Ancient Melodies was released on the Warner Bros. label in 2001 (see 2001 in music).

Brett Nelson

Brett Nelson (born 1969) is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter best known as the former bassist for the indie rock band Built to Spill.

In high school, Nelson played in a band called Farm Days along with Doug Martsch and Andy Capps. Nelson's next band, Butterfly Train, released two albums on Up Records, in 1994 and 1996, before breaking up (Andy Capps was drummer for the latter album).In 1994, Nelson and Andy Capps joined Martsch's Built to Spill.

Nelson has appeared on every album except the debut, Ultimate Alternative Wavers and Untethered Moon.

Nelson sings and plays guitar and keyboards for The Suffocation Keep, which released its debut album John Hughes Was Never So Wrong in 2002. The band completed a second album in 2004,A Few Minor Modifications of the Stars. The album was never released; however, the band did make it available for free download.Nelson currently lives in Boise, Idaho. He sometimes calls himself "Brett Not Netson" or "breLson" to distinguish himself from Built to Spill bandmate Brett Netson.

In November 2009, Nelson re-recorded seven Built To Spill songs "synthesizer/drum machine only" with bandmate Doug Martsch re-singing the songs and released it as an E.P. titled The Electronic Anthology Project in July 2010.

The new edition of The Electronic Anthology Project takes nine songs from Dinosaur Jr. with new vocals by J Mascis. It was released on Record Store Day, April 21, 2012, in a limited edition of 500 purple vinyl copies (with digital, cd and standard vinyl to follow).Brett Nelson departed from Built to Spill along with then-drummer Scott Plouf in 2012, after 18 years with the band. The reasons behind the decision are said to be benevolent. Nelson was replaced by Jason Alberti and Scott Plouf by Steve Gere. Built to Spill promptly began touring again in early 2013.

After his exit from BTS, Nelson joined Sleepy Seeds. They self-released their only album on June 24, 2014.

After Sleepy Seeds disbanded in 2015, Nelson started a four-piece post-wave band called Sick Wish featuring his son Jonah Nelson.

Built to Spill Caustic Resin

Built to Spill Caustic Resin was an EP released by indie rock bands Built to Spill and Caustic Resin. The EP was less a split release by both bands and more a collaboration between the bands.

The album attributes the first two tracks to Built to Spill, the third to Caustic Resin and the last to Tae Won Yu from his time in the band Kicking Giant. It also lists Brett Netson as performing guitar and vocals on "Shit Brown Eyes" (Caustic Resin). Todd Dunnigan is listed as playing organ on "When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough" and moog on "One Thing".

The album was originally released with a cover featuring a photo featuring newly hatched fish larva and eggs, which had been found in a trash can. However, the photo's owner complained, and the cover art was changed to the image shown here.

The album is Up Records release UP018.

Carry the Zero

Carry the Zero is an EP by Built to Spill. "Forget Remember When" and "Now & Then" are studio tracks that have been released only on this EP, and as bonus tracks on the double-LP version of Built to Spill Live.

Caustic Resin

Caustic Resin is an indie rock band from Boise, Idaho, who have released several albums for Up Records, Alias Records, and C/Z Records. The band is Brett Netson on guitar and vocals, Tom Romich, Jr. on bass guitar, and either James Dillion or Pat Perkins on drums. The sound of the band somewhat similar to the psychedelic blues-rock of the 1960s, and is marked by Netson's distinctive voice and slide guitar work.

The band has several ties to fellow Boise indie rockers, Built to Spill. Netson was one of its original members; he played bass on its debut, Ultimate Alternative Wavers, but was replaced (along with drummer Ralf Youtz) as per band leader Doug Martsch's wishes to record with a different lineup for each record. Netson contributed various parts to Built to Spill albums Perfect from Now On, Ancient Melodies of the Future and You in Reverse before becoming a full-time member (again) after the latter was released. Built to Spill and Caustic Resin collaborated on the 1995 release, Built to Spill Caustic Resin. The two bands also recorded the track "Still Flat", which appeared on the Red Hot + Bothered benefit CD produced by the Red Hot Organization, and was later collected on Built to Spill's The Normal Years compilation.

Doug Martsch

Doug Martsch (born September 16, 1969) is an American singer and musician. He is best known for his distinctive vocals and guitar playing style in the band Built to Spill.

Jim Roth (musician)

Jim Roth is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter from Des Moines, Iowa. He has played with several indie bands including The Chant(Des Moines, Iowa), Sinister Sons, The Delusions, Voodoo Gearshift, Helvetia, and The Hollowmen. He also has released a solo album called Anti-Rad. Roth also plays guitar in Built to Spill. He initially started playing with them on the Keep It Like a Secret tour, when The Delusions were opening, but was a full-time member of the band by the time You in Reverse was released.

Keep It Like a Secret

Keep It Like a Secret is the fourth full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill, and their second for Warner Bros. Records. The original tracks for the album were recorded on Nov 1997 at Bear Creek studios in Woodinville, Washington by Phil Ek, with overdubs recorded on mid 1998 at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington. Keep It Like a Secret was released on February 2, 1999. The album spawned two EPs: Carry the Zero and Center of the Universe. Pitchfork ranked the album at #41 on their "Top Albums of the 90s" list (1999).

Live (Built to Spill album)

Live is an album of live recordings made by indie rock band Built to Spill on the band's Keep It Like a Secret tour in 1999. At the time the album was recorded, the band consisted of singer/guitarist Doug Martsch, guitarists Brett Netson, Jim Roth, bassist Brett Nelson, and drummer Scott Plouf. Live was released on the Warner Bros. label on April 18, 2000.The model featured on the cover is Jeremy Atkins, a musician and an executive with Dark Horse Comics.

Perfect from Now On

Perfect from Now On is the third full-length album released by Built to Spill, and the band's first major label (Warner Bros.) release. It was recorded at the Avast! Recording Company in Seattle, Washington by Phil Ek. Stylistically, the album was marked by its experimentation with longer song structures, philosophical lyrics, and the incorporation of cello.

The album was essentially recorded three times. The first time, Martsch attempted to play all the instruments except drums. He and Phil Ek were dissatisfied with the results, so Martsch brought in Nelson and Plouf and recorded the album again. However, these tapes were destroyed by heat when Ek was driving from Seattle to Boise to record additional overdubs. The band rehearsed some more, then recorded the album a third time.

In September 2008, the band embarked on a three-month tour to perform the album in its entirety.

Phil Ek

Phil Ek is an American record producer, engineer and mixer. Ek began his career in Seattle, Washington, in the early 1990s recording live sound in clubs. He then moved into studio recording, recording small projects and demos for local bands. Around this time, Ek was frequently working with influential producer Jack Endino. Producing Built to Spill's second album, There's Nothing Wrong with Love, proved to be Ek's mainstream breakthrough, the album has since ranked in the Top Ten of Spin Magazine's top indie records of all time. Phil Ek has worked with such indie rock bands as Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Built to Spill, 764-HERO, Big Business and Mudhoney.

Ralf Youtz

Ralf Youtz (born 1972) is an American musician. Youtz was the original drummer in the Boise, Idaho-based indie rock band Built to Spill. He appeared on their 1993 debut album, Ultimate Alternative Wavers. Youtz was replaced by Andy Capps after the album's release, although he would work with Martsch again with The Halo Benders. Youtz also had short stints with the bands Sone and The Feelings. Youtz plays guitar and sings in Ape Shape, which opened for Built to Spill on several dates of their 2005 tour. He also plays bass in The No-No's. His sister, Karena Youtz is married to Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch.

Youtz is currently a Mathematics instructor at Portland Community College. Youtz teaches mainly Statistics.

There's Nothing Wrong with Love

There's Nothing Wrong with Love is the second full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill. The line-up for the album was guitarist and vocalist Doug Martsch, bassist Brett Nelson, and drummer Andy Capps. There's Nothing Wrong with Love was recorded in May and June 1994, and released September 13, 1994, on the Up Records label. It was produced by Phil Ek. The songs "Car" and "Distopian Dream Girl" were released as singles. The video for "In the Morning" was featured on Beavis and Butt-head. Pitchfork ranked There's Nothing Wrong with Love No. 24 on its Top 100 Albums of the 90s list. An unlisted final track is a satirical preview of the next Built to Spill album. None of the clips on the track are real Built to Spill songs. Sub Pop reissued the album on vinyl in 2015.

There Is No Enemy

There Is No Enemy is the seventh full-length studio album by indie rock band Built to Spill (their fifth on Warner Bros. Records). The album was released on October 6, 2009, and is the last to feature long-time drummer Scott Plouf and bassist Brett Nelson, who left the group in 2012. It features guest musicians Sam Coomes, cellist John McMahon, Scott Schmaljohn (of Treepeople), Paul Leary, and additional keyboards by Roger Manning.On September 30, 2009, the band streamed the full album on their official MySpace profile.On February 15, 2010, ATP Recordings released the album in the UK and Europe with the exclusive, previously unreleased bonus track "Water Sleepers".

Ultimate Alternative Wavers

Ultimate Alternative Wavers is the first full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill. The line-up consisted of Doug Martsch on guitar and vocals, Brett Netson on guitar and bass, and Ralf Youtz on drums, although there was some variation in instrumentation on a few tracks. The album was recorded at Audio Lab in Boise, Idaho in the fall of 1992, and released in 1993 on the C/Z Records label. It eventually went out-of-print, but was re-released in late 2006. The song title "Nowhere Nothin' Fuckup" is the title of a song by the main character, Jason Taverner, in Philip K. Dick's Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. The song's lyrics, also, are in large part borrowed from The Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'".

The song "Shameful Dread" features a sample of Simpsons character Nelson Muntz saying his catchphrase, "Ha-ha!" This sound effect is featured in the episode "Marge Gets a Job".

Untethered Moon

Untethered Moon is the eighth studio album by American rock band Built to Spill. The album was released on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 18, 2015 and on CD and digital format on April 21, 2015. It is the band’s first album in nearly 6 years, since 2009’s There Is No Enemy, making it the band’s longest delay between studio albums. Martsch explained:

It is the first album to feature Steve Gere (drums) and Jason Albertini (bass), replacing Scott Plouf and Brett Nelson respectively.

The album was announced on February 5, 2015 along with a tour schedule beginning in March. The track "Living Zoo" was released via SoundCloud on February 24, 2015. The official music video for “Living Zoo” premiered on Noisey, March 25, 2015.

Up Records

Up Records was a Seattle based independent record label founded in 1994 by Chris Takino and Rich Jensen. Some of the label's best known artists were 764-Hero, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Quasi and Tad.

Chris Takino died of leukemia in 2000. The label is owned and managed by his companion, Pete Ritchey. The last update to the Up Records website was in 2007.

You in Reverse

You in Reverse is the sixth full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill. The band added one new member for this album, making Built to Spill a quartet for the first time. It was also the first album since Ultimate Alternative Wavers not recorded or produced by Phil Ek. The lineup was Doug Martsch, Brett Nelson, Scott Plouf, and Jim Roth. The album was recorded in Portland, Oregon at Audible Alchemy. You in Reverse was released on April 11, 2006.

Built to Spill
Studio albums
Live albums
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