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Car Seat Headrest Pull Album a Week Before Release Due to Cars Interpolation

Ric Ocasek puts the kibosh on the use of "Just What I Needed" on 'Teens of Denial'

No love lost between automotively inclined bands, it would seem. Stadium-indie outfit Car Seat Headrest were scheduled to release Teens of Denial, their much-buzzed-about first LP for Matador, a week from today, but the physical release has now been pushed back from May 20 to some indeterminate date this summer. (The digital will still be released as scheduled.) The reason: Ric Ocasek, wheelman for new-wave greats the Cars, who did not approve of the album’s inspired usage of the band’s 1978 signature hit “Just What I Needed” on Teens’ “Just What I Needed / Not Just What I Needed.”

Car Seat Headrest mouthpiece Will Toledo offered further explanation:

Life happens and sometimes not in ideal ways. If you’ve heard anything about the new album, then you’re probably aware that one of its songs made use of The Cars song “Just What I Needed.” Now, obviously, when we called the record ‘done’ and sent it off to be printed, we were working in full confidence that we had the legal side of it all worked out. We found out last week that this was not the case. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of email chains and invested parties; suffice it to say that Matador (and I) were neither pulling a Banksy nor operating in ignorance of the law, but that we truly believed we had the issue resolved months ago, until last week.

As you may have heard, vinyl is being pulled from stores right now. There’s a total recall out, and all copies with the original version of the song will be destroyed. Nevertheless, Teens of Denial WILL COME OUT ON MAY 20TH, at least digitally. I spent the last 48 hours working on an alternate cut of the track, which is now called “Not What I Needed”. It’s not merely an edit – it is its own thing, about half a minute longer than the original track, and goes in a much different direction. Honestly, despite the apparent clusterf**k, I had fun doing it, and I think it’s a stronger song now. In any case I’ve grown up accustomed to working on an album right up to its drop date, so this is not a freak-out scenario for me. The album is going to come out on time and it’s going to be good.

The physical release will not come out on time, obviously. We’ll likely see a street date of sometime in July. I’m very sorry to everyone who was anticipating a preorder (it does sound GREAT on vinyl). It will be in your hands eventually. But it was very important to me that we keep the digital release for May. We’ve all been waiting long enough. Most of my music only exists online anyways, so it makes sense that this album should start the same way.

Thanks for your continued support, and I am very excited for this f**king record to come out already.