The first book-length look at the global musical phenomenon 


Math rock sounds like blueprints look: exact, precise, architectural. Made from influences ranging from free jazz to prog to hardcore, this complex guitar-based music has been captivating and challenging listeners for decades. Bands associated with the genre include Don Caballero, Slint, American Football, Toe, Hella, CHON, Elephant Gym, Covet, and thousands more. 

Containing interviews with prominent musicians and writers, Math Rock will delight longtime fans while also serving as a primer for those who want to delve deeper into the genre. It shows why and how an intellectually complex, largely faceless, and almost entirely instrumental form of music has been capturing the attention of listeners for thirty years—and counting.


Ranging from old and new favorites by Don Caballero and Covet, to lesser known gems from Foster Parents and Cuzco not to mention modern math rock classics from groups like Clever Girl (ba da ba ba!) these ten tracks provide an overview of the genre: where it started, where it's been, and where it's going.


Like the original, critically-acclaimed 33 1/3 series, every book in the Genre series takes a unique approach and the series collectively offers a host of new perspectives, song recommendations, little-known tidbits, personal stories and, above all, new ways of thinking about music.


A lifelong music fan, Jeff Gomez has published a number of books that revolve around music. His most recent is There Was No Alternative, an in-depth look at the groundbreaking 1993 alternative rock AIDS charity record No Alternative. It features all new interviews with the record's producers, a number of the bands, and commentary on every track. He also wrote 2020's Zeppelin Over Dayton: Guided By Voices Album By Album. The book contains interviews with numerous people associated with the band as well as commentary on 28 albums and 521 songs. In 1995, Simon & Schuster published his first novel, Our Noise, a look at music-obsessed twenty-somethings. The sequel, 1997’s Geniuses of Crack, was about a band recording their major label debut in Los Angeles. He published a sequel to both books in 2018 entitled Losing Our Edge. He lives in Northern California with his family.

"Jeff Gomez makes a case for math rock, and for the genre itself, with the thorough precision and imagination I expect from an aficionado. Pulling threads that connect back to vaudeville, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Van Halen’s “Eruption,” he doesn’t miss a paradiddle or a tap. Helpful hints on time signatures, looping, and guitar tuning (among other techniques) are included for the musically ignorant among us."

Bruce Adams, author of You’re with Stupid: kranky, Chicago, and the Reinvention of Indie Music


Pretend is a math rock/post rock band from the author's hometown of Thousand Oaks, California. The group consist of Joel Morgan, Luke Palascak, Mike Russell, and Timothy Ramirez.

This interview was conducted over email in 2022 as part of the research for Math Rock. All four band members did such a great and thorough job answering questions, and provided so many entertaining answers, that we're pleased to present here the entire interview.

Visit the band online or visit their Bandcamp page.