seeyouspacecowboy hysteria

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY // Chewing the Scenery with Connie of SeeYouSpaceCowboy

Combining the MySpace-era grind with more modern takes on the heavy music genre, the California-based SeeYouSpaceCowboy formed in October 2016 as a self-described “indulgence project” — but have since risen to become one of the most exciting bands in the underground scene’s new wave. 

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Known for razor-sharp lyricism backed by dextrous hardcore sensibility, the group will be debuting their devastatingly heavy, bleak but beautiful collection of tracks to Australian audiences later this month in support of Stick To Your Guns.  

With that in mind, Two Door Cinema Club and Foals may not be the first influences you imagine when listening to SeeYouSpaceCowboy. But vocalist Connie Sgarbossa says indie dance rock was key in shaping their latest singles, Chewing The Scenery and Rhythm and Rapture which came out in August and September last year respectively.

“We had already explored post hardcore and metalcore stuff that we grew up listening to, but then it came down to like, what if we took from other stuff that we grew up listening to? My first show ever was Interpol and Bloc Party and The Bravery when I was like, 10 years old. I grew up listening to a lot of these indie rock bands and in high school I dedicated my time to hardcore, as well as Indie rock and hipster shit when that wave was coming up. So I think it was just about doing something different and something fun.”

The band collaborated with American singer, Nothing Nowhere, on Rhythm and Rapture as well as had him join their most recent national tour. Connie shared she’d been a long-time fan before eventually featuring on each other’s tracks.

“We kind of were like, hey, let’s just do like a trade. I grew up listening to, well, I mean, I wasn’t that young. But, when Nothing Nowhere was releasing music initially, I was super super into it back in the day when I was first coming around and I was also big into that whole, like, SoundCloud scene when that was on the rise.  It was just like a fun thing, like, why not? Like, why not like to live together a bit and have fun. And the tour was amazing, too. And he’s a great guy. And we had a lot of fun skating together and shit, and being together for that whole month. So it was one of those situations where, yeah, why not? We could get a post hardcore fool to be on the record. But why not take from artists that we like.”

Since releasing their 2021 album, The Romance Of Affliction, SeeYouSpaceCowboy have been on the road relentlessly touring with artists like Silverstein, Knocked Loose, The Amity Affliction and more. But Connie reveals that the band’s hectic touring schedule has been one of the reasons for the large gaps between releases.

“Being in a band is busy, if you’re on tour six months out of the year then you need downtime, some members need to go to work, it’s hard to balance a lot. You have to dedicate time to write.”  Luckily she’s developed ways to note down her ideas on the road.  

“I like to keep a journal on my phone of all the thoughts and all the quotes or clever little quips that I have in my head, and I write them down throughout the years. And then when it comes time to write lyrics, I just go to that. Every album, I’ve written the lyrics while we’re in the studio, I never have time to write ahead of time. So, I always just go back to that journal and I’m like, Oh, this is something I was thinking, you know, six months ago, and this is something that’d be good to make a song about.”

She has logs of lyrics dating back to her teen years and finds it amusing looking back on them, noting how far her songwriting has come. They’re all just really angsty, really aggressive. And I played in like a twinkly emo screamo band later in life, senior year of high school, they’re also very cringe and just like, “I hate myself” kind of lyrics. But yeah, it’s what I felt at the time being a little 18 year old so like, it is what it is.”

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In 2019, Punk Rock NBA named See You Space Cowboy, the poster children for the scene revival and no doubt there are parallels between what MySpace did for the scene the first time around, and the way TikTok is now breaking artists. Whilst Connie believes the platform is mostly positive for the scene, she observed that what is portrayed online may not be what fans expect when they come to a show. 

“I feel like [TikTok] brings in a lot of people who don’t really know what the scene is about. And they get a culture shock when they go to their first show and are exposed to moshing or crowd killing or whatever, things that have been part of either hardcore or beat down shows for a long time. But I think overall, it is a tool for good because it does bring in and breathe new life. And every scene needs new people coming through. Even for San Diego, we had a big lull here for many years. And then I randomly went to a show like seven months ago, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a bunch of kids here I’ve never seen before, like, this is really, really cool.’  And it helps bring things back to life. It does make me feel really really fucking old though. Because all these kids are way, way, way younger than me. And I’m like the one old head there now.”

I feel like [TikTok] brings in a lot of people who don’t really know what the scene is about.
[ Connie Sgarbossa, SeeYouSpaceCowboy ]

When asked what she thinks the key differences are between the alternative music scene fifteen years ago and now, she’s observed that there is much less tolerance of problematic behaviour many scene bands have been accused of in recent years.

“I know that there’s a lot of problems with the scene back in the day … There are certain bands you look back at, and you’re like, that’s kind of crazy that you put that on a T-shirt or told kids to do that. Like, that’s a little weird. But I feel like there’s a lot more of an awareness now in the scene, especially if it is a “revival” quote, unquote. It’s like a lot of people who are older being able to be like – okay, we learned from mistakes of the past. And it might be a bit safer for younger kids getting into it now than it was back in the day.”

It’s just a few weeks until Connie and crew are joining Stick To Your Guns for nine dates as part of their Diamond 10 year anniversary Australian tour. Aside from the shows, Connie is looking forward to our famous beach culture. “I’m excited to go there. I’m excited to try and fucking get some time to surf as well and see how much downtime we have.”  

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Having downtime has become an important component to being professional musicians that the group learned the hard way early on. Speaking to some of the pressures felt on their first overseas trips in 2019, Connie shares that it’s not always a good thing to say yes to every tour.

“I think that’s definitely like the only time I’ve ever felt like, ‘Holy fuck, we’re like 1000s of dollars in debt right now. Like, why the fuck did we do this? Like, I don’t know if this is sustainable. We can’t afford this.’  Other than that, that was, like, the one rough patch. The music scene has been pretty good to us since then. We were a little baby band, just signed and trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do and what you’re not supposed to do…Also, like, just being aware of burnout and things affecting your personal lives at home. Like there’s [an] intention to just go as hard as you can no matter what, but you can’t neglect your home life entirely.”

When not on the road, Connie focuses on her graphic design work for other bands but admits, “I come home and I basically just wait to go back on tour again…But I feel like everybody does need that downtime, at the very least some time to just relax and chill.”

Her love of visual art extends to her signature cat-like makeup look which she says was inspired by the grimy nightlife of warehouse raves living in Oakland. “A lot of people would get really dressed up, so I just started doing this. And then when I started touring with a band too, I just kept going. And I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I’ll draw some lines or do some dots and I’ll only do the top lip black,’ and it stuck.”

In a few weeks time, Aussie fans will get to experience SYSC in the flesh for the first time.  For those wondering what to expect, Connie says their live show is definitely where it’s at.  “I mean, we’re a band that likes to be really, really crazy on stage. The worst thing to me is putting on a boring show, so we like to run around a lot. There’ll be some instruments flying in the air, maybe somebody will jump off the stage; We’ve always tried to be interesting. 

We watched videos of bands back in the mid 2000s, who were fucking insane onstage and that has always been a thing for us from the get go – like you throw your instruments around, you go crazy. Like, don’t be boring!”

Catch SeeYouSpaceCowboy with Stick To Your Guns this January.

Stick To Your Guns Diamond 10-Year Anniversary Tour

Wednesday January 24 – The Triffid, Brisbane w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Thursday, January 25 – Vinnies Dive Bar, Gold Coast w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Saturday, January 27 – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Sunday, January 28 – Crowbar, Sydney w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Tuesday, January 30 – Dicey Rileys, Wollongong w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Wednesday, January 31 – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Thursday, February 1 – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Friday, February 2 – Uni Bar, Adelaide w/Seeyouspacecowboy
Saturday, February 3 – Amplifier Bar, Adelaide w/Seeyouspacecowboy

Tickets on sale now.

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