Hi Monty! Thank you so much for interviewing with Lady Obscure Music Magazine! First of all, congratulations on your new album, Long Way Back to the Moon! It’s been approximately 17 years in the making – did you ever see it coming that Galactic Cowboys would get back together and create new music again after Let It Go?
For a long time, no I didn’t at all. I remember telling people, “I’ll never say never…but I kinda doubt it.” But I guess time has a way of changing people’s minds.
After Let it Go, everyone parted ways and did some other musical projects post-Galactic Cowboys – for instance, you formed Crunchy and released three albums. However, GC got together again and performed a couple of one-off reunion concerts, the first of which was in 2009. What prompted that to happen?
As I recall, I kept getting promoters emailing me asking if we’d play a show in Houston. I think I finally just asked the guys if they’d be interested, and everyone was. We ended up doing a 3-show Texas mini-tour, and then a couple years later did another show that sold out. And each time we got together, we just really had a great time.
Were those reunion concerts (2009, 2013, and 2014) any influence on getting back together for a new album?
Oh yeah. I remember us sitting in the dressing room before one of those shows talking about recording again. At that point we weren’t sure how we were going to fund an new album, but it was something I think we all wanted to do again. I mean, every time we play together, we are reminded WHY we play together. We just have a great chemistry as a band.
Once you decided to go for it again with the original lineup (Ben Huggins, Monty Colvin, Dane Sonnier, and Alan Doss), did you look for a label (signing on with Mascot Records), or how did you decide to approach re-entering the music business again in a different decade?
We didn’t really go seeking out anything. In fact, Mascot Records came to us and asked if we’d be interested in getting back together and doing a new album. It was then that we got serious about the idea. I talked to Mascot for about a year before we signed the deal, and then it took another year before the CD was released.
How has the music industry changed since you last recorded, and did that affect the decision the reunite and re-enter the music scene?
It’s changed a lot. Labels aren’t signing bands to the huge deals anymore, but with the internet, you can crowd fund albums and put them out yourself. So we had to decide what made the most sense for us. We finally decided that going with a label was the way to go. We felt like they could fund it up front, and promote it better than we could once it was done.
How did you go about writing the songs? It seemed like you picked right back up where you left off, and in some cases, seemed to revisit the sound from the first two or three albums.
Since it had been so long since we had recorded, we had a lot of songs we’d been writing over the past 17 years. We also dusted off a couple of tunes that were written back when we got together in 1989….and we also wrote a new batch of songs before we went into the studio for this new one. So we ended up with a lot to pick from, and everybody in the band contributed.
What is your personal favorite track from Long Way Back to the Moon?
I like the title track a lot, and not just because I sing lead on it. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. I also love Zombies, Blood In My Eyes, and Internal Masquerade. Hate Me is probably my new favorite to play live.
What was the process like recording the album? Was it more difficult now that you don’t live in Houston anymore, or has the internet age closed the gap in that regard?
It’s more difficult for me, because I have to fly back and forth when we do anything. But we work around it. Ben flew to Kansas City a couple times to write with me, and that actually worked out well. And the recording in Houston in Alan’s studio also went great. It was like old times. We just tried to enjoy the process and have fun making music together again. I really enjoyed it and it was a real pleasant, stress free environment.
You are well-known for your identifiable bass tone. What is your typical setup that you use to get that sound?
I have a bi-amp set up, where I have an Ampeg amp and cabinet for the low-end, and a Marshall 4-12 cabinet with a Mesa Boogie guitar head for the high-end. Combined, it’s like a bass and a nasty distorted guitar playing together at the same time. I also play with a pick, and that’s actually a big part of my sound. I mostly used my Zon 4 string on most of the tracks for the new album, but I also used an ESP 8-string bass on a couple of the songs.
It’s nice to have a bona fide artist in the group – you did the album and merch artwork yourself. How did you decide on the concept artwork?
On our 3rd album, Machine Fish, our label at the time told me I could do the album artwork, and I did a couple paintings of a guy wearing a gas mask, and it became a character I used in our artwork a few times after that. And so when it was time to do the artwork for the new CD, I thought it would be cool to use an image our fans would be familiar with. So I went with the Gasfist character, and he has kind of become our mascot. You know…Maiden has Eddie….Anthrax has Not Man. We have GASFIST!
You had a CD release concert in Houston a couple of weeks after the album released. How would you say the response was to the new album and to the show?
The fans at that show were great. But the response to the new album in general has just blown us away. We had no idea what people would think of it, but they really seem to love it. And a lot of the new songs are great live. They fit in perfectly with our older tunes.
Things have changed over the years for all of you as individuals and as a band, but do you plan to do any touring subsequent to the release concert?
We are planning to do as many shows as our schedules will allow. We probably won’t be doing any long tours, but we’re planning to do some short runs and hit some major markets.
Is Galactic Cowboys here to stay?
I guess you never know, but I’d like to see us continue doing more albums in the future. This new one turned out so good, I feel like we have more good music left in us.
What else would you like to share with our readers?
Well, make sure you check us out on Facebook. And if you see we are playing somewhere near you, come on out and rock with us. And if you’d like to keep up with Galactic Cowboys and all things rock and pop culture, check out my podcast, Monty’s Rockcast. I’ll keep you informed on GC and many other music related topics….and possibly crush your skull while I’m at it! Rock On!