I had the honor to interview bassist extraordinaire Monty Colvin of Galactic Cowboys. GC just reunited after 17 years and as a massive fan since their self titled debut, I was ecstatic! Here’s my conversation with Monty:
First off, welcome back guys! I’ve been a fan since the first album and got that when it came out. So yes I’ve been waiting for a reunion like many fans. The reception of this reunion has seemed to be pretty amazing. How has it been for you guys?
We really didn’t know what to expect. We worked on the new album for about a year, and we thought it was really good, but we had no idea if anyone else would like it. We were just happy to be making new music. But I’ve gotta say, we have been blown away by the way people have reacted to it. The fans, and even the critics, have been so positive. Seems like people really missed us, and are pleased with what we came up with.
What led to you deciding to go from just doing a reunion show or two to making a full on comeback?
We did several reunion shows, and each time we got together again, we talked about doing another CD. But we just hadn’t figured out a time, or how we would finance it. About 2 years ago, Mascot Records contacted me and asked if we would be interested in doing a new album. And that was really the thing that set everything back in motion.
How was it to write new music with the 4 of you having not written together in 21 years (since Dane left)?
Ben (Huggins our singer) and I had already written a handful of songs about 8 or 9 years ago. And we also decided to work on some older tunes that we still had from back when Dane was still with us. So we already had some good stuff to pick from. But when we all got together and started working on things as a band again, it was really fun. The atmosphere was very relaxed, and the chemistry between the 4 of us worked just like it used to.
The credits list the whole band as writers but I am sure there’s a breakdown on who wrote what. Was this another sign of unity…or did you guys really write all of it as a band?
We all brought in ideas, and everyone contributed. But we’ve never really been a band that just goes into a room and starts jamming and has stuff magically happen. We all come up with songs, riffs, or song ideas on our own, and then bring them in and work them up as a band. This time, Ben wrote a lot of the lyrics for the album, and I wrote a lot of the music. But Dane and Alan also brought in new songs, so we just decided to split everything equally and not worry about the credits. I think it was a conscious effort to form unity. But the same applies to the production. Alan gave us all production credit, but it was him. We all added input, but he was the one turning the knobs and doing the majority of the studio labor.
“In the Clouds” dates back to after the breakup of The Awful Truth. What made you decide to dust that one off and revisit it for “Long Way Back to the Moon”?
We did a demo for that song probably around 1989, and we also recorded a version of it for the first album. But we never put it on any release, so when we started talking about songs for this album, we sat down and listened to some of the older songs. Pretty much the minute we heard In The Clouds again, we said, “Why did we never put this on a CD?!” We ended up rerecording the whole song, and it sounded so fresh…like we had just written it.
I’ve noticed no harmonica on “Long Way Back to the Moon,” where’s that harmonica virtuosity from Ben?
Hmm…I guess that’s true. And we probably should have. But Dane was playing some wicked leads, and so we just went that way. Every time we would be working on a new song, I’d say, “OK Dane…how bout you shred a solo right here?!” But Ben still plays the harmonica live. And now that you’ve mentioned this, we’ll probably have him do some on the next album!
What are some of your favorite tracks from the new album?
There are so many. I love Blood In My Eyes…Zombies…Internal Masquerade…and the title track a lot. And Hate Me is a new favorite to play live. I think all the songs on the CD have strong melodies and catchy hooks. It’s easy to make a song heavy, but if people can sing along to it at the same time…that’s my goal.
How would you compare “Long Way Back to the Moon” to the previous albums?
I think it ranks up there as one of our best. We knew it would be a little different than the first 2 CD’s we made back in the early 90’s, and so we just tried to make the best album we could in 2017, and not worry about what we had done in the past. I think all of our albums over the years have had good songs on them, but this new one is very cohesive. It has a “sound.” And I think it has a focus and more of a vision that some of our later releases may have lacked.
I have to ask if you considered including the great Wally Farkas in the reunion and maybe becoming a 5 piece band? His contributions over the years was a big part of GC.
We did a short reunion tour about 8 years ago, and after we did those shows, Wally told me he was done playing with GC. So a couple years later when we got an offer to play another reunion show, we did it with the original line-up. I didn’t think Wally would have a problem with that, since he had consistently told me he would never play with us again. I still asked Wally if he wanted to join us for a few songs during the show, but he declined. Since then, he burned all the bridges with me. I haven’t talked to him in years, but he plays in Dane’s other band…so I guess he’s cool with Dane. But, no…when we decided to do this new album, we didn’t even consider a 5 piece. It actually might have been cool, but I’m happy to have the original 4 back together. Wally is a good player, but the original 4 of us just feels right. We’ve got a good chemistry…we get along… and there is very little drama.
I know you guys have played some local shows but what about a bigger tour? Are there plans for one?
I’m not sure what will happen as far as touring. I think the days of us doing long tours is probably over, but hopefully we’ll get out there and do some shows.
Thank you for coming back! The world needed the Galactic Cowboys!
Thanks you for this interview! We appreciate the promo!
“Long Way Back to the Moon” is currently available on Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. You can purchase your copy here: https://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/galactic-cowboys-long-way-back-to-the-moon-cd.html