Galac­tic Cow­boys

The metal-with-a pop-cen­tre band re­turn – and this time they’ll be care­ful not to be seen as "King’s X's lit­tle brother”.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Galac­tic Cow­boys sit near the top of the league ta­ble of Great Lost Bands Of The 90s. Like a heav­ier ver­sion of fel­low Tex­ans King’s X, the Hous­ton four-piece pitched them­selves as Me­tal­lica-meet­sThe Bea­tles, weld­ing the heavy-duty riff­ing of the former to the lat­ter’s any­thing-goes ap­proach. Seven­teen years af­ter they split up, the Cow­boys have re­turned with a new al­bum, Long Way Back To The Moon. Vo­cal­ist Ben Hug­gins ex­plains how they achieved lift-off again.

Whose idea was it to get back to­gether? Bill Evans, who is act­ing as our rep for [new la­bel] Mas­cot, called Monty [Colvin, bass] three years ago, ask­ing if we had any in­ter­est in get­ting back to­gether. Monty said: “Let me make some calls.” I was like: “Yes, I’ll do it.” I gotta tell you, I have missed Galac­tic Cow­boys for a long time. I was the last one hold­ing on back then. I didn’t want the band to end.

Why did you split up?

Of­fers for tours were dry­ing up, we had our bud­get for the last al­bum [2000’s Let It Go] cut, peo­ple were start­ing to grum­ble. It was a spi­ralling thing.

You were orig­i­nally signed to Gef­fen, the same la­bel as Nir­vana, and your de­but al­bum came out a month be­fore Nev­er­mind. Did that help or hin­der your band?

I can give you a quote from Gary Gersh, who signed us. They were stoked about us, we were hav­ing con­stant con­ver­sa­tions with the la­bel. And then when Nir­vana took off it was like [makes shut­ting-down sound] – noth­ing. They put out one more al­bum and then they lost in­ter­est in us: “Yeah, you’re gonna have to leave now.” You were closely as­so­ci­ated with King’s X. Too closely, maybe?

Those guys were our friends, they were great for us, but it was tough be­ing King’s X’s lit­tle brother. It did sti­fle us a lit­tle bit. I don’t re­gret it, but I just wish we’d done more with other peo­ple as well.

The Cow­boys had a unique sound. Did au­di­ences get what you were do­ing back then?

It con­fused some peo­ple. We did our first real tour sup­port­ing Overkill, who were just balls-to-the­wall thrash metal. We went on and did our thing with an acous­tic guitar and a har­mon­ica, and peo­ple were just get­ting an­gry. I got dragged into the pit by my hair at a club in Pitts­burgh. I had to fight my way out and back on stage, but I car­ried on play­ing. It was like I had been bap­tised by the crowd: “Okay, they didn’t kill me and now they’re get­ting into it.”

“I got dragged into the pit by my hair, but I car­ried

on play­ing.”

In­di­vid­u­ally you’re all Chris­tians, but you never pushed Galac­tic Cow­boys as a Chris­tian band. Why not?

I’m not a min­is­ter, I’m not a preacher, I’m not an evan­ge­list. I’m a singer in a rock band. If you hire a Chris­tian plumber, do you ask him to do a ser­mon be­fore he clears your drain?

Do you won­der if the world needs a new Galac­tic Cow­boys al­bum?

The world didn’t need the first six or seven! We did it be­cause we wanted to do it. There’s some­thing about cre­at­ing this thing that’s to­tally your own, with your patented sound, that’s to­tally ful­fill­ing. Yeah, there’s some self­ish­ness there, but I don’t care. DE

Long Way Back To The Moon is re­leased on Novem­ber 17 via Mas­cot.

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