Galactic Cowboys (Alan Doss, drums; Ben Huggins, vocals; Monty Colvin, bass, Wally Farkas, guitar) will be playing their first live dates in 10 years roughly one month from now. Three dates in Texas in three nights: Aug. 13-15; Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Fans have been waiting a long time, and they’re about to get something very special. Not only will these shows feature a longer, broader, and deeper set of material than the band has ever presented before, but Dane Sonnier, guitarist on the Cowboys first two albums, will join the band on stage.
GonzoGeek got in touch with the band not just to figure out what was happening now, but also to explore some of the ghosts from the past, attempting to answer at least a few of the questions we’d long wondered about. This first part of the interview talks with Ben and Monty about current band events. Part 2 will revisit Galactic Cowboys’ past with these two. Part 3 looks at both present and past with Alan and Wally.
Get your spacesuits on kids! We might not get a chance to do this again.
GonzoGeek: How did this reunion start? Why now?
Monty Colvin: “Ben has been wanting to do this for a long time and he and I have been talking for the last year or so about doing something again. A few months ago I e-mailed him and said ‘What if we just do a show?’ and that kicked it off. The we got Wally and Alan involved talking and we all agreed to just go ahead and do some shows.”
GG: Was the idea simply to play together again? Or is this testing the waters for something else?
Ben Huggins: “There’s part of me that wants to think we’re testing the waters. But my problem is that I get excited about things too fast. It’s gotten me in trouble! [both laugh] So I’m trying to just look at this as it: three shows, we’re gonna have a blast, the fans that have been asking for it are going to come out—those that can—and that’s it. We’re done. But there’s part of me that says, “Yeah! Let’s do it!! Let’s tour!” But I’m trying to quell that at this point.”
GG: But surely anybody who sees this will want more?
MC: “I think we’ve all had so many people asking us over the past 10 years for us to get back together, that it’s kind of like us saying, ‘OK, we’re going to be there for you; do some shows for you.’ But on the other side, I think it’s just really going to be fun to hang out with the guys again, play this music, and just have a lot of fun doing it.”
BH: “It’s gonna be a lot of work too, but I think hopefully the rewards will be there! Over the years we had very few headline tours; maybe a couple of very short ones, like 2 or 3 months. For the most we just did a lot of opening gigs. So you get in there and you blast it out for whatever time they give you—30, 45 minutes—and you’re done. But we’re trying to give the fans who have been asking for this a good slice of Galactic Cowboys. I think the only stuff left out is from ‘Let It Go,’ but the songs we’re thinking of will otherwise cover from the very beginning on.”
GG: And if it all goes spectacularly well….?
BH: “Monty, he’s just not gonna back off on this is he?” [laughter]
GG: I promise this is the last version of this question!
BH: “You answer it this this time Monty.”
MC: “I actually hope there is that kind of interest; that something sparks and we get a lot of new interest. And then we’ll just kind of go from there. If it’s good, I think we’ll all know it. And if it spawns some great new things, I’m sure we’ll be open to that. Or at least a couple of us will! [both laugh]
BH: “Yeah, that’s a little…”
MC: “Nevermind? OK!”
GG: Have you been rehearsing yet?
MC: “At home, yes.”
BH: “Well see, Monty still lives in Kansas City. We do have plans that involve everybody getting together and just knocking it out. And we’ve been doing these songs for so many years that hopefully it’ll all just come back. That’s what we’re hoping for. But right now everybody’s just sort of wood-shedding and working on their own. Then when we get together we’ll just be ready to bang it out, put it in the order it needs to go in, and that’s it. Right Monty?”
MC: “Yeeaahh. That and the internet practice. We’ll all get on our computers…”
BH: [laughing] “What!?”
MC: “That we can just practice in our own homes but at the same time…”
MC: “You know, a little i-Chat.”
GG: The sound quality would be great, could hear all the nuances…
MC: “It’s called interesting-band-practices.com”
GG: So do you know when the face-to-face work might start?
MC: [basso] “Nooooo.”
BH: Actually, we do have plans. The plan is, Monty’s coming down—because obviously he has to—and I think we’re going to start on the 10th. So we’ll have 3 days of just non-stop—well obviously we’ll stop for water every now and then—but 3 days of non-stop rehearsal and then we’ll go to Dallas and play our first show.
MC: “That’s right. Cuz we’re professional.”
BH: “That’s right!”
GG: Will there be any new material presented?
MC: “This is going to be kind of a retrospective kind of a retrospective of our career. But I can’t think of a tour we ever did that had this kind of a set list, with this many albums to pick stuff from. So it’s going to be a long set of a lot of just classic, cheesy tunes!”
GG: Excellent. That’ll definitely be satisfying. So is Dane [Sonnier] playing, or not playing?
BH: “Yes, he is playing. One of the concerns is that people are going to expect to be seeing him at the beginning of the set. He’s not going to come on until we do the group of songs that he’s going to be part of. He’s going to play several songs. I think people who are fans of the first two records are gonna be pleased, because he’s got a big chunk of songs he’s doing. But we’re gonna start off with the four of us—me, Monty, Wally, and Alan—and then Dane’s gonna come up and join us and we’ll do a big block of songs with him too.”
GG: Can you imagine writing new material together? Assuming things go well?
MC: “I can imagine that.