Published Sep 25, 2019With the release of new album The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds, SeeYouSpaceCowboy have officially grown out of their scene phase.
Earlier this year, the group's Songs for the Firing Squad compilation situated the once-purveyors of "sasscore" at the forefront of the "Twenty Nine-Scene" movement, a wave of nostalgic metalcore that thrives on the days of neon merchandise, extensive song titles and cartoon breakdowns. But as the band's vocalist Connie Sgarbossa escapes from the San Diego sunlight over the phone with Exclaim!, she vehemently asserts that her band is over it.
"I threw that shit around proudly, but we've all grown weary of the MySpace sass thing," Sgarbossa says. "Songs for the Firing Squad is a coffin for all of the old SeeYouSpaceCowboy songs. It's out, nailed shut and buried. I appreciate the music and what we did, but it's not something I embrace like I used to. We've been there, we did it, but what's next?"
Enter The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds. While equally as chaotic and enraged as earlier works, the 11-song effort embraces a melodic and contemplative layer of SeeYouSpaceCowboy that extends beyond the playful nature of what listeners have come to know of the group.
"Our lives and mental states have changed a lot since then. We're all depressed, sad, and dealing with our shit," Sgarbossa continues. "We didn't think anyone would latch onto what we were doing back then. It was super masturbatory."
Raised within the skate, surf and DIY scene of San Diego, Connie, 24, and her younger brother/guitarist Ethan, 22, formed SeeYouSpaceCowboy alongside guitarist Jesse Price in 2016. Sgarbossa, who had only played in screamo acts ("roll on the floor, crying your eyes out shit") prior to SeeYouSpaceCowboy, crafted the project from a love of the vivacious nature of scene music.
"It seemed appealing to do something that was indulgent, heavy, but also silly and weird. It came from boredom with what was coming out at the time," Sgarbossa explains. "I think there's definitely a huge appeal for the relentlessly heavy metalcore throwback we have right now. Coming from the screamo scene, Orchid and Jerome's Dream had an edge to them I appreciated. When it came time to do heavier music, I wanted something with elements of that to keep it interesting."
In Sgarbossa's world, nothing is ever interesting for too long. Her unquenchable thirst for creative catharsis is what keeps SeeYouSpaceCowboy ahead of the curve. Her bandmates also decided to set down the Drop Dead Gorgeous and Duck Duck Goose records in favour of Beloved and Misery Signals.
"Moving forward, this is our debut and how we hope to be perceived," she says.
And perceived they have been; when SeeYouSpaceCowboy started being outspoken as a leftist band with queer members, she explains that people from different corners of the music scene attempted to confine the group and how they operate.
"A lot of people expected us to do a certain thing. As if a queer band can't have people mosh the shit out of each other during your set, because they don't think that's cool. As if a queer band can't play with macho hardcore bands. People would apologize to us because our shows had so many hardcore bands on the bill, because they were expecting more queer or folky stuff from us. No, we like those bands. I love crowdkilling. Have you heard the music we play? Even going into the hardcore scene, people worried that we'd be the weird kids who aren't down with anything because of what we hold true. We want to show that we have these politics, but we aren't weirdos that tell you what you can and can't do."
No matter their public (or message board) perception, SeeYouSpaceCowboy in its current state is an outlet that pulled Sgarbossa out of a hole; throughout the writing process of Correlation, Sgarbossa began drinking heavily and using drugs. The recording process was "probably the worst two weeks of my life," she says; she also lost someone she had a lengthy relationship with to suicide.
"This record is the first time I've ever written something that wasn't tongue-in-cheek," Sgarbossa explains. "I was using drugs and alcohol to cope. I was dealing with mental illness I didn't even know I had. I was stuck in a studio for eight hours a day, five days a week. It was a hard time — but I know that I'm better now."
The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds is out September 27 via Pure Noise Records.