By all ear-witness accounts the GALACTIC COWBOYS were the loudest band ever to play Greenbelt. 57 on the scale when the legal limit' is 40; James Attlee looks at the band with the line in window-shattering rock.
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Despite the management, friendship and Christian faith they share with King's X, The Cowboys will obviously have to emerge from the shadow of their mentors if their career on Geffen is to blossom. Some critics have ready taken the lazy path of labelling them King's X clones in The States, despite the difference in the two bands' sound.
"Are we Kings X clones? I don't think so" says Alan. "The obvious similarity would be in the vocals. But they always tie in the fact that we have the same management, record at the same studio, same State, same City..."
"And the fact that we all live together in the same apartment," adds Monty. "And share the same bathroom..."
Something else they share with King's X along with bathrooms and managers is a preoccupation with an enigmatic character called Wilde Silas Tomkyn. For the uninitiated, Wilde Silas has made numerous appearances in King's X sleeve notes -- on the most recent album, the members of The Galactic Cowboys appear in the backing vocal credits listed collectively as The Wilde Silas Mass Choir. As might be expected, the Cowboys are far from elucidating about the shadowy figure.
"He pretty much pervades everything we do - he kind of hovers" explains Alan. "He doesn't get out much" adds Dane. "We've heard his voice before and mostly that's all we hear" Alan continues. "It's a really kind of ominous voice. Mostly in the Shadows." We see.
Silas is not the only thing that pervades the Cowboy entourage. Their management, roadies and soundmen are all Christians "because it works better that way". However, like King's X, they don't reduce their beliefs to musical slogans, which means that the world at large hasn't pegged them as "a Christian band" - not yet, at least.
"So far, the press hasn't asked about it" says Monty. "There's been implications - people say there must be something spiritual behind it but they haven't dwelt on it that much."
"It's hard not to communicate something that affects us so much - it's how we I've so to try to not communicate that would be impossible," Ben continues.
"People just can't turn off what they believe to do the things they do, so when we write music it's going to be affected by what we believe and the way we live our lives. Were not ministers or anything like that so we don't go out and write a sermon and put it in musical form and stand up there and sing it. The things that affect us in our daily lives we write about and there's going to be that spiritual foundation that's going to underlay the whole scene."
"Preach it, Brother" says Dane.
When it comes to their musical roots the band are happy to list their influences.
"Monty's roots would be gospel, quartets, a lot of harmony stuff" says Dane. "Alans the Beatles fan" says Ben. "Dane's roots are in Cajun and Zydeco" says Alan. (Dane grew up in a little town in Louisiana called Venton -- not so much a one-horse town as a one alligator town.) "Ben's would probably be bluegrass and pop radio," Monty finishes up. None of which quite explains the thrash and speed-metal elements to the bands style, but still.
"I like - we all like a lot of different things," says Monty. "I grew up listening to gospel quartets like The Happy Goodmans... I grew up singing with my family. I think we all like stuff with melody."
"Melody and intensity" elaborates Dane.