Galactic Cowboys, 1991
|Origin||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Genres||Heavy metal, progressive metal|
|Years active||1989–2000, 2009, 2013, 2016–present|
|Labels||Geffen, Metal Blade|
Dane Sonnier ('89-'94, '13-current)
|Past members||Wally Farkas ('95-'09)|
Galactic Cowboys are a heavy metal band based in Houston, Texas. They combined progressive metal with a vocal style influenced by The Beatles and the heavy playing style of thrash bands such as Anthrax. They have been described as "possibly the most melodic metal band ever to exist in Christian or general markets." Although the band members are Christians, they did not consider the Galactic Cowboys to be a Christian band.
Galactic Cowboys was formed in 1989 in Houston, Texas by bassist Monty Colvin and drummer Alan Doss of the band The Awful Truth. When The Awful Truth broke up, Colvin and Doss joined singer Ben Huggins and guitarist Dane Sonnier to form Galactic Cowboys.
In 1990, the band was signed to DGC and released their self-titled debut album in 1991. Despite some favorable criticism, the band was ignored by the label due to the success of Nirvana's Nevermind during that same time. After poor sales and some touring, they returned to the studio and released Space in Your Face in 1993. Space... was the band's break into the general market. The album featured two minor hits for the band with "If I Were A Killer" and "I Do What I Do", both of which received regular airplay at MTV and the now-defunct radio station ZROCK. DGC released Galactic Cowboys from their recording contract, and the band parted ways with manager Sam Taylor and guitarist Dane Sonnier.
The band appeared in the 1994 movie Airheads, under the name "Sons of Thunder". The one original song they performed for that movie, "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful", is not available anywhere, and only a short excerpt is heard in the movie.
After briefly breaking up, the band reorganized with Wally Farkas on guitars and a new recording contract with Metal Blade Records. The band released a third album, Machine Fish, and an EP titled Feel the Rage in 1996. The album The Horse That Bud Bought followed in 1997, departing from the band's metal sound into a toned-down style.
The band recorded At the End of the Day in 1998, a concept album regarded by fans as the band's peak effort. Two weeks before the album's release, drummer Alan Doss left the band. Session drummer Erick Tatuaka performed drums on the subsequent tour.
Galactic Cowboys' last studio album to date, Let It Go, was released in 2000 and featured lead vocal performances by each band member. King's X drummer Jerry Gaskill, a friend of the band, performed drums on the album.
As of 2009, the former members of the band continue to be active in the music scene. The band performed 3 reunion shows in August 2009 in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. They also reunited for a special, one-off performance at Acadia Bar and Grill in Houston, Texas on September 13, 2013.
On July 4, 2016, they announced via bassist Monty's Rockcast podcast (#176) that they have signed with a progressive record label and are working on a new album with the original lineup (Colvin, Huggins, Doss, Sonnier) with an anticipated early 2017 release date.
Bassist and backing vocalist for Galactic Cowboys from 1991 until 2000, Monty Colvin embarked on a solo career in 2000 with his band project Crunchy. The first album, All Day Sucker, released in 2001, defined the Crunchy sound as fun, pop punk with a slight heavy guitar edge. On Crunchy's second album, Clown School Dropout, the band was stripped down to Colvin playing most of the instruments and bringing in a hired drummer; here Colvin added a bit more crunch to the formula. Band influences include the Wildhearts, Cheap Trick, Foo Fighters, and the Ramones, in addition to the aforementioned Galactic Cowboys. The third Crunchy album, Loserville (2007), includes a contribution by Kerry Livgren of Kansas.
In addition to playing in Crunchy, Colvin currently hosts an irregular hour-long Internet podcast called "Monty's Rockcast" on his personal web site: http://www.montycolvin.net. He also sells his paintings on his web site; some of the Galactic Cowboys album covers featured Colvin's artwork.
Colvin is also a cousin of the now deceased Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glenn Colvin), formerly of the Ramones. Colvin's bass also provides a distinct sound which is much evident in Galactic Cowboys' sound.
Since leaving the music industry for a while, Doss has involved himself with managing and producing. Most recently, he has served in that capacity for the bands Ashbury Keys, Toy Subs and Jambi's Revenge, also contributing instrumental work (on keyboards and bass) to the outputs of those bands.
Huggins' musical activities of late have included recording and playing with his new band Gristle, in addition to guest appearances with artists such as The Phlegmatics. Gristle's first album, Cold Blue Sky, was released in downloadable format on July 17, 2010.
Farkas has worked as a distributor for hip hop artists in the Houston area. He teamed with Ty Tabor of King's X to release two ambient albums under the name Xenuphobe ("1.0", released in 2006 and "2.0: Electrolux", released in 2007). Also, he established a new record label, Molken Music for a handful of artists with which he has had prior connections.
Farkas co-produced and played guitar on the Doug Pinnick album Strum Sum Up. He announced a forthcoming solo album, Past Due, but that is unreleased as of yet.
Since leaving Galactic Cowboys, Sonnier has kept involved in the music world, most notably in The Sonnier Brothers Band, the band he formed with his brother Len, who also plays lead guitar in Gristle. Sonnier also served as lead guitarist for a Houston-based modern rock band, Sevenfold.
- Monty Colvin - Bass, vocals (1991–2000)
- Alan Doss - drums, vocals, keyboards (1991–1998)
- Wally Farkas - Guitar, vocals, keyboards (1995–2000)
- Ben Huggins - Lead vocals, guitar, blues harp (1991–2000)
- Dane Sonnier - Guitar, vocals (1991–1995)
- Galactic Cowboys August 20, 1991
- Space in Your Face June 8, 1993
- Machine Fish January 30, 1996
- Feel the Rage (EP) October 8, 1996
- The Horse That Bud Bought July 15, 1997
- At the End of the Day September 22, 1998
- Let It Go June 20, 2000
Music videos were produced for the following songs:
- "Evil Twin"
- "Fear Not"
- "Feel the Rage"
- "I'm Not Amused"
- "If I Were a Killer"
- "Nothing to Say"
- Powell, Mark Allan (2002). "Galactic Cowboys". Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 353–354. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
- Galactic Cowboys FAQ item No. 23 Archived February 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Breez, Bay (January 2008). "Monty Colvin (interview)". Music Mayhem. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
- van Pelt, Doug. "Airheads (review)". HM. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
- "Blabbermouth.net:GALACTIC COWBOYS To Reunite For Three Texas Performances". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "GALACTIC COWBOYS To Reunite For One-Off Hometown Concert". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- Colvin, Monty (2016). Monty's Rockcast #176.
- Callaway, Chris (November 1, 2007). "Mini Reviews". Westworld (Denver). Retrieved March 6, 2008.
- Olson, Chad (2003). "Crunchy - Monty Colvin interview". HM. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
- Sonnier Brothers Band: Dane Sonnier biography
- Anthony Mariani (2000-05-11). "In Good Company - Page 1 - Music - Houston". Houston Press. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Galactic Cowboys". HM Magazine (67). September–October 1997. Archived from the original on September 18, 2000. Retrieved April 24, 2007.
- "Galactic Cowboys". HM Magazine (84). July–August 2000. Archived from the original on September 18, 2000. Retrieved April 24, 2007.
- "Galactic Cowboys". 7ball (22). January–February 1999.