Artist Interview: Spaced

Posted: by The Editor

After a few years of singles and EPs, hardcore five-piece Spaced signed to the legendary Revelation Records. Today, they release This Is All We Get, an eight-track record that places the band on the level of some of Rev’s most iconic groups. This is an album that never lets up and never slows down. The songs they dropped last year were some of their most melodic, but nothing on This Is All We Get is ever less than absolutely scorching. If this is all they ever get, Spaced makes it count.

We spoke with vocalist Lexi Reyngoudt, guitarist Donny Arthur, and bassist John Vaughan about the album, the band’s ethos, and their favorite fast food chains.

How are y’all doing?

Reyngoudt: I didn’t have to work so I feel great.

Vaughan: I’m good.

Arthur: I just got off work. That’s the grind, just trying to stay in the regular life and keep touring in a punk band.

What is Spaced’s attitude going into This Is All We Ever Get?

Arthur: First off, we just want to be a hardcore band. We just want to fly the flag for Buffalo hardcore, and for hardcore in general. With the opportunity to join with a label like Revelation, with such a rich history in hardcore, it was a way to honor the tradition of the genre but also expand on it, push it into new territories, and also to have fun with it.

Vaughan: Very well said! This came to mind immediately, and I don’t want it taken the wrong way, but relentless. We aren’t taking the foot off the gas anytime soon. This isn’t the start of something new, because we just want to be a hardcore band, but we want to keep doing this. We were going to make a great record and we were never going to let up.

Reyngoudt: I think with the lyrics and the meanings for a lot of these songs, they’re similar to previous messages from Spaced: be yourself and don’t care what others think. But we’re also angry that we have to keep saying that, that we’re just being ourselves. Why are you trying to hold us back?

Everything Spaced had put out before this album was on New Morality Zine. How did you end up signing with Rev?

Reyngoudt: Scott Vogel moved back to Buffalo during the pandemic. He’s awesome. He’s great with boosting the bands here. He helped us put our foot in the door at Rev, like, “Here’s this band from Buffalo grinding, touring as much as they can, and putting in the work. Keep your eye on them.” He made sure Rev noticed us, and honestly it’s the coolest thing he could’ve done for us. He’s the coolest person in hardcore.

Arthur: Scott, living here and spending time in LA, understands that it’s not everyday that a Buffalo band gets the chance to get out. You’ve got scenes that are known, Richmond or LA, but bands from Buffalo don’t always get that look. Having someone spotlight the city like that is so awesome. Shout out New Morality Zine, too. I love them, and I try to stay in touch with Nick. There might be a repress of Spaced Jams at some point.

Last year you put out a great two-song single. Did these songs all come from the same sessions or were they written and recorded separately? 

Vaughan: They were demoed at the same time, but we wanted people to know we were still relevant, and they were already recorded. We felt really good about them.

Arthur: For whatever reason, those songs had certain similarities and worked together. As the writing evolved, it moved into something different. These songs on the Rev release feel bigger, or familiar but different.

“Landslide” is out right now. What’s the response been to that song so far?

Reyngoudt: Overwhelmingly positive!

Arthur: We were amped about the track and it’s been so cool we’ve gotten support up to this point. When you get the chance to put out a record on a label like Rev, you jump on it. We wrote this a while ago, and it takes time for vinyl and things, so we’ve been sitting on this for a while now. We’re elated to get these songs out, and it’s been cool to see the response to the song both online and when we play live.

Reyngoudt: When we played a couple weeks ago, all our friends were there and they knew it from the video shoot so they were all singing along. At one point I just passed off the mic and everyone was singing. It was sick.

How much of the rest of the record have you played live?

Reyngoudt: Just “Rat Race.”

Arthur: Our writing process is pretty organic, just doing what feels right, and we mostly jam things out as a band. We don’t have a primary writer, really. We all just got into a room and vibed off each other. As soon as that one was done, the flow of the verses, the end callout part, I was so excited.

Reyngoudt: It’s Donny’s favorite on the album!

If that’s his favorite, what are your favorites, Lexi and John?

Vaughan: I really like the closing track a lot. I do a cool bass thing toward the end that I love. It switches a lot. I think that one.

Reyngoudt: I think “Cosmic Groove.” But also “Running Man!” It’s so much fun.

I wanted to ask about “AIATB,” the interlude. It’s so different from even what I expect an instrumental on a Spaced album to sound like. 

Vaughan: Our other guitarist Joe and I like to fuck around with silly loops and stuff.

Arthur: You’re mad scientists!

Vaughan: Yeah, we do drum pad stuff, synths, and record it. We’ve had that track for maybe two years, maybe more. There’s fifteen more or so we’ve made over the years. We like to be mad scientists in my apartment. I sent it in the chat one day and everyone wanted to use it. We edited the drums a bit, and it’s fun. It’s a little palate cleanser before “Rat Race” kicks in on side B.

Reyngoudt: It’s such a fast record too, so you need it. I think, John, you showed us that on the Broken Vow run two years ago. The abbreviation is Alone in a Taco Bell. We always joked about using it, but we finally did.

Vaughan: We didn’t want to use the full chain’s name in the title, but there’s been some cool bands in Taco Bell commercials lately. There’s no connection there! But you hit those up all the time on the road. They always fuck up Joe’s food, but it’s convenient for everyone, regardless of dietary habits.

Arthur: They’re good for the vegans and they’re open after the gig. Who can’t relate to being alone and drowning your sorrows in a cheesy gordita crunch?

Reyngoudt: Paired with a Baja Blast. You can’t beat it.

A lot of the lyrics feel like they’re very classic hardcore lyrics, but it feels especially on this record like they’re more responses to internal struggles than a response to external pressure.

Reyngoudt: Definitely. What’s cool about the record is that it feels more personal while still having the grit of a hardcore song.

Vaughan: I feel like maybe you can try and tell me what to do, but our thing is that we’ll do what we want to.

Arthur: It’s affirming being in a band. That’s hardcore for me. Before discovering punk, I felt like I didn’t fit in my suburban bubble and I needed a new way of thinking. Hardcore showed me other people feel the same way as me.

You said before, John, that the dominant attitude of the band to be resilient, and that feels really appropriate in the context of this record. It’s more confident than cocky, maybe.

Reyngoudt: I agree. With hardcore having this resurgence right now, which is awesome, how do you set yourself apart? How do you avoid becoming cookie-cutter hardcore? Every band has haters, and that shit happens all the time. Sometimes you have to prove yourself, but sometimes it feels good to do that!

Vaughan: And sometimes you’re sick of it. Like, I’m also a person. I don’t have to prove anything. Sometimes you view people in bands as these awesome people, but everyone goes through some bullshit. We’re also people. I had a shit day at work! I run a coffee shop, and my customers can be rude.

Arthur: There’s resilience, but I think there’s that humanity to the record too. I think we’re trying to build on our own confidence and let the people listening know that, hey, they’re fucking rad too.

Hardcore is, as you said, having a moment, and Spaced’s thing is far out hardcore. What, at this point, does that mean to you? I’m sure it’s probably taken on new meanings since you first came up with it.

Arthur: I really like psychedelic visuals, and I like the idea of psych rock, but sometimes it bores me. A seven-minute jam of the same note? Ain’t for me! I thought it’d be cool to bring together these notions that often come from opposite ends of the spectrum. My riff-writing style is simplistic, influenced by a lot of Boston hardcore, but Joe and John can be a little more experimental. They bring in that far-out element, and it’s integral to the aesthetic and vibe of the band, trying to be ourselves. We support other hardcore bands and participate in the community, but we do it in our own way. Our merch doesn’t have to look a certain way. We don’t even have to look a certain way. That’s what it’s all about.

Reyngoudt: That’s still what it’s about. To our core, that’s who we are.

Something I appreciate about Spaced is that you’ve got a very specific, unique, and consistent visual aesthetic across all your releases.

Arthur: We like it, yeah. We didn’t start a focus group, just do what’s authentic to us, and we like it. The psychedelic bands have been hogging the cool imagery, and I said, “Let’s take it!”

Vaughan: We all get the vibe of the band. This doesn’t happen, but we don’t put our personal preferences over the greater good of the band.

Arthur: We all have aspects of that in our personality, and when Spaced comes together, we embrace that part of ourselves.

Vaughan: Breaking the mold!

What’s a moment on the record that someone else wrote or performed that sticks out to each of you?

Reyngoudt: I’m so bad at remembering the names! I know their track places.

Vaughan: We used to name songs after food, but then we started doing just numbers.

Reyngoudt: John wrote most of the words for “The Difference,” and I love the end mosh, how angry it gets. I asked him what inspired it, and he was like, “I had such a shitty customer at work!”

Vaughan: Mine might be in “Rat Race.” We had different lyrics at the end mosh part and in Lexi’s first approach you hear a lower, almost singy layer to it, and those were lyrics to the old version of it. We kept them in as an undertone layer. The other ones were really short and staccato and carry the tune. It always sticks out to me. I think it adds a really cool effect.

Arthur: It’s hard to choose one moment. I play rhythm guitar, so I often kick out bass ideas and these freaks make it so sick. When I hear the final, it’s like, “Whoa, I started with this riff and they made it this big thing.” Shout out my squad. They did their thing.

If you went back to the version of Spaced that first formed in 2019, how do you think you would feel about This Is All We Ever Get?

Reyngoudt: I’d be like, “We did this? This is something we could do?” I fully did not have faith in myself. I believed in everyone else, but not me. I’d be like, “Damn girl! You did that.”

Vaughan: I’d be incredibly impressed. It started with me, Donny, and Dan in Donny’s basement. I’d be like, “Holy shit! Where did this come from?” I’d know Joe was involved, though, from all the crazy sounds.

Arthur: It’s been an unexpected ride! The basis of the band was that we were all buddies, and I think if you’re in a band you should contribute, give to the scene and not just take from it. I knew the people in this band could contribute, and immediately people were rocking with it. Having a label like Rev putting this out is astonishing.

Reyngoudt: If I saw that, I would shit myself.

What else does Spaced have lined up for the rest of the year?

Reyngoudt: A UK tour at the end of March! It’s a headliner with some UK hardcore bands. We might be in some new countries this year, too.

Arthur: Before the end of summer we’ll be checking off some of the remaining places in the US we’ve never hit. If you’re reading this and you want to book us, hit us up.

Reyngoudt: Next time we’re in California, we need to hit more than just Anaheim.

We were talking abuot Taco Bell before, food, all that. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what’d it be?

Reyngoudt: I just had one, so it might be biased, but a falafel bowl.

Arthur: I try to eat really clean at home, but on the road, all fucking bets are off. I eat all the McDonald’s. Give me all those McNuggets.

You’re a nugget man, not a burger guy?

Arthur: I do the spread. I get it all. It’s not real food, so there’s no limit to how much I can eat.

Vaughan: I really like to cook, and I’m vegan, so I just made a faux tuna salad. Then I put it on garlic Tuscan bread with fake mozzarella. But if it’s my last meal, I’m breaking vegan. I’m doing cheese pizza from Pizza Hut, stuffed crust. I know, I know, I live in a great city for pizza, but I can’t choose just one.

Arthur: That’s the total opposite of me. You’ve got that tuna thing, and I’m over here like, “Big Mac, bitch!”


This Is All We Ever Get is out today on Revelation Records.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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