From Aliens to Earth:
An Interview with Royston Langdon of Spacehog
Words by Nick Hodgins — Hoboken, NJ
Royston Langdon just wants to create quality music for anyone who will listen and after a ten year hiatus, Spacehog is now ready to do just that. Their new album As It Is on Earth is scheduled for an April 16 release and their new single “Glad to Know” can be streamed below.
The success of the band stemmed from their hit single “In the Meantime” off their debut album Resident Alien released in 1995, but Langdon refers to As It Is on Earth as a new beginning for Spacehog. “It’s [As It Is on Earth] a testament to our last decade of going through the ups and downs of life,” he explained. Over the past ten years, Langdon has become a father and the band’s drummer Johnny Cragg and his wife have just had their second child. Langdon said, “We’ve all been through personal loss and gain, this is a kind of a starting again, a new beginning for us.”
Spacehog is putting out As It Is on Earth independently, but not alone. The band is working with producer Bryce Goggin who also accompanied Spacehog on their first two albums Resident Alien and The Chinese Album. “It’s a lot more work,” Langdon explained in regards to working independently, “But in a sense, it’s a lot more control.”
Despite the changes of the past 10 years, Langdon has made sure some things remained the same. “We work in the same way,” he began, as he took a drag of his cigarette. “I kind of write most of the songs and come up with the ideas, and then we flush it out and it becomes Spacehog.” Langdon hopes to take the listener on a journey throughout the album; something he feels has been in lost in the wave of singles and EPs of present day. “I think all the songs are pretty good, each one stands on its own and collectively they all stand together,” he said.
The band’s single off of the album, titled “Glad to Know,” was released on Rolling Stone’s page on January 11. “The response has been pretty amazing, really amazing,” Langdon said, “I was pleasantly surprised by just how many people remember and care about us and like what we do.”
The fan-base’s faith is enhanced even more through the rapid success of the band’s Pledge Music Campaign page, where they are asking for help promoting, touring and completing the release surrounding As It Is on Earth. Fans can pledge anywhere from $15, which would net the pledger a signed album upon release to $1,000 dollars, which would buy them the privilege of jamming with the members of Spacehog; with many more pledge amounts and perks in between. In the first 24 hours of the campaign, 80 percent of their goal was reached and now two weeks later they are beyond their target goal, up to 114 percent.
“It really puts us in absolute contact with fans, you can go the pledge site and see what we’re doing and get involved,” Langdon said. He refers to it as a symbiotic relationship with the fans, which he considers to be really positive. “It’s amazing, really amazing,” Langdon went on to say in response to the success of the Pledge Campaign. “It’s really surprised us all to be honest… to nearly meet our whole campaign at all, let alone in one day, it is unprecedented really.”
Langdon is grateful to have the band back together and has no intentions of stopping anytime soon. “For me, what I’d like to see to come is just more of doing this, at whatever level we can,” he said referring to the show they’d be playing later that night at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. Whether it be small clubs or larger venues, Langdon is impartial. “The thing I enjoy the most is making music, and not being able to do that with this group for a long time has really been a shame because we have such a great group. I’d just like to be able to put out more records on a regular basis.”
Spacehog will continue to work by a brick by brick philosophy as Langdon referred to it. “I don’t know what that’s going to mean for us, so far though, given what we’ve done already, things look pretty good. It’s just putting one foot in front of the other and striving forward to bring the music to as many people as we can, in whatever way we can,” he said.
As It Is on Earth will be available to the public on April 16. In the meantime, you can get a taste of the new material at their next show on February 26 at the Mercury Lounge in NY.