UTG TRACK-BY-TRACK: Sego – ‘Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around’

Sego Feature

There are a lot of bands out there that claim to be unique, but few deliver on that promise quite like Sego. Unrestrained by genre tropes and destined to deviate, the Utah duo are truly beyond compare, combining a mish-mash of influences into a one-of-a-kind final product that is contagious, disorienting, and memorable all at the same time.

UTG recently caught up with the outfit, who were kind enough to give us a track-by-track rundown of their brand new debut LP, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around. Get in on the action below, and keep tabs on the band here.


“Obscene Dream”

With every new toy comes hours of exploration and enjoyment. The Prophet 08 synth was this toy for me. I stumbled into a particularly nasty bass sound and quickly put it in my little bag of tricks. I think the first time I ventured to show it off to someone (Robbie Connolly from Fictionist), laughter was the response. It rode that line between “Oh man, this is so freaking crazy that I’m laughing despite my best efforts” versus “Oh man, this is so gnarly. [Laughs]…wait you’re not really planning on using this…right?” Blurry, but my stubbornness and general lack of need for synthesizer validation kept it in the scrap heap. Go ahead, laugh it up.

 

“False Currency”

For a long time, I’ve been the guitarist or the bassist in bands. Tried to bring my own weird style to the table. Sego is the first time that I’ve really stepped up to the mic in a band setting. Totally different experience. This song was among the first couple demos that got put together. Pretty freeing to be able to drop in whatever (sax, harp, why not?) and explore some territory that I hadn’t spent much time with. The task came when I had to figure how to sing the vocals over the guitar part. Brain teaser.

 

“20 Years Tall”

The original jam tape of this song sounds pretty much the same: me mumbling the basics of a youthful story on top of bass and drums that are pummeling you over the head with offbeats. A bit atonal and reckless. Felt appropriate. Being young is messy. Meet life. Everyone has their stories…blah blah blah. There’s a funny window where you’re labeled as an adult, yet are still treated as an adolescent (and feel like one for the most part). It’s a bit of a trial by fire. This first outing on the adult life stage is a bit of a free fall, but there are still wild luxuries of time and lack of responsibility before you hit the ground, running or not.

 

“Stars”

After having moved down to Los Angeles from Utah, certain pros and cons in both places became very visible. Basically a story that epitomizes the whole “grass is greener” adage. In this case, the stars are brighter. For shows, family, etc, we’d be traveling back and forth up interstate 15 all too frequently. Thomas mentioned this feeling in both places of leaving the stars to go to the stars. Each carried a similar feeling of relief and melancholy. On a side note, for about 5 minutes, we dabbled in the idea of only using direct-in for all guitars in the band. It would make touring super easy and it seems like Hall and Oates pulled off the super dry/spanky guitar pretty darn well. This song was the test piece for that idea. Didn’t fully take, but noble effort was made.

 

“The Fringe”

A bit of an observation of an ultra-modern and stimulated culture from the perspective of someone who doesn’t own a smartphone. Los Angeles has particularly cold concert/party habits. The movie Swingers illustrated this idea very well back in 1996. It used to be my favorite film before living here. It’s funny how nothing much has changed in 20 years except the fact that everyone has a phone to keep them company so they don’t even have to pretend to be interested.

 

“Day Job”

Stuff can get mundane, especially when there’s so much of it. I kind of picture a person unenthusiastically scrolling through their internal social media feed. People are hard to impress.

 

“Micky Macali”

The song is titled after a poor review Sego received on our first EP. It was very upsetting to the writer that we were so inconsistent, talky, distorted, glitchy, and random with track selection. So it only made sense to pay homage with a song that embodies all of those traits.

 

“Engineer Amnesia”

Learning how to move on from former lives, addictions, relationships, etc. Sometimes busyness is the best remedy. It’s often the only way to silence the call. I thought that the 5 over 1 rhythms help illustrate the tension over top of the most basic and repeating bass line. Fun fact: The lead vocals for this were recorded on my laptop microphone. One of those situations where you go back in to make a “professional” recording and realize that the crappy demo contained the character you want.

 

“Fool Around”

Tom and I live in a warehouse outside of downtown. No neighbors on the whole street. Works great for practice, recording, writing, concerts, etc. However, every once in a while there is a project (recording, jam, or otherwise) happening that makes it near impossible to escape and focus. During one of these periods, I was able to escape to a friend’s where I could borrow an empty room to write for an hour. This spilled out on his little 4-track. Questioning one’s own motivations. Love versus Darwin. Wanting to see virtue and individuality win over instinct and environmental influence, but finding flaws.

 

“Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around”

One of the rare occasions that a song gets thrown away and reworked multiple times and still makes the record. We used to play it much, much faster and with about five different musical sections that were entirely superfluous or distracting. The track is a survivor. It makes sense that it then became the title track to the record which represents an unforeseen ending to a jarring journey. This song really does sum up the entire record.

 

“Proper Noises”

Seeing behind the hype veil, we’re all idiots—why not make it its own track? Actually, the man behind the laugh is photographer and former loft mate, Marcello Ambriz. I’ve never known someone to have such a remarkable laugh. While I have many voice notes on my phone from random Marcello outbreaks, putting the man in the booth pais dividends.

 

“Wicket Youth”

After a party a couple years ago, I found myself driving north into the valley sprawl above Hollywood in the middle of the night. The destination was a secret place inside the freeway. There was a series of special and ambiguous instructions to get to said place involving jumping fences, rope ladders, and reverse man holes. Once inside, only lit by cellphone light, I was greeted by a sign in clipboard (for any random visitor that might stumble in) on a desk labeled “God.” This unassuming place then stretched on and on with demented and inspired artistic displays and installations from seemingly found objects (even a full standup piano). Probably by design, there were too many details to take in under cellphone light. It just kept going and going. While passing through and trying to decipher what was happening I noticed a phrase scrawled on the wall, halfway obscured behind a collage of the same head shot that likely belonged to an aspiring male actor in the late 90s. I pulled back one of the glossy head shots and read, “The things that you don’t understand, you can make mean anything you want.”

 

“Where I Belong”

It’s a bit of a counterpoint to “Obscene Dream,” lyrically and thematically. Rather than it being easier to be complacent, there is a strange inertia keeping me engaged in a lifestyle. The original recording included ten minutes of swooshing delay noises after the song. I was talked out of it. Dang it.

Kyle Florence

Kyle Florence is a proud Wisconsinite, a dinosaur enthusiast, and a lover of all things weird and whacky.
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