Interview – Space Cadet

Punk band Space Cadet are releasing their debut album in March, titled Lion On A Leash. We’re very excited to hear what it sounds like (watch this space for a review!), so we decided to have a chat with Dave Walsh and Matt Hock from the band. Check out how we got on below…

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new track called Bad Luck. What can you tell us about that?
Dave: Yeah, Bad Luck is a song that I had written about 6 months before Matt and I decided to start up Space Cadet. At first I wasn’t so sure that it would fit with the vibe of Space Cadet but after I shared it with Matt he agreed that it could work, and it turns out if fits in nicely with the other songs. At the time I think I was listening to a lot of The Rolling Stones and The Stone Roses…. so I think of it as kind of a Rolling Stone/Roses vibe.

Do you have any more singles planned for release in the near future?

Matt: We do indeed. Our third single before the album release, Start Running Away, comes out at the end of the month. Brian Baker played the solo and it sounds so good. We’re making a video for that song as we speak, so look out for that.
You debut album, Lion On A Leash, will be released in March. Are you excited? What can you tell us about that?
Dave: Yeah for sure, we are totally excited! Matt and I just really want to get the album out to the world because we haven’t worked on an album together for over a decade and it was so fun putting these songs together, remotely from his place in Brooklyn and mine is Massachusetts. We found a great partner with Rob from Wiretap Records to put out Lion on a Leash.

We hear the album was produced by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls. What was it like working with him, and how did that come about?

Matt: Pete is one of the greatest humans to ever walk the Earth. We’ve been friends for many years now; The Explosion and The Bouncing Souls played a lot of shows together in the past. When Dave and I started Space Cadet, one of the first things we decided is that we wanted to work with Pete. And working with him was/is awesome. He has great ideas and truly wants to make the best possible record for his bands.
The album also features some impressive collaborations, with Brian Baker, Mike Sneeringer, Matt Olsson and Chris Gonzalez also featuring on it. How did those collaborations occur, and how was it to work with those punk legends?
Dave: It was tremendous! Matt and I are great friends with all these guys. As far as Mike is concerned, I played with him in The Loved Ones, and he is one of the best drummers I know. I just love him. As for Chris he is one of me and Matt’s best friends and we also played with him in The Explosion forever. He also played bass and guitar in The Loved Ones. We became friendly with Matt Olson recently when we saw him playing in Dave Hause’s band, The Mermaid. He’s just great. And we were absolutely thrilled to have Brian rip an amazing solo on Start Running Away. He is definitely one of our guitar heroes. I mean Minor Threat! Jesus Christ that’s so cool. He’s the best.

What sort of music influences you as artists, and what have you been listening to recently?

Matt: Our primary influences haven’t changed much over the years. We still love listening to The Jam, Wire, The Clash, The Stone Roses, Oasis – all that good stuff. I think, even though it may not seem like it, one of the biggest influences for Space Cadet is Cock Sparrer. They are, in my opinion, one of the most dynamic bands ever. They’re integral to punk and Oi!, but the songs are basically pop songs – and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. They write incredible hooks and melodies, and we love that about them. Lately, we’ve been listing to John Cale, Idles, Justin Townes Earl, Power Trip, Tim Presley, The Oh Sees, and Blaqk Audio. It’s a pretty eclectic mix over here.
Has the pandemic hindered the writing and recording of the album at all?
Dave: No not at all actually. Matt and I live a couple hundred miles apart, him being in NYC and me being in central Massachusetts, so we never have written in the same room for Space Cadet. We lean heavy on technology to track demos, email back and forth etc. And recording the album went the same. Matt tracked at Little Eden in Asbury Park with Pete and I tracked my parts at my home studio in Clinton and sent them along to get mixed in with his stuff. It works out great actually.
Do you have any plans to tour in the UK once the pandemic is over?

Matt: ‘Plans’ is a tough word to use right now, sadly. But we would be overjoyed to play in the UK as soon as possible. We’ve had so many great experiences and it would be a dream to play there again. Once the world opens up again (which we hope will be sooner than later), we’d love to come over and play some shows with our labelmates Love Breakers. 
What is a Space Cadet show like, and what can fans expect when they see you perform?
Dave: That’s a great question, and one I would love to answer once we play our first show. I’ll get back to you about that one, hahaha.

 Any last words for the fans?

Matt: Fans, we love you. We have some cool stuff on the horizon so stay tuned. And wear a mask so we don’t have to wear masks anymore. ☮♥︎