Sego Send Up Our 'Heavily Opinionated' Social Climate With 'Neon Me Out': Video Premiere
On its debut album, Long Way From the Fringe, Sego wrote about transitioning from its native Utah to life in California, specifically Los Angeles. Now the forthcoming Sego Sucks, whose video for the track "Neon Me Out" is premiering exclusively below, finds the genre-blending quartet settled, comfortably for the most part, into its new home.
"It's like an, 'OK, what are we doing now?' kind of thing," frontman Spencer Petersen explains to Billboard. "It's kind of a panorama of the culture and lifestyle kind of swirling around us right now. It's been interesting." And, as is Sego's wont, the group tends to focus on the lighter and even stereotypical side of Cali culture, albeit with some genuinely serious concerns couched in the music.
"I've been slightly more focused in on the kind of hilarious and intriguing social climate" Petersen says, "which is that of a necessity for a lot of external validation. Everybody's a brand in L.A. That's the kind of go-to. It seems like every person in the world is developing their own brand via the social networks, and it's pretty funny to watch that happen -- and it's even more pronounced where we are, I think."
Sego grapples with that itself, course, as a necessity in the music industry. The Sego Sucks title, in fact, was derived from a hashtag used by a disgruntled audience member after one of its shows. "That actually perfectly encapsulated the ethos of the record," Petersen notes, "this interesting, judgement by 'like' and heavily opinionated world we live in. And that's what 'Neon Me Out' is about, how it's easy to become overwhelmed with opinions about everything and a need to be self-effacing almost to where it's hard to cling on to anything. That song is born out of this whirlwind of ideas and opinions and content swirling around me, where I don't really have anything to grasp onto."
High concepts aside, making Sego Sucks, which comes out April 5, was straightforward, if busy. The group recorded at its home base in Los Angeles, as well as in Utah and Canada with multiple producers. "I swore after doing the first record I would go and do a one-off in one studio record, in a month -- that was my mission for this record," Petersen says with a laugh. "But maybe I just can't help myself. As much as I tried to do it all in one go this time around, we kinda kept growing it and feeling like we could add some more to it, so it's another hodgepodge, just like the last one."
Sego is planning to tour extensively behind Sego Sucks, including a run of shows at South By Southwest. And Petersen says the group is already seeing the benefit of having doubled its repertoire with another album of material. "We were talking about that the other day, how much easier it makes playing shows when we double the repertoire," he says. "It creates a little greatest hits situation, where before you felt like you had to play every song that you know. Now we can experiment with some of the deep tracks from the (new) record as well as peppering in some of the older ones, so that's going to be fun."