How SPACED are making "far-out hardcore" while embracing their love of Taylor Swift | Revolver

How SPACED are making "far-out hardcore" while embracing their love of Taylor Swift

Buffalo crew want to be a gateway, not gatekeepers
spaced 2024 Anthony Scanga an0i7484b.jpg, Anthony Scanga
photograph by Anthony Scanga

Spaced vocalist Lexi Reyngoudt has a message to all the hardcore snobs out there: "If you're only strictly listening to hardcore, I feel like that's a you problem."

The Buffalo, New York, crew all live and breathe the genre; but that doesn't mean they feel any need to give into purism. "I am unapologetically a Swiftie!" Reyngoudt declares.

The band — Reyngoudt, guitarists Donny Arthur and Joe Morganti, bassist John Vaughan and drummer Dan McCormick — just released their debut full-length This Is All We Ever Get via Revelation Records. While you won't hear any Taylor Swift references in these songs, it's obvious Spaced have an eclectic taste in music.

They call their style "far-out hardcore" — their riffs and Reyngoudt's confrontational vocals are obviously indebted to bands like Gorilla Biscuits and early Turnstile, yet a lot of their guitar tones and ideas are deliberately drawn from My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and even the Grateful Dead.

"Experimenting with different pedals and sounds and textures is something Joe and John are really into, and Donny's always like, 'OK, what if we get these psychedelic riffs into here?'" Reyngoudt explains.

For her part, the vocalist draws on her love of pop when constructing sing-along choruses and channeling emotional honesty into her lyrics. Spaced's non-traditional, expansive take on hardcore is attracting fans new to the genre, as well as earning notable co-signs from likes of the Armed, Militarie Gun and Cancer Bats.

The buzz around the band is only continuing to grow — and they aren't deterred by any of the detractors that come with it.

"We've definitely had people being like, 'This isn't real hardcore, blah blah blah,'" Reyngoudt says, adding that the band often hear such complaints about their appearances on mixed-genre bills.

Despite the grumbles, Spaced are always down for those performances. Reyngoudt recalls one such show — opening for Canadian pop-punks Arm's Length — being among the best they've ever played.

"Their fans were like, 'I don't know what this is, but this is so cool. I'm gonna stage-dive the entire time!' And that's exactly what I want!" she says.

Spaced are proud to be a gateway band: "[Fans] come up to the merch table and are like, 'This is my first time seeing a hardcore band, what else should I listen to?' So a lot of people don't love that we [play those shows], but I don't care, because we're bringing more people into the scene."

Spaced began when Reyngoudt and McCormick, who have been a couple for several years, met tattoo artist and 15-year hardcore veteran Arthur. During her tattoo sessions, Reyngoudt would chat with Arthur about hardcore, a genre which she was relatively new to but quickly falling in love with.

He encouraged her to start a band, but she was too shy. So instead he got together with McCormick, Morganti and Vaughan and wrote Spaced's first demo.

"They just presented me these songs and were like, 'Here's this band for you, you have to sing in it,'" she remembers.

Since Spaced's 2021 debut, DEMO, Reyngoudt's lyrics have often included fierce rebuttals of scene gatekeepers ("It's okay if you don't get it, you're elitist and boring," goes "Prove You Wrong," from 2022's Spaced Jams comp) and anthemic calls for individuality.

On This Is All We Ever Get, she takes a broader and more fully-formed approach to standing strong in her own identity. "If you know who you are, you control your destiny," she declares on "Big Picture."

"For this album, we're still talking about how it's OK to be yourself. But there are some songs that are like, I'm kinda tired of telling people I'm OK to be myself. I'm almost more angry that I have to continue to tell people that," she says.

"I am bisexual. I use she/they pronouns. I'm gender non-conforming. It can get to those points where I just feel like I am in this corner and not allowed to do anything. So it is cool to just be like, hey, I'm gonna take up space, and I don't care what you think about it, because I deserve to be here and so does everybody else that's different."

The band have so far taken that message on tour all across the U.S., Europe and the U.K., with stints supporting some of their heroes including Militarie Gun, the Armed and Comeback Kid.

But as much as they love being on the road, Spaced's heart remains with their Buffalo hometown scene. They're devoted to helping to revive hardcore in the city.

"This past weekend I went to a local show. It was all young local bands, and it was packed. That's what's really cool about Buffalo hardcore right now — it's young kids finding any show that they can go to and mosh and have fun," Reyngoudt says. "We're trying our best to get as many bands to come here as possible."

No matter how Spaced's sound or their music taste might branch out, this sense of responsibility to keep a community alive is the essence of hardcore.

Just don't be surprised if you hear Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" blasting through the speakers in between sets.