Based in Los Angeles, Sego is the duo of Spencer Petersen and Thomas Carroll, who met in their hometown of Provo, Utah. The band has released EPs: Wicket Youth (2014) and Long Long Way From the Fringe (2015). Their debut album, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around, is released via Dine Alone Records.
From Provo, Utah, Brandon Robbins is the vocalist and guitarist of The Moth & The Flame, who recently relocated to Portland from Los Angeles. The band has released their debut The Moth ⅋ The Flame in 2011, and are set to release Young & Unafraid in 2016.
Sego is a Los Angeles band by way of Provo, Utah. The duo of Spencer Petersen and Thomas Carroll has recorded two EPs since 2014 and is now set to release their debut LP, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around. Written at the Cube, an art-minded warehouse space in Downtown LA where Sego lives and works, this album was assembled by Petersen from the drums, up.
Petersen describes this process and more to friend and fellow musician Brandon Robbins, who plays with Portland-based band The Moth & The Flame and originally hails from Provo as well. The two sit in a Del Taco in Springfield, Utah, eating a meal of half-pound bean-and-cheese burritos and churros.
Additionally, Sego performs “Engineer Amnesia” for us from the Cube in Los Angeles.
Spencer Petersen: Living in Los Angeles makes everyone pretty spoiled about Mexican food, so it’s almost sacrilege coming to a chain. I flinch every time I go to a Taco Bell.
Brandon Robbins: I feel like Del Taco kind of has the upper hand.
SP: At the end of the day, price point always reigns supreme. The taco truck near my house is $1 per taco, so that forces me to compare every time I’m eating elsewhere, “How many tacos is this really worth?” That’s the ultimate currency.
Are you missing Los Angeles since you moved up to Portland?
BR: Trying to be weird, you know. I do miss Los Angeles, for the food and friends mostly. I don’t miss the rent.
SP: How’s the music up there?
BR: I haven’t really delved in yet, to be honest. I know of a lot of bands that I really like from Portland, but we’ve been on the road the whole time that we’ve supposedly lived there.
SP: There was a time when I was still back in Provo, [Utah], and everyone was talking about moving to Portland. I’m not sure what explosion of culture happened there in 2007 or 2008, but I have yet to play with a band from Portland.
BR: I think we’ve played with one band from Portland, but they’re a transplant band, so I don’t know if that counts.
SP: Same with Los Angeles. No bands are really from Los Angeles.
BR: How long have you been in LA now?
SP: Six years
“Initially, my whole premise was to
write songs for someone else to sing.
But I ended up recording demos
and got a lot of good responses.”
— Spencer Petersen
BR: That’s long enough to be “from LA.”
SP: We formed in LA, but it would be inauthentic to claim LA as my hometown. I still feel like I represent something other than an LA band. The whole ethos of Sego is the tug-of-war between Utah and California—cultural, geographical, musical—and that connection has recognizably influenced me. But I’m not out to blow anyone’s mind for being from Utah.
BR: One thing I always like to talk about—and maybe this is more a frontman thing—is “the moment when you knew.” When did you know that you wanted to play music? Did you know that you wanted to be a frontman? Do you even want to be a frontman?
SP: Well, to answer the first part: I don’t know if I ever had that moment. The closest I can think of is a cheesy anecdote. I wasn’t more than 10 years old and was in my parents’ room playing my dad’s crappy nylon-string guitar. I was plunking away, playing nonsense, and my mom said in passing, “Oh, Spencer, the musician of the family.” My little mind thought, “Yeah, I am.” It’s interesting how impactful comments can be on impressionable minds. That was when I started playing guitar. Went over to Joe Brown’s house and he taught me how to play “Bad to the Bone” on that yellow, hollow-body Kay guitar I still have.
BR: That’s an actual person? Joe Brown taught you “Bad to the Bone”?
SP: “Bad to the Bone” Joe Brown is what the name would suggest: a strong fighter, kind of scrappy, came from a tough background. He loved Metallica and ACDC. If I showed you a picture of him in the ninth grade, he has a fro-mullet thing going on. Like the poofy-front, blow-dried hair. If you’re reading this, Joe, I love you still and we need to hang out. So Joe taught me my first song, then I ended up in orchestra playing bass.
BR: How did that happen?
SP: Well, I flipped a coin. As soon as I started playing guitar, I wanted to be in a band. Going into middle school, I had the option of joining either orchestra, band or choir and Spanish class. I don’t know why they grouped choir and Spanish class together, but those were my three options. So I decided with my friend Matt Gardner, who also wanted to be in a band, that one of us would learn bass in orchestra, which would translate to bass guitar, and the other would learn how to play drums in band. We literally just flipped a coin, and I got orchestra. Fast forward, that got me into college, where I was studying to be a professional bassist in an orchestra.