Q&A with Toward Space

Toward Space is a band located in Richmond, Virginia. “We’re one of the only Richmond bands that’s from Richmond.” Seyla on bass and vocals, David on guitar and vocals and Ben on drums.

Kat Dobay: So tell me your band origin story.

Seyla- David and I met when we were like 12 years old at a community pool. That we both went to and we became best friends. We met because he approached me to show me that his toenail fell off. Then we just both started making music together after that. So we’ve been making music together since we were like kids. We played as a two piece for a while and Ben joined the band in 2017. Before that David would play drums and guitar at the same time. We had another Drummer before him but Ben has become a really integral part of the band.

Could you describe the scene? 

Seyla- So, we don’t actually play in Richmond that often nowadays. Like we do play, we play in Richmond sometimes, but we tour more than we play in Richmond.

David- I have a pretty good idea of the scene, because I work at a venue called Fuzzy Cactus. I see a lot of bands coming in and out. There are a lot of touring bands as well as local bands. The scene is really diverse musically.

What does your fan base look like?

Seyla- I think the type people that come to our gigs are kind of a mixed bag I guess. Like there, there’s a lot like rock and roll people that come out because we’re like a rock and roll band.

David- But also just like fucking weirdos and freaks and stuff like that. I would say like Garage Rock fans.

What was your favorite show this year?

Ben- We opened for Shannon and the Clams earlier this year. That was a huge opportunity. David and Seyla have been fans of them longer than I have, but that was a band that we all shared a love of. It was kind of a five years culmination of being in the band and then we got to open for them.

How has living in Richmond, Virginia influenced your music?

Seyla- Um, a lot. I can’t even think of anything that’s specific to Richmond. When writing my lyrics I look at my relationships in my love life. Or my own philosophies, concerns, depression, anxiety. All of those sort of general human things, I feel like influence my music.

I don’t know if it’s specific, I can’t think of it as being specific to Richmond, but I would say touring influences a lot of my writing.

David- I would say in terms of Richmond influences House of Freaks, Sparkle Horse and we’re huge fans of Far Work. I would say that’s a big influence. 

There’s other bands too, that have been around, that have come and gone in Richmond throughout the years. 

How’d you learn to write songs?

David- The first time I ever learned the first chords on a guitar, when my dad taught me a chord. I was like “all right, I gotta do something with this”. And started trying to write silly songs. This is like in fifth grade.

Seyla- Yeah for me it was probably fifth or sixth grade. Yeah. That’s, Wow. I think it’s probably the same actually. We kind of both started around the same time. Then we both were like a year into figuring out how to like to write songs when we met each other. I started out writing lyrics and singing before I ever picked up a bass. So everything kind of came together when I started learning how to play bass when I was like 14. Now we both just write together.

Tell me about your first show as a three piece band. 

Ben- The first show, what was so funny, it was like it was my first gig with the band. They told me that they’re gonna have drums ready for me to play, and then when we get there, half of the kit is missing. They had a bar stool at the kit that was like twice the height as a normal drum stool. So, I was essentially standing and playing. Was that the show where they also didn’t have a mic stand? They didn’t have a mic stand either, so this kid just held the mic up to our faces for us through the whole show.

Watch their new music video below, and follow the band on Instagram.

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