Photo by Coleman Rojahn
The Long Con is a local post-punk ensemble, boasting an ethereal and brazen sound; comprised of Nicolasa Dobe on vocals, Gabe Crawford on guitar, Lee Garrett on drums, and as of late, Richard Wells on bass. I’ve always noted the experience of seeing The Long Con as something borderline spiritual- Nicolasa sparkling center stage, writhing and twirling, Lee throwing his body into percussive movement, Gabe building worlds of sound to lose oneself in- himself often getting lost right along with the listener.
They remain a relatively new group, but have experienced already a vehement and enthusiastic response from the community since their fruition in January of 2019. I caught up with Nicolasa, Gabe, and Lee after their August 23rd show at The Space Hall, and got to pick their collective brain in the Tapp’s lobby;
G&B: So, The Long Con, why are you a band?
Nicolasa: I think Gabe is a very talented guitarist and he is the first person I contacted when I wanted to start a band.
Gabe: The idea came from Nicolasa to me, and then we started looking for people. I didn’t know what kind of sound we wanted to do, but I had a ton of demos and I sent them to her. And she picked her favorites, and started writing lyrics to them, and that’s where we got our first batch of songs.
G&B: What about Lee?
G: Lee came in a little later, because we had Preston, and then we lost Preston, and, we’ve- we’ve gone through a whole rhythm section--!
N: Rest in peace.
G: He’s not dead, he’s just married.
N: Miss you, brother.
G&B: So, how would each of you describe your sound?
G: I would describe our sound as, like, somewhere between… post-punk 80's goth and also noise rock from the 90’s via Sonic Youth.
N: Well, I got told tonight that we were ‘haunting’ which was pretty sick.
L: I think we’re melodic post-punk that pulls from new wave and industrial- and, I think surprise is a big part of our sound, too- I think there is a relationship between the audience and performer that’s very mutual, and if we’re doing our job right, they feel like they’re a part of the experience, too.
G&B: Well, that’s a good thing to bring up, because I was going to ask what you want your audiences to feel or experience at your shows.
G: Well, the idea that I come to with this band is that I want people to trance out. I want people to get lost in the sound that we make, cause we trance out, and so we want people to just… feel it.
L: I think music can be very healing- there are ways that we communicate with each other that are beyond language and we need things like sounds and tempos to access them. I feel like our message, though nonverbal, can be felt so strongly when we all feel like we’re doing the same thing at the same time.
N: I just want to feel like an animal. I want to leave my body.
G&B: Why are you called The Long Con?
N: I was talking to Gabe while we were brainstorming about the band, and I said something not related to the band, and I was like, “Oh, yeah dude, that’s the long con” cause that was just, like, something I was saying for a while-
G: And I looked at her and I was like, (gasps), “That’s it.”
G&B: Do you have any favorite or standout moments with the band so far?
N: Actually, yeah, our first show was just the craziest thing. The entire thing was just out. of. this. world. The crowd was so hype and the room was full and everybody was losing their (censored), and it was just like, ‘Oh, we can actually do this.'
G&B: What can we expect or hope from The Long Con in the future?
G: Well, we have an EP in the works and we will be releasing it very very soon and by that I mean probably a month.
N: And we’re going to write more songs after that because we want to expound our sound, if you, could, um, direct quote that please.
G: Yeah 'cause right now we only have five songs and a cover.
G: I mean, nevermind, I didn’t say anything.
Find The Long Con on South Carolina stages in the coming months to trance out for yourself, or catch their EP coming out this fall.