Carly Cosgrove on the merits of Nostalgia Culture

Our managing editor Maddie Walters speaks with Carly Cosgrove after their performance at the historic Cain’s Ballroom.

Carly Cosgrove helped pack in a large crowd at Cain’s Ballroom earlier this year, opening a show for both Hot Mulligan and the Wonder Years on their Hum Goes on Forever tour.

The band made a wave during their Cain’s show with their drum head which read, “Fuck Dan Schneider,” referencing the disgraced Nikelodeon creator who has been accused of sexual harassment toward the child stars of his television shows. Barsz describes Schneider as a “horrible human who has done horrible things,” and says that none of his TV shows are worth the pain he put some of the members of the cast through.

The group fuses nostalgia and punk with all their “iCarly” and “Drake and Josh” themed songs, which goes hand-in-hand with their name — Carly as in iCarly and Cosgrove as in Miranda Cosgrove. When asked about the band’s unique name choice, singer Helen Barsz says, “I think Miranda Cosgrove and her Nickelodeon shows serve as a symbol of our generation. Us in Carly Cosgrove fall into the older Gen Z group. Our whole generation can relate to watching Miranda Cosgrove grow up in front of us on our TV screens,” she says. “Every age group has their celebrities, music, and media that defines them. That era of Nickelodeon shows is unique to Gen Z and our childhoods.”

Carly Cosgrove are the latest of bands to take on the genre of nostalgia-core, or an appreciation of the aesthetical values prevalent during the early 2000’s. Barsz describes it best with, “Nostalgia culture means reflecting on your youth and acknowledging what made you the adult you are today. As well as being able to enjoy the same things you did as a kid but in a different way now that you’re more mature.”

She thinks it’s amazing that people are gaining the confidence to openly like things that they may have once been embarrassed to like. “A lot of people discuss being able to fully embrace quirky interests that they used [to shy away] from due to embarrassment now that they’re older, [s]uch as enjoying cheesy music or nerdy hobbies.” That being said, she has no sympathy for corporations trying to profit off this culture, describing it as “shallow.”

As for musicians (made popular more often than not from the early 2000’s) who make disparaging remarks toward the genre, Barsz expresses both understanding and critique. She says, “I totally understand how people think that if they don’t support things related to nostalgia, it means art is moving forward. However, I think you need to acknowledge the past to move towards the future. There’s no point in denying nostalgia’s merits and influences.” She also says that hating something just for the sake of hating something is silly.

As for the band’s show in Oklahoma, the band said they were pleasantly surprised at how the crowd took to them. They also wanted to give a shout out to the sound technician, saying, “[the show] actually had the best sound we’ve had maybe in our entire career! Big shoutout to the sound guy from Cain’s Ballroom!” The band’s favorite part of being in Tulsa was getting the chance to try some local BBQ. Barsz confidently says that the BBQ the band had in Tulsa is the best BBQ they’ve ever had. Here’s to hoping the band makes a quick return to Tulsa.

The band’s music can be streamed on their bandcamp.

Post Author: Madison Walters