Satellite - 03.02.11
The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:
1. How did you get your band name?
Steven: Honestly, I liked the word and what it meant to me. It implies distance and impartiality to what is being observed. I feel like a satellite some times. Plus, the guys seemed to like it more than our other ideas.
2. How did this band get started?
Steven: Mitch and I both write professionally and had worked around each other for a while. He asked me to play some of my songs at a songwriters night in LA, and I decided to do some stuff I wasn't going to turn in to my publisher. There was a silence in the room when I was done, and I kind of knew something special had happened. I'd played a few more with the same result, and I think Mitch saw an opportunity for something he'd been missing in his life. He wanted to do something he was passionate about. At least that's how he put it when he asked me if I wanted to make a band with him. From there we picked Josh Dunahoo, a long time friend of mine, for guitar. He and I think and talk in a similar language with music. It was an easy call from where I sat. Glasco and I had done some touring together and I had been so genuinely impressed with his dynamics. He's a sensitive drummer who can also play rock; not something all that common. When we needed a drummer to play the sessions, he was first on our list. Once we saw what he brought to the music, we knew we wanted to invite him into the band. Again, it was an easy call. Anyone who knows of him is rolling their eyes right now and calling me names. There are a lot of guys who want him in their bands.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Steven: I think there's a lot of modern British influence in our sound. However, for what it's worth, today I've listened to Arcade Fire, Ryan Adams, Kanye West, Kings of Leon and Bon Iver. So I'm not sure where that comes from since none of them are British. I came up on Radiohead and Coldplay, and I hear them in some of the melodies. Growing up, I didn't know what was popular or what came before it. Something about them just felt like they were mine. Lyrically, as a writer, I feel the need to be as simply stated and honest as Dylan. I think he defined the subconscious meanings a sentence can take on without encrypting it to the point no one understands it. Tom Waits and Springsteen both influence my approach to performing. I'm guessing they probably need to be mentioned here too.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Steven: Dylan once he started touring with the band. I liked that everyone was so mad at him for adding the instruments, but he went ahead and did it anyway. Insulation from the audience's expectations seems like a tough thing to accomplish. I respect that. Also, Arcade Fire. They are something special and evidence of a defining sound for a modern generation. I want SATELLITE to take part in the same movement. Grizzly Bear would be amazing too.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Josh: Late night Waffle House
Steven: The thing on Glasco's plate he wants the most.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Steven: They can listen if they want to. I don't know if that's a fair question. I guess if they connect with the feeling the songs convey, then by all means listen. You gotta hold tightly to that which frees you up inside.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Josh: Adam Vinatieri, kickers get all of the glory.
10. Memorable tour experience?
Steven: The first show we played was at a club we'd never been to in Manhattan Beach. I literally couldn't hear my own voice throughout the entire first half of the show and with my bravest face, I sang so unbearably off-pitch that I was getting "hey-you-gave-it-a-good-shot"-faces from all my friends in the crowd.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
Steven: AP.net represents a massive community of the most diehard music fans out there. While just about everybody on AP.net has different tastes in music, they all feel the same passion for the music they love. It's incredible.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
Steven: Whatever the new one is.
Josh: "Turning on my Own"
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Steven: That's tough to say. I'd like to be flyfishing in Arkansas, but I'd also like to be in NY. I tend to like not having to be anywhere on vacation. I'm not the type to cram a lot of events into my downtime.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Steven: James Taylor, and Jim Croce. My dad always had one of the two going when I was a young kid. I wish there'd been more Petty, but my dad caught on to Sting and Pink Floyd right about the time I was 13. We both felt late to the party, but loved dissecting it together driving out to the studio (he ran a small studio in AR). George Strait reminds me of riding with mom before I could drive, and once I was mobile Soundgarden, Rage, Ill Communication (Beastie Boys) and Biggie were in heavy rotation.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Steven: Hands down, the best super power for me would be to always have ice for drinks. Not bags of it, but a mysteriously hidden container of it. People would come depend on me for it.
16. Any pre-show superstitions?
Steven: Not really. I'm just happy if I'm there on time, and all my gear made it. I think Mitch and Josh are going to eventually fire me.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Steven: I have a huge tattoo on my back. It's a tree.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Steven: I try to stay away from assuming the answer is yes, but I think there's a place for us at radio - mainly because I know SATELLITE comes from an honest place. I think radio is dealing with short attention spans, and the rise of dance music in the States. Meanwhile, Mumford, Arcade Fire, and Florence are out there because there's a vacuum to fill in popular music. People are drawn to the emotion of it all.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Steven: I like watching movies more than I probably should admit. I'm becoming a self-taught movie snob.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Steven: I'm an oddly good juggler. True story.
They are playing two dates at SXSW: