Thursday, September 29, 2011
Satellites of Love: Interview!
Satellites of Love has fast become one of London's most loved new Punk bands and are poised to release their first 7". Ralph from the group answered a few questions for Gilded Gutter so we can find out a little bit more about them. They'll have copies of their new single at Power Lunches on October 7th.
As there isn't much to read about the band may be we can start at the very beginning? How did you guys form Satellites of Love?
Nothing too interesting really. I moved to London in February 2010 with the intention of forming a hardcore band that mixed up different elements of the styles I’m into. I asked Tom and Jop if they wanted to try it as we had played in a band together for 4 years a few years ago. I was sort of forcing Jop to play a style that isn’t really his own so he decided he didn’t want to do it. That band became NO, and me, Tom and Jop carried on and wrote the first few SoL songs. After we had written the first half a dozen songs we asked Noel to come and sing as I was a big fan of him in Facel Vega, and thought he would be someone who would bring some interesting ideas to the band.
Have any of you been in or are currently in any other groups?
Me and Tom play in NO. Tom and Jop play in Warm Ways. Tom plays in Domestic Blitz. Noel plays in Advert, Prize Scenes, Facel Vega and possibly Flats as a hired gun. We have all been in a bunch of bands, some good some bad.
For a lot of people reading this it will be their first time hearing about Satellites of Love, is there anything you're trying to 'do' with your songs?
Not really. Although we obviously have musical influences, a lot of them are ones we don’t all share. We don’t sound much like a lot of the bands that I feel influence the stuff I bring to the band, but a lot of that is to do with the style of vocals and drumming and the fact that we play at high volume. I’m really not fussed about trying really hard to do bands that overtly sound like the music I listen to, but it does sometimes leave you with that weird feeling where you listen to it on record and think ‘would I like this if I wasn’t involved in it?’. I’m more comfortable producing music that is an expression of non-musical ideas, although I’m not trying to sidestep the fact that we obviously take things from other bands.
Do any of you make work outside of music?
I don't. Tom’s whole life is as challenging to mainstream society as any artwork another human could potentially produce and I don’t want to compete with that.
Your songs seem heavily set in punk, do you have any influences outside of this genre?
Or may be I've got this wrong entirely - in which case put me right!
I think we are all into a lot of different stuff so I can only speak for myself, although we have all spent a lot of time playing in DIY punk and hardcore bands and I see this a continuation of that. My main areas of musical interest are mostly punk/hardcore and things derived from that, especially a lot of postpunk stuff. Outside of that I’m really into early blues music and some more abstract styles, although I wouldn’t claim that that influences us directly.
Do you prefer playing or recording?
Playing, but recording can be fun as long as it sounds good, everyone is getting along and you have good snacks on longer sessions.
Do you have anything coming out that we can pick up?
We have a 7” that Andrew who does Club Milk is helping us put out. That should be out within the next few weeks. At the same time we have a tape coming out. Between the two there are 11 songs; some new versions of ones on the demo, and some new. We still have some copies of the 7-track demo we put out at the start of the year.
What do think the shape of London's music 'scene' is at the moment?
I don’t know about things being a scene in terms of any common musical threads or ethics, but I think there is some good stuff about. My favourite current London bands are Plug, The Lowest Form, Wake Up Dead and Woolf. Having said that I don’t get out much, so I am sure I am missing out on some really good things.
What's been the most fun you've had playing a show so far?
I really enjoy playing, but I wouldn’t really say I have fun when we play. Outside of actually playing, I generally enjoy shows where we play with friends' bands. Not to sound like a total dick, but I feel there are quite a few bands around that I would probably be able to get into more if they were less fun. I’m not really into the trend there seems to be at the moment for mixing more abrasive styles of playing with ‘fun’ elements. I always get a sinking feeling when you are watching a band that has harsh vocals and guitars and then they chuck something in like a jaunty samba rhythm in the drums. People in London seem to love that stuff, which is weird because at least once a day London makes me want to ram a screwdriver through my neck.
Same questions but as a member of the audience?
The two times I have seen Endless Grinning Skulls so far have been amazing. I’ve enjoyed watching Mob Rules a lot recently, and Corey Orbison were pretty special when they played in London the other night. I’m really looking forward to seeing Bill Orcutt next month.
Are there any bands you'd like to rave about here?
In the UK I think Endless Grinning Skulls from Nottingham are great, definitely the best live hardcore band I have seen in years. It’s a shame, but the majority of music I get excited about isn’t contemporary. I’ve been getting really into Spike In Vain, Crime and the City Solution and Live Skull recently, but that is all old stuff.The Abner Jay 10" that came out last year was probably my favourite record of 2010, although again it's old music.
What's the future of Satellites of Love?
We're going to play a run of shows with Woolf at the end of the month, put out that 7” and tape, but nothing else planned after that. We try and practice every week so we will just knuckle down and write a bunch of new songs. Hopefully we will get asked to play a bit more often if people get the 7” and like it, and I think the idea would be to record again before the end of the year.
'I'm full of dust and guitars' - Syd Barrett, if you were cracked open what would be inside?
Thanks for taking an interest.
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