Sunday, January 26, 2014

10 Questions with Saturn

Formed in 2003 in Moore, OK, Saturn recently released their sophomore full-length album A Long Discussion (available on iTunes and the band’s webstore).     

This interview was conducted via email January 7 – 20, 2014.

For more information on Saturn check out their official website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.  

Dave:  How did the band get together?

Brady Fieldcamp:  Well, I had been in and out of bands for a long time through high school and after, and eventually Brett started joining those bands, which gave us a chance to see how we could write and play together.

Brett Fieldcamp:  Once the last of our other bands fell through, Brady and I decided to just start something up ourselves, so I called Jesse, who I’d played with for a long time in my first band, and he was up for it, so we all got together and gave it a shot. I specifically remember Jesse on the phone saying “that sounds like a good opportunity.”

Jesse York:  I always kinda knew that I’d end up playing with Brett again, even after our first band broke up, and even back then, I was so impressed with Brady’s playing and had always joked that we needed him as our drummer.

Brett:  It wasn’t until much later on, after our first album was released, that we reconnected with Maurice Perez, who we’d known from high school, and when we brought him in to collaborate, we were finally able to start approaching a lot of the live visual and artistic ideas we’d had.

Dave:  What’s the story behind the name Saturn?

Brett:  There’s a lot of really personal relevance and reasoning behind why we chose the name Saturn, but without going too deeply into all of that, we’ll say that it comes from a place of recognizing that the name Saturn has had this pretty huge significance in loads of ways across so many different cultures and eras and philosophies. Obviously the Roman mythology, where Saturn was the father of the Gods, has a lot to do with it, but also the planet, of course, and its symbolism in both science and occultism. It’s all combined, really, and is wrapped up with a bunch of personal significance, too. We’re actually still always finding and realizing new ways the name applies. We usually just tell people we’re named after the car company or the old professional wrestler, though.

Dave:  For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

Jesse:  Uhhh…

Brady:  I usually tell people that we just want to be Pink Floyd.

Brett:  That’s a hard one. The Floyd comparison is pretty apt, I think, but more from a lot of their earlier stuff, when they were still playing around with lots of folk influence and trying out different sounds and structures and improvising more. We have a lot of guitar, like most rock, and lots of organic, folky-type structures and sounds, but also lots of instrumentals and improvisation from a big jazz influence, and even a bit of metal on occasion. Most people we know call us Art Rock, which I think is a pretty good catch-all for what we do, especially given our live show and the fact that one of us is a painter and artist.

Dave:  You have a new album coming out entitled A Long Discussion.  What’s the story behind the record? 

Brady:  We began it as an EP. It was only supposed to be five songs. After we realized it was going to be almost as long as a full-length album, we decided to just fill it out. We started building coherence for it with new songs and older stuff, and created more of an album format. The overall theme and idea presented itself. Like any art, really, it’s very personal, but it ended up becoming an even bigger part of our lives than we could’ve expected.

Jesse:  God, it took forever.

Brady:  Yeah, it took us five years, and even though it was stressful it was kind of nice to let the album have time to breathe. We weren’t trying to get it out quickly so we could reflect and mold it into the best version of it.

Brett:  The title actually came up really naturally and early on, but ended up being pretty appropriate with how long it all took.

Dave:  Do you have any plans to tour in support of the record? 

Brett:  Definitely. Right now we’re looking at identifying some cities around the country that would be really receptive to what we do, and then we plan to make the rounds through those places and try to establish ourselves in their scenes. Most of what we’re looking at is actually along the east coast. We’re also looking into booking some stuff around the Norman Music Festival and hopefully South By Southwest, as well.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

Brady:  We have so many, honestly. We usually just get an idea, either from something one of us has worked out or just from jamming together at practice, and then we just try stuff and see where it goes. Sometimes one of us will bring in a song fully-formed and other times we’ll seriously just record a long improvisation and call it finished if it sounds good to us. We like to just try every different way we can think of to write, and the songs on this album really reflect the products of all the different approaches we’ve taken.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

Brett:  There’s so much going on here musically right now, and so much that I think a lot of people don’t know about. Obviously, as far as rock stuff goes, I think the biggest perspective people have of Oklahoman music is the Flaming Lips, and then there’s a pretty wide scene kind of spawned from that style of crazy, noisy psychadelia and garage-rock freak-out stuff, and it’s all awesome and pretty insane. There’s a lot of smaller stuff happening, though, and it’s so cool to see it all combining and feeding off of collaboration. You’ve got Kyle Reid and his band playing this great, old-school jazz stuff, and then he and members of his band are also playing with Magnificent Bird, who are doing some dark, atmospheric post-rock. That kind of cross-style collaboration is happening all over the place and it’s so cool to see the results. I always think those little anomalies and unexpected acts in places are more interesting than the bigger scenes that are happening.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

Saturn:  We thought it might be cool to try something a bit different with this one. We all got together and decided on five bands that are the most influential and important to us as a whole, but then we divided the four remaining categories among the four of us. Thought it might give an interesting perspective into our different tastes.--

(These are all in no particular order)

Top 5 Bands:
Pink Floyd
The Cure
Iron and Wine
Josh Ritter

Jesse’s Top 5 Movies
The Life Aquatic
The Prestige
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Shutter Island

Brady’s Top 5 TV Shows
South Park
The Simpsons (Specifically the first 10 seasons)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Brett’s Top 5 Authors
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Alan Moore
Chuck Palahniuk
Neil Gaiman
William Shakespeare

Maurice’s Top 5 Albums
Amnesiac – Radiohead
F#A# (Infinity) – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Mines – Menomena
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – The Smashing Pumpkins
Spirit of Eden – Talk Talk

Dave:  What’s next for the band? 

Brett:  Just making an effort to really push this album and get on the road, mainly.

Brady:  Yeah, I honestly don’t know what’s next, but I’m really excited to find out.

Dave:  Any final thoughts? 

Brett:  We’ve been in this band, and been living as Saturn, for ten years now. That’s a hell of a long time for a group of guys that got together in school to just have some fun and make some weird music, and we’re really happy with the way things have turned out so far, even if it’s taken a long time to get our feet on the ground. I think we’re all just excited to pick up the pace and see where we end up in another ten years…

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