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Friday, October 02, 2009


Hometown: Seattle

Monday night we celebrate our second RUMBLE: SEATTLE party at The Crocodile. With the help of our Seattle based partners, we've curated a FREE party on Monday night that is going to keep everyone dancing from start to finish. WILD ORCHID CHILDREN headline, with FITZ & THE TANTRUMS and special guest DJ's Valentine and Carly of UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA.

Kicking off the night is a band I've been hearing about from friends in Seattle that really know music, and I've been hearing about this almost Stax-like soul band called THE SATELLITE 4. I had the opportunity to talk with the band and put together a quick interview, here goes, your introduction to an incredible live act....

FS: Southerners in Seattle?? How does that work out? For someone new to the Satellite 4, can you give us a brief history and how you all ended up in Seattle?

S4: We love Southern music and culture, and the band is obviously modeled on the MGs and the Meters.
I'm actually from LA, but went to Bellingham High and have had some great years in this area. I worked in Nashville 4 years and NY for 1 year. Jeff Conlin (keys) is from the DC area, David Hudson (drums) is from Vegas. Eric Daw (guitar) is from Idaho.

FS: I noticed on your Myspace profile that you make a point of clarifying that this is not a neo-soul unit, but an old school, Stax/Motown throwdown, leaning towards the instrumental gods that are Booker T. & The MG’s.

S4: We really love how the old records have so much charisma and character, a heavy mood and a strong beat.

FS: When push comes to shove, are you a Motown fan or a Stax fan?

S4: All four of us would say Stax/Hi, but all four of us love Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Jacksons, Jr.Walker or the New Orleans stuff too.

FS: Your set looks to mix a fair amount of covers with some originals. Who picks the covers? Do you collect vinyl? Can you list three artists from the past that influence the Satellite 4 sound the most?

S4: We are all record nuts and collectors of instruments etc.
The difference with us is that we play them instead of seal them away in a vault.
We all write and contribute stuff constantly at rehearsals, our newer set is mostly originals, but we cut our teeth on Booker T numbers.

FS: I didn’t realize that the Johnny Horn that I’ve been emailing with is the host of KEXP’s Preachin’ The Blues. Damn man, you’re a guy that loves and knows his music. Have you always been in radio? For those that don’t live in Seattle or are too lazy to stream the station online, can you briefly describe a typical playlist on your show?

S4: Vandy has told me good things about you too-
I have been doing music in many capacities for years, morphing as DJ, musician, producer and engineer to make a living from an ugly business- I have sat behind a desk with a necktie, and I've worked for the Forest Service, but I keep coming back to money-making musical projects. My claim to fame is having a cut in The Sopranos.

FS: Is Charles Van Zandt a permanent member of the S4 or is this just collaboration a la Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings?

S4: Charles lives down in Tyler, Texas and did a bunch of recording and gigging with us. His nephew, Tobias Flowers, is a close friend of mine and we wrote some stuff for him and backed him live with the Satellite 4.

FS: Are The Satellite 4 a hobby/passion or are there plans to stretch your legs and hit the road on a tour? Any albums in the works and if so, how does a soul band like yours approach the new world order of releasing records in a digital world?

S4: We've all gigged a lot with any number of different lineups over time. Our booking is getting stronger and we will do all those familiar places this fall and winter. Selling music works best AT THE GIG, and we have the obvious cds and shirts. We are about to do some 45s for the heads out there.

FS: Going back to a bunch of southerners living in the Pacific Northwest, are you able to find food that smacks of home? Where can I go for a great southern dinner in Seattle?

S4: Southern Kitchen in Tacoma is very good, and there are some good BBQ spots out on the south end of Seattle by me like Roy's. The Mexican trucks along Rainier are mostly great too.

FS: Thank you for your time and for playing The Rumble: Seattle!

The Satellite 4 open up the FREE Rumble: Seattle party at The Crocodile on October 5th.

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