Monday, February 5, 2007

Interviews:: Ryan Carroll from Saturna

Saturna made a nice little splash with their 6 -song All Night EP and are finishing up with their debut LP. Ryan Carroll took a little break to answer a few questions we had:

HH:: Obviously, you guys are an outfit that wears your influences on your sleeve. Do you find it frustrating to always be lumped into a specific sound, or is the comparisons to critically acclaimed bands something you guys like to hear?
RC:: You know, I think its kind of funny that people do that, because I think our sound is actually quite varied. But I guess as humans we love to categorize everything and this way people have a point of reference for understanding our music. We're often compared to shoegazer bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride or The Jesus and Mary Chain, but last week we got a review that compared us to Foreigner, Joy Division and Pink Floyd, so I think it just depends on your personal perspective.
We definitely have elements of all the music that we are compared to, so I'm not saying their wrong, but we are definitely more than just a shoegazer band. We just love complex sounds, layers, harmonies and a fuzzy warm guitars. And honestly I've actually been blown away by some of the comparisons that have been made to us. We are definitely honored to be included in such amazing company.

HH:: Your shoegaze influenced, big guitar style is a stark contrast to a lot of the alt-country acts that Portland and Seattle are famous for. Have you guys had trouble finding a scene to fit in to? I know when I interviewed the Silversun Pickups they were expecting to get no response in Portland when they first showed up, but they said it was one of the most receptive places for their early shows.
RC:: There's actually a pretty big underground scene for the type of music that we play in both Portland and Seattle. Bands like The Prids, and The Upsidedown from Portland and Hypatia Lake and Voyager One in Seattle, plus many more. We have a lot of fun playing in both cities, especially after hours parties. There's a pretty good house party scene in Portland too, stuff that doesn't get advertised in the media, but more of a real organic community that just keeps us surrounded by good music. It's really inspiring to be in the middle of it all. We're playing with The Moog (from Hungary) in Seattle on March 3rd. That should be a pretty fun show.

HH:: You have been working with some big name producers to get your full length ready. How did the process go? Was it hard to give up control and make that jump to having someone else influence your music and how are you liking the results?
RC:: It was actually one of the easiest things we've done. We had completely immersed ourselves in the recording process and it felt so good to give it away to people that we knew would take it to the next level. If we hadn't had that level of trust, I'm sure it would have been terrifying, but being that they'd recorded so much music that we love, we knew we couldn't go wrong. Also we'd worked with Brin Addison before when Steve and I were playing in Veer. We knew that he understood where we were coming from and Tony Lash recorded stuff like Elliot Smith, The Dandy Warhols and Stars of Track and Field, so it was really a no brainer for us. In fact we were really excited to be working with those guys and the final product is turning out amazing. I can't wait for the record to come out and for us to be able to play it out on the road.

HH:: Dream show - who would you guys love to share the stage with?
RC:: Hmmmmm. That's a tough one. If this was a complete fantasy show, then I'd have to say The Velvet Undergound, The Byrds, The Stone Roses, and Bauhaus. If you're talking bands that we could actually play shows with then some of my favorites would have to be Autolux, Darker My Love, Mew, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

HH:: You've really embraced the music blog community and as a result, had some favorable exposure from sites like ours. While blog love is great, it's a limited market. Do you guys look a making a jump to a bigger audience, or are you happy with the scene you are in?
RC:: We have some pretty high aspirations. We'll be doing some touring following the release of our record and can't wait to get our music out there to a wider audience. We're definitely planning on going to Europe in the fall as well. We love traveling and figure if we can combine traveling and music, then we'll pretty much be in heaven. We reallly appreciate the support that the blog community has given us. We got a really good response from our EP and honestly, while it may be a small scene in certain aspects, its really brought an international audience to us that we just couldn't have gotten a few years ago.

Posted at 8:45 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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