Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baker's Dozen: Interview with Lifeless Satellites

(image by Katie Mae Dickinson)

Jesse Alexander Green, half of Minneapolis indie duo Lifeless Satellites, suggests that "sometimes you need to drift into someone else's imagination to get perspective on things in your own life." This is exactly what Lifeless Satellites does for me. Because of the perspective provided by their song "Memory" I made it a part of our 2 All Hexane Patties Mix. Recently I had the chance to interview, via email, Jesse and Jeremy the masterminds behind Lifeless Satellites. This is the twelfth installment of our Baker's Dozen Interview Series.

T
B: Let's start by introducing the band. Who is Lifeless Satellites?
Jeremy: 24, presumably the son of a failed musician.
Jesse: 24, full of contradictions.
TB: I've seen it written a few places where the band is described as "the end result of ten years of finding a voice and eighteen months of refining it." Care to elaborate?
Jeremy: When we began writing together we knew what we weren't, but not much else. About 18 months ago a series of events led me to have to stop trying to be something I'm not and just be myself. That's when this began.
TB: I am intrigued by the description (on the Lifeless Satellites website) that says Lifeless Satellites picks up "where Ian Curtis, Clint Mansell and A Perfect Circle left off." How do you do this?
Jeremy: To say we sound like them would be misleading, but emotionally, thematically, we're dealing with similar issues.
TB: Tell us about your debut album, Internal Recurrence.
Jeremy: Everybody at one point or another finds themselves making the same mistakes again and again. The same relationships, the same behavior...but in every situation you have a choice, and that's not always obvious. Our songs don't tell you how to feel or think, they're ambivalent, but they have helped us and hopefully the can help others as well.
TB: Internal Recurrence lyrically revolves around the themes of loss and acceptance. Were there specific life events that inspired these lyrics or do they speak in more general terms?
Jesse: It changes from song to song, sometimes line to line. There are a lot of things that happen to us that we don't understand, we try to understand those situations with certain philosophies and art forms, our own or others, the lyrics are certainly a reflection of that.
TB: Lifeless Satellites is currently unsigned, are you shopping for a label or are you content doing things yourself?
Jeremy: Never say never...
TB: In our first correspondence you mentioned that Survivor (by Chuck Palahniuk) is one of your favorite books. I see that your influences include other notable authors such as Alan Watts, Nietzsche, and Charles Manson. Are you an avid reader? How do books influence your music (if at all)?
Jesse: Read, read, read. Read and write. Listen and make sounds. That's usually how we find what we are looking for. Sometimes you need to drift into someone else's imagination to get perspective on things in your own life. Books influence us in that way.
TB: You've got a couple shows coming up this summer in the Twin Cities (June 18th at Corner Coffee in Minneapolis, July 2nd at Eclipse Records in St. Paul and July 7 at The Terminal Bar in Minneapolis). What are your live shows like? Will you be adding more dates?
Jeremy: It continues to evolve, but our goal is always to remain true to the songs and true to ourselves without our egos getting in the way. There's fewer distractions at a live show, so it may even be more fitting for our music. A tour would be great, but we're still testing the waters before we dive in.
TB: What is the Minneapolis-St. Paul music scene like? Any bands we should be made aware of?
Jeremy: There's a lot of diversity. We're fortunate enough to have stations like The Current and Radio K where you can actually still discover new and interesting music. Some favorites at the moment are Minor Kingdom, Communist Daughter, To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie and Kiersten Holine.

TB: One of the highlights of my visit to Minneapolis was the chance to eat and see a show at the Triple Rock Social Club. Have you ever had the chance to dine there? Knowing that you are a fellow vegetarian, what restaurants would you recommend for an out-of-towner?
Jeremy: That's one of the best, probably second only to Hell's Kitchen.
TB: What's in store for Lifeless Satellites for the rest of the year?
Jeremy: We're always writing, but right now we're mostly focused on being the live band we wish existed. Hopefully others will feel the same.
TB: Does Lifeless Satellites get a chance to do much cooking? Any recipes you'd care to share?
Jeremy: Find the foods you like and be creative.
TB: Any parting shots?
Jeremy: Donate everything you don't need. Nobody remembers being alone, they remember their relationships. Soon, all you'll have left are your memories.
Here is another track from Lifeless Satellite's album Internal Recurrence:

Lifeless Satellites-Left

You can also get "Torrent" from the bands bandcamp page.