Conversation with Satellite Train about “Wings”

Heat Waves - Wings

Conversation with Satellite Train about “Wings”

Can you introduce us to the members of Satellite Train and share a bit about each member’s role in the band?

Our frontman is Michael Paynter, you might know him from Icehouse. He is a super talented and humble guy. Susan Turner joins in on vocals too, she’s a very creative independent Melbourne artist. On guitars we have Shane O’Mara and Randy Jacobs, they’ve performed and written songs with Paul Kelly. Shane’s won a few Australian ARIA Awards and used to be in Rebecca’s Empire. Randy just had a number one album on a couple of blues charts with his band The Boneshakers last year. John McCall on piano is a genius player, he is a veteran of The Black Sorrows. On keyboards we have Jamie Muhoberac, who’s a member of John Mayer’s band. John (Watto) Watson plays drums, he’s also with James Reyne’s band. And on bass, we have Pasquale Monea who is a very melodic bass player and comes out of the Melbourne underground music scene.

How did Satellite Train initially form, and what inspired the band’s name?

Satellite Train actually started as this fun experiment between musician friends in Melbourne Australia. It was a side project, a space where we could just play freely and experiment without any pressure. We didn’t intend to release anything at first, but at one point the music just started coming together nicely, so after a while, we decided to put some of it out there.

As far as the band name, we have an upcoming song with an outer space theme. It was inspired by Elon Musk’s SpaceX program and satellites, sometimes referred to as Satellite Trains.

Could you provide some insight into the musical influences that shape the sound of Satellite Train?

The sound of Satellite Train is a fusion of each band member’s individual influences. We don’t have a predefined direction. Musicians contribute freely, and because our musical backgrounds are diverse, the album has shades of rock, pop, indie, jazz, classical, blues, gospel and more.

What sets Satellite Train apart from other bands in the music scene?

We think that band is sort of unique. There is nothing at stake since it’s a fun side project for the band members, there is no pressure to succeed or any real game plan. It’s just musicians experimenting and jamming. So a Satellite Train song can go in any direction and style. In that sense it may set us apart a little.

Could you walk us through the creative process behind your latest album “The Melbourne Sessions”?

The lyrics and melodies were written quickly. We didn’t rehearse the songs, and what you hear is basically the first or second time we played the songs. We wanted it to sound raw and live. We had no idea what it would sound like going in, but luckily, it worked out!

“Wings” is a standout track on your album – what was the inspiration behind it?

The album revolves around the theme of freedom and pursuing your desired path in life. This particular song focuses on that theme. But it also explores the struggle of wanting to control or protect someone you love, while allowing them to follow their own path, even if it means they might face real challenges. It’s probably a standout because Michael Paynter’s vocals on “Wings” is one of those rare vocal performances.

What was the creative process like when writing and recording “Wings”?

It was written on the piano, and the final result didn’t deviate from what was originally composed. In terms of the recording sessions, it was the fourth song recorded. We recorded six songs on the first day and four on the second day.

How do you think “Wings” resonates with your fanbase, and what has the reception been like so far?

So far, the reception has been really positive. I believe that people who hear “Wings” either connect with the lyrics and the music, or with Michael’s vocal performance. We receive a lot of messages and emails about that particular song.

What are some of the challenges Satellite Train faces as a band in today’s music industry, and how do you overcome them?

Thankfully, Satellite Train is a side project for all involved, so there isn’t any real pressure to succeed. I’m not sure if we can overcome the challenges that bands face in today’s music industry. We haven’t pursued a trendy sound or musical style, nor do we have management, a label, or any type of backing. We are trying to let it all happen organically, and I think the best we can do is be satisfied that we have actually released the material. Hopefully, over time, it will be in a way that is unique and enjoyable for fans. Along the way, we experience these small victories, such as “Superstar” reaching #25 on the International Independent Charts, and currently, “Wings” is #17 on The European Independent Charts. There are really small cracks in the wall that we have managed to break through, and we can find happiness in these little achievements along the way.

Can you share any memorable fan interactions or experiences related to “Wings” or other songs from your catalog?

Sometimes, we receive emails or messages through social media from a fan who was deeply touched by a song. For different people, it’s different songs, not necessarily the ones you would expect. A recent one was about the song “Last Kiss” that seemed to deeply affect a fan. Perhaps the lyrics resonated with something that has been going on in their life. These are the little moments that make Satellite Train worthwhile and give the band purpose.

What’s next for Satellite Train after the release of “The Melbourne Sessions”?

Beyond the debut album, we are also creating a video collection that provides fans with a visual representation of the lyrics. We’ve made two of these videos so far. Additionally, we are working on something unique surrounding “The Melbourne Sessions” debut album. The band has always been experimental, so part of our process involves trying things that are a little different and challenging for us. We’ll see if we can pull it off. We’ve also been working on new material and a couple of experimental tracks. One of the experimental tracks is a cover song that none of the musicians had any clue it was a cover so they played it like it was an original. It came out great so we’re excited to release that as a side track later this year.

Check it out and follow Satellite Train on social media to be updated with the new releases. Facebook – Instagram – TikTok – Spotify – YouTube.

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