“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet”. Stephen Hawking
Science is not generally associated with inspiring rock n’ roll music. In the case of Australian rock duo Satellite Sky, it was the catalyst that helped them into being. “I always looked at Science and Art as two separate entities, completely opposite parts of my life, like using the left and right sides of your brain independently”, says singer/guitarist Pete Kicks.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when Pete and his sister Kim had to deal with the unexpected departure of a band member and in turn, the combustion of a band they had put so much time and energy into, that the idea of a new project dawned. “We had spent a few years building and realizing our vision, left friends and family in Melbourne and moved to Los Angeles. When that fell apart, instead of giving up, we just worked harder ” says drummer Kim Kicks.
It was at this moment that everything came sharply back into focus. Providing inspiration for moving forward rather then dwelling on what might have been, the siblings began writing new material. Adds Pete “Ever since completing my Science Honours Degree back in Australia, I had always maintained an interest in science. However, it was not something that seemed relevant to the music we were attempting to create until this point. The beautiful thing about delving into topics such as Astrophysics and Astronomy is that they really allow you to gain perspective on where you sit in the universe. Naming the band Satellite Sky just seemed to fit perfectly”.
With several national U.S tours under their belt, along with two EP’s, a number of successful singles that have been placed in film, television and commercials and spun by music taste makers such as Henry Rollins, (KCRW) and Rodney Bingenheimer (KROQ), it is their latest record ‘Magnetize’, that Kim believes is most indicative of what Satellite Sky has become. “We set out to make a record which reflects that the dynamic of the band is based on the two of us. Naturally all the songs have a particular flavor that comes out from our playing and the way we perform. With the starting point being guitar and drums, coupled with the ability to introduce new instruments and sounds to the process, I think we’ve stayed true to our vision and achieved our intentions”.
Satellite Sky’s live shows are always a high-energy rock n’ roll affair and this is most evident in the uncompromising, explosive guitar riff driven single “Next Time”. With Kim’s driving floor toms leading the way and Pete’s defiant vocals up front and center, the foot stomping catchiness of this tune is undeniable.
Countering the raucousness of “Next Time” is the emotive slow burner song “Rivals”. Opening with a glimmering guitar arpeggio, solo repetitious kick drum, and an honest, vulnerable vocal, it’s new territory for Satellite Sky and shows a willingness to reach beyond the comfort zone. Pete elaborates, “While the foundation of our music is always rock n roll, we wanted to offer up a glimpse of other sides of our personalities. This challenged us to think outside of the traditional avenues of our songwriting and find approaches to our music that we haven’t previously explored”.
Along the way, comparisons emerged between T.Rex, Bowie and Depeche Mode. Coupled with influences of 60’s and 70’s British rock, Magnetize delivers a unique blend of everything that makes these eras monumental in their effect on shaping the musical landscape while maintaining an ultra modern edge.
One theory that Satellite Sky has definitely proven is that it is always better to look up at the stars then down at your feet!