By Kieran Webber
Over the past ten years these four Finnish lads have carved themselves an incredible career with their cascading indie-pop, now after 10 years they have decided that it is to come to an end. On the 14th September they will release their fifth and final album ‘Cut Out The Lights’, a collection of tracks that is sure to be draped in infectious indie-pop sounds. In addition to this farewell album the band will be touring the Europe extensively with a London show on the 15th October at the Lexington.
After hearing this news we were eager to have a chat with them about their decision to call it a day and the influence behind their last album. We also found out about a particularly bad gig in London during their early days.
CLUNK: Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, how have you been and what have you been up to?
SS: Hello Clunk Magazine! We’ve been good, lot’s of preparing for the upcoming tour and new songs to rehearse. We don’t have a miniature Stonehenge like in Spinal Tap but it’s still a lot of work to make the production exactly like we want it.
CLUNK: Why did you decide to make the fifth album your last?
SS: These 10 years in a touring indie band have been good to us. We’ve been privileged enough to get to play huge festivals and make records with our heroes. For four guys from a small harbor town, it’s been truly a ride to see the world and meet lots of interesting, funny and gentle people along the way.
I think in the last years we’ve been feeling that the changing music industry has taken its toll on us as an indie band. We felt that if we’d keep going as always, we could have lost the spirit that makes our band special. We don’t want to be just empty husks drifting at the sea, we want to give our everything to every show and every track we’ve involved. That’s why we felt we need to make one more amazing record and do a big tour to give a sense of warm closure for us and to our fans who’ve supported us on this fantastic journey.
Listen to ‘Coupons’ here:
CLUNK: Did you do anything different when recording this album?
SS: We did our 3rd album Vagabonds at the Kentish countryside in the UK and our 4th album mostly in Brooklyn, New York, so this time we wanted to step back and go back to roots of our band. We’ve always had Finnish nature imagery in our albums, so it felt like a good idea to do this final album surrounded by woods and lakes. Some tracks we did as home recordings at our hometown Oulu, but for a couple of sessions we rented a cabin from the Eastern part of Finland and immersed ourselves in the quietness of the Finnish countryside. I think the result is the most relaxed record we’ve done in a while.
CLUNK: What is the plan for after the release?
SS: We’re going on a 25 date tour all over Europe. The UK is one of our favourite places to tour so we’re especially waiting for the London show. After the tour is over I think everyone wants to get new life experiences. For ten years all we’ve ever known is indie music is so it’s interesting to see what lies on the other side of life.
CLUNK: What would you like to achieve with this record?
SS: I don’t think we had any other goals than do an album that we and our fans can be proud of. We just want to bring smiles to our listeners’ faces. I know from myself that even the smallest songs can change peoples lives in ways that the musician never can expect.
CLUNK: Was there any particular influence that went into this record?
SS: The biggest influence was the Finnish nature, the silence of the beautiful forests, crystal clear lakes and fresh smells of pine trees and sea air. Embracing the best sides of our Finnishness really put us in position to enjoy making the record and influenced us in a deeper emotional level.
“The biggest influence was the Finnish nature, the silence of the beautiful forests, crystal clear lakes and fresh smells of pine trees and sea air”
Maybe because we felt more relaxed, we put in lots of acoustic guitars which we haven’t really done since our 2nd recond Pine Trails. I think after Wonderwall the acoustic guitar has been through some rough times but we thought it’s time for a revival.
CLUNK: When you first started out did you ever think you would be five albums in and as popular as you are?
SS: At first, we just wanted to make indie songs, have fun with our friends and see the world, and I don’t think that’s changed. When we toured Japan in 2012 we felt that we’ve archived everything we could with this band, since we had been on a different continent. But then we just kept going, played massive festivals in Europe, traveled to US four times, had some five-star reviews for albums and our heroes started to appearing at our shows to check us out. It’s been overwhelming, and we’ve really grateful our listeners gave us a chance to live this kind of life.
CLUNK: What has been the highlight of Satellite Stories?
SS: We’ve always loved when the life brings us something unexpected. Like in 2013 we rose on stage on our first Spain show, which was Arenal Sound festival. It was a warm night and the stage was absolutely massive. Just a couple of days ago we were at our small training room in our little town and had no idea what would happen. And now we’re playing to this happy crowd that knows every lyric to our songs and even sings the guitar leads. It’s a memory we won’t ever forget.
CLUNK: Lastly, we like to finish with a story, so can you tell us something weird/funny/gnarly that has happened to you?
SS: One of the weirdest early career shows we played was this small pub in London, I don’t want to say the venue’s name to protect all of the involved, but our drummers kick pedal broke down during the first song. Indie pop sounds a bit flat without bass drum so the whole band was rummaging through the venue’s basement to find a spare kick pedal. Luckily we found one, but we lost the crowd for the night.
A year or so later we were playing to a full Koko so all’s well that ends well. But I still sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, grabbing the air and trying that find that spare bass drum pedal.
Catch Satellite Stories at the following dates:
14-Sep FINLAND, Kuopio, Henry’s Pub
15-Sep FINLAND, Joensuu, Kerubi
21-Sep FINLAND, Jyvaskyla, Freetime
22-Sep FINLAND, Helsinki, Korjaamo
27-Sep FINLAND, Turku, Gong
28-Sep FINLAND, Lahti, Torvi
29-Sep FINLAND, Tampere, Klubi
02-Oct SWEDEN, Stockholm, Klubben
03-Oct DENMARK, Copenhagen, Vega – Ideal Bar
04-Oct GERMANY, Hamburg, Nochtspeicher
05-Oct GERMANY, Berlin, Privatclub
06-Oct GERMANY, Stuttgart, ClubCann
08-Oct GERMANY, Munich, Kranhalle
09-Oct AUSTRIA, Vienna, Chelsea
10-Oct SWITZERLAND, Zurich, Mascotte
11-Oct FRANCE, Paris, Supersonic
12-Oct NETHERLANDS, Utrecht, De Helling
13-Oct NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam, Sugarfactory
15-Oct UK, London, Lexington
16-Oct GERMANY, Cologne, Yuca
19-Oct SPAIN, Madrid, Moby Dick
20-Oct SPAIN, Barcelona, Razzmatazz
26-Oct FINLAND, Vaasa, Ritz
27-Oct FINLAND, Oulu, 45 Special