If you’re a fan of late noughties indie-psych, you’re going to love Satellite Ravens. Empire of the Sun, MGMT, and Passion Pit are duly paid homage to on ‘The Equinox‘ – but that’s just skimming the surface of what makes up his complex music DNA. Man-behind-the-music, Carson Rohde, tells Indie Crush how LA life, the transition to adulthood, and his love of bass have filtered into his debut album.
Where and when did the album come to fruition?
The Equinox album was written during my college years at USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles and finished eight months after graduating and transitioning into the outside world. I was constantly traveling back and forth between Arizona, and California. One day I’m in Downtown, next day I’m 10 miles deep in the woods in a wood cabin, then another day stuck in the suburbs. The album was then recorded, produced, and mixed in several different cities.
How have these various places and cultures shaped the concept of the album?
Elements of each location made its way into inspiring the music. So this record is an ‘equinox’, full of transitions, ‘changes’, chaos, questions, responses, searching for meanings, developing and expanding mindsets, roller coasters of romances, and moving physical locations. I framed the release of ‘The Equinox’ around the week of the celestial Spring Equinox, symbolically a new start and the beginning of spring.
How has living in LA affection your perception of the music industry?
I have lived in Los Angeles and Oakland California for five years now and I feel it’s over-saturated with people trying to ‘make it’. There are too many ego obsessed diva artistés out there today, and I would like to poke fun at this trend by mocking it, replicating it in a subtle and sarcastic fashion. I love the idea of being whimsical, wacky, random, shocking, playful, and somewhat controversial. All publicity is good publicity as they say in Hollywood.
You’re something of a virtuoso when it comes to bass, where did you hone your chops?
My parents and I believed that a classical training was paramount to being a truly great musician, so I started piano at five years old and double bass at ten. I took the double bass very seriously, moving on to state and national youth orchestras and concerto competitions in my teen years. I studied private bass lessons with Barry Olson, the Principal Bassist for the Phoenix Symphony for 8 years, before studying Popular Music at USC.
Did you play any other instruments on the record?
I wrote performed nearly every vocal and instrumental part of this record myself (except for a few drum and violin parts). Instruments I played on this record were: Vocals, Vocal harmonies, bass guitar, guitars, synths, keyboards, piano, electric drums, drum set, cello, and upright bass.
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