Merging musicians with years of experience, Static Satellites are one of the newest and hottest prospects to come out of the ever growing Scottish music scene. The bands signature catchy indie pop riffs and deep rich vocals have gained them the accolade of being likened to artists such as The Strokes, The National and Two Door Cinema Club.
During the band’s short history they have played headline shows in multiple venues in Glasgow and have played throughout Scotland supporting Red Rum Club, Luke La Volpe and Voodoo Bandits. With driving bass lines, melodic guitar licks and pounding drumbeats, Static Satellites are an invigorating new band offering a new breed of alternative noise.
Static Satellites are:
Ross Whelan – Vocals/ Guitar
Ally Taylor – Lead Guitar
Sam Carlyle – Bass
Ciaran Boyle – Drums
How Did The Band Start?
The band started when Ross and I (Ciaran) met when we played in the backing band for a West Lothian singer/songwriter called Cameron Adam. Despite numerous attempts to get the band up and running after a while the project was abandoned but Ross and I kept in touch and tried to make something work. We auditioned loads of different guitar players and bass players but nothing was working.
This went on for the best part of a year until Sam eventually joined the band. Ross and Sam went to school with one another. The last person to join was Ally. Ally and I have known each other since we were kids and before Static Satellites we had been playing together in a blue/rock band which never took off, so when that fell apart I invited him along to a practice with Ross and Sam and things instantly clicked.
With the amazing power of hindsight, the band really should have got together sooner than it did.
Who Inspired You To Make Music?
Everyone in the band have their own influences and inspirations which I feel is a big strength.
Personally, I have been really inspired by the likes of The Clash, PIXIES, Bruce Springsteen and Interpol as well as a lot of Scottish acts such as The Twilight Sad, Idlewild, and Belle & Sebastian.
How Did You Come Up With the Name Static Satellites?
We were stressing ourselves out trying to come up with a name that worked. We would send lists of names to each other but nothing was sticking out or giving us the “wow, that’s it!” eureka moment we wanted.
We eventually realised that in the grand scheme of things the name really doesn’t matter. As long as we were making music that we wanted to make and people enjoyed it, then the name just becomes part of that.
We liked the idea of having alliteration, and we knew we wanted ‘Static’ to be part of it. We were tossed between ‘Static Start’ and ‘Static Satellites’. In the end Ross’ mum said she preferred ‘Static Satellites’, and just like the decision was made.
What Is Your Creative Process Like?
Ross is the mastermind behind this outfit. He is the one who comes with all the initial ideas, structures and songs and is the one who writes all the lyrics. He will usually send us an acoustic idea which he will then bring to practice and let the rest of us set about breaking it apart and adding in our own ideas and experimenting to see what works best.
The final song will usually sound nothing like what Ross originally planned, but it works really well for us and it feels good to have your own stamp on the song. It becomes the bands song. We recently found an old demo recording of our first single ‘Spin’. It sounded so different, and honestly, we could have easily chucked it in the bin and forgotten all about it but we obviously stuck at it and ended up with a song that still features in all our live sets and is really fun to play.
What Are Your Favourite & Least Favourite Venues? Do You Have Any Upcoming Shows?
We’re lucky to have played in lots of different venues. We headlined the famous King Tut’s in Glasgow about a month after releasing our debut single which was an incredible feeling!
We also had a really good gig at Dreadnought in Bathgate, which is a town in-between Glasgow and Edinburgh where Ross and Sam are from. It’s a small town but it has an explosive local music scene. We played at Dreadnought to launch our second single Waster. Sam’s brothers band The Volts supported us along with Cameron Adam who if it wasn’t for him Ross and I would never have met. That was a really fun night!
We don’t have any least favourite venues as such. We always like to play new places so once we have a played a venue a few times we tend to take a break from it for a while and go looking for other places to play in other towns and cities.
Unfortunately like every other band in the country right now our gigging plans have been put on hold. The last gig we played was a headline show at Broadcast in Glasgow back in February and it’s looking increasingly likely that will our only gig of the year. We were meant to be supporting an Aberdeen band called Connor Clarke & The Matador Kings who we’re friendly with at their Glasgow show in April but that obviously got cancelled. It’s getting rescheduled to whenever we can play it so that’s something to look forward to.
What Has Been The Highlight So Far?
Our main highlight has to be playing at King Tut’s for the first time and headlining the whole night. That was never planned and was a twist of fate on the night. We had only been playing live for just over 6 months so to find ourselves there was a bit bizarre.
We had released our debut single Spin the previous month which was a really exciting moment for us but when we played the song that night at King Tut’s everyone sang the chorus back to us and started jumping about. It was surreal. There’s a photograph (attached) which captures that moment perfectly and I love it cause we all have massive grins on our faces.
We got the chance to play King Tut’s again later supporting Red Rum Club who are just about to release their debut album and take over the country. They were a really nice bunch of guys.
What Other Independent Music Have You Been Listening To?
Since lockdown kicked in and I’ve been forced to work from home I’ve discovered lots of new and exciting music particularly from Scotland.
I’m a member of a record label called Last Night From Glasgow. I pay a subscription and they send me all their releases on vinyl before the general release. It’s a really cool idea and thanks to them I’ve discovered so much new music I would otherwise never have heard. Especially since Covid stared I’ve been listening to albums from Medicine Men, Mt Doubt, Mark W. Georgsson, Domiciles and The Gracious Losers to name but a few. They also released a double album called ‘Isolation Sessions’ full of their bands covering each other’s songs and used it to raise loads of money for local venues and record shops who are obviously struggling at the moment due to the restrictions. I urge everybody to check out the labels roster, you’ll definitely find something you like.
Aside from that I’ve recently been listening to the debut album from Edinburgh duo Man of Moon who I am a big fan of. Glasgow based singer/songwriter Zoe Graham also recently released her new EP which is really good. The new EP from Portsmouth based band Hotel Lux has also been getting a lot of listens too.
I’ve been working from home and I usually always have BBC Radio 6 Music playing away in the background and thanks to them I discovered a lot of new music from around the world. Whenever I hear a song on the radio I like I stick on this massive Spotify playlist I have and that’s helped me find some new and interesting bands to go learn more about.
If You Could Change Anything About The Industry, What Would It Be?
Damn, where to begin. There’s so much that’s great about the music industry but on the flip side there’s so much that needs improving.
An issue that comes up again and again is how women in particular are represented in the industry. It’s highlighted every year whenever a major festival releases their line-up and it’s devoid of any diversity. The same kind of bands that play these things and I frankly find it boring and uninspiring to see the same kind of line up year after year.
People might find it hypocritical me saying that since I’m in an all-male band who plays indie music, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of them around. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to see more representation, more diversity and a better range of acts getting the attention they deserve. I think it makes the music scene as a whole a better place to be, and I think also as a fan it makes these events a lot more enjoyable and interesting.
Festivals are running out of valid excuses not to be better at this, but change also needs to come from elsewhere. I think every band has a responsibility to make sure their own local scene is better at giving women, BME and LGBT acts the same opportunities and attention as everybody else. If change doesn’t happen locally, it’s not going to happen nationally.
What’s Next For You Guys?
Well we released our latest single Fortify back in April and we had our most successful release day to date. We’ve genuinely been amazed at how well it’s been received.
We also released a lyric video to go along with it which was a first for us. I made it out of stock footage from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. To be perfectly honest it was made as a way to cure some lockdown boredom and give me something creative to do, but I’m really pleased at how well it turned out.
We have already started planning our next release and we have also been back in the studio recording two new tracks. We were lucky to work with Edinburgh based produced Mark Morrow who helps us sound better than we actually are. He produced Fortify as well as our second single Waster.
Despite all the restrictions and there being no gigs we’ve made sure we aren’t sitting around doing nothing. We like to be active; we like to have something to look forward to and we’re excited to let people see and hear what we’ve been up to.