fbpx

News

Satellite Ranch Artist Spotlight: An Interview With Satellite Ranch Founder Ted Wampole

Zachary Franck interviewing Ted Wampole

 

ZF: Ted, for people that don’t know who you are and what you do, who are you and what do you do?

TW: Well, my name is Ted Wampole. I’m 24 years old with a background in the printing and sales industries. When not at the day job, I focus a lot of my time and energy into planning events in the electronic and jam scenes in this little pocket of Northeastern Pennsylvania with my company, Funkstronaut Productions, and I also DJ by the name of Newpy Hundo.

ZF: How long have you been DJing as Newpy Hundo and where have you performed?

TW: I’ve been DJing under the name Newpy Hundo since I was 18 years old, performing at various night clubs and events in NEPA for the beginning of my DJing career. After networking at various after-parties in hotel rooms and parking lots and cabins of festivals where I would spin when the main show was over, I was fortunate enough to get booked in areas like Philadelphia, NYC, Harrisburg, and a few other spots. I’ve opened for the likes of Designer Drugs, Space Bacon, Conspirator, and many others, and also was blessed with the opportunity to perform at my favorite festival which got me into this scene, Camp Bisco, during its second year at Montage Mountain.

ZF: What kind of music do you spin and what can the crowd expect to hear and feel when you’re behind the decks?

TW: When I first started mixing, I would throw down whatever would get me booked. Frat parties loved bass music. After a couple of those gigs, I really focused on the genres of deep house and tech house, which I really enjoyed (and still do!) listening to as well as mixing. Since then, I have expanded my sets to showcasing the sounds of many genres I enjoy (house, techno, drum and bass, garage, breaks, dub, etc). I’ll really throw down anything these days, but I try to always keep it DEEP and vibey. I like to spin music that moves the body, and also makes people think and focus on things other than just the banging beats. I like to keep it interesting, but not too heady where it takes a lot of attention to understand it and catch the vibe. It’s got to always be accessible and groovy.

ZF: When did you come up with the idea for Satellite Ranch, how and why did you create Satellite Ranch Music and Arts Festival?

TW: My fellow Funkstronauts and I were getting a bit bored with just throwing events at local venues, and wanted to do something different. Around the Fall of 2016, a few brainstorm sessions birthed the idea for Satellite Ranch. We wanted to do something different for the area and showcase the artistic stylings of all varieties of up-and-coming, as well as established, DJs, producers, and bands that they may not know of, haven’t had the chance to see before, or could only catch at bigger events. We wanted to put on a grass-roots festival that the local scene can be proud of, without having to wait for the next big commercial event. There is so much potential for a smaller event like this in Northeastern Pennsylvania, due to larger events like Camp Bisco and Peach Fest finding their home at Montage and exposing a lot of locals to otherwise unfamiliar scenes and music, as well as the area being a popular tour stop for established and up and coming acts going to and from cities like Philadelphia and NYC, with the help of local venues like River Street Jazz Cafe in Wilkes-Barre, Backyard Ale House in Scranton, and a few others.

ZF: When it came time to create the style of Satellite Ranch, what artists and events inspired you and your crew?

TW: I went to my first festival, Camp Bisco, when I was 17 years old. I absolutely loved the eclectic assortment of music that was there. There was something for everyone. I went to the Catskill Chill for a few years in a row also, and really, really enjoyed the way they showcased a lot of up and coming talent, while still bringing in some heavy hitters, all while throwing a rather intimate event (in comparison to larger scale festivals like Camp). After the Chill ended and Camp switched locations, I felt that the area needed an event that kind of brought the best of both worlds.

ZF: In its second year, this is a huge moment for you, how are you feeling as we get closer and closer to Night 1?

TW: I’m not only ecstatic that it’s approaching, but my heart is warmed by the fact that we have the opportunity to put it together for a second time. Year 1 was an absolute blast, but more importantly, a huge learning experience. I think we really found our identity with Year 2, and I’m beyond excited to present this version to everyone.

ZF: You curated an awesome lineup this year, can you tell us who you were most excited to book and why?

TW: Haha, thanks! Like I previously mentioned, this year seems to make a bit more sense. We’re still keeping it eclectic, but I feel we really dialed it in. There’s so much incredible music this year. I’m super hype about the fact that we’ve had the opportunity to book the new project of Ben Silver and Allen Aucoin (Silver Fameus), established artists like North America’s first Dubstep DJ, Joe Nice, the incredible and versatile Eliot Lipp, tons of underground producers and DJs from the tri-state area such as Agent Zero, Basha, Mr. Falcon, and Radioactive Sandwich, up-and-coming bands like Space Bacon and Tweed, and still be able to shine a light on a lot of our hometown heroes who helped shape the underground electronic scene, like Conscious Pilot and Royce.

ZF: What three sets should patrons make sure they’re in attendance and why?

TW: Hahaha! That’s a real tough one. Almost everyone on the lineup is a close friend and they should all be checked out! If I absolutely HAVE to pick, I’d say at least one Space Bacon set (they’ve got two!), Radioactive Sandwich, and Joe Nice. Space Bacon, because they’re going to be the next big thing in the jamtronica scene. Trust me on that. They’re live sets are out of control. Radioactive Sandwich, because, man, those guys are just insanely sick at what they do. They recreate their songs live and the vibe is other-worldly. I feel they don’t get enough recognition for how good they are. Joe Nice, because so many people love dubstep, but they don’t know its roots. This guy is an OG who helped bring it to the forefront of the USA music scene. He still keeps it deep and to its roots, all while showcasing a lot of undiscovered and developing artists in his sets. Even if he just threw down the classics, he’s a master selector, a true connoisseur of dubstep.

ZF: Satellite Ranch is a grassroots festival that is built upon a collective of friends that you’ve connected with over the years. Can you explain how special it is to have a face to face relationship with the majority of the artists that are playing this year?

TW: Yeah, that’s what made that last question so hard! So many friends are all able to present their unique styles and sounds, which was ultimately the goal. A lot of these acts haven’t had the opportunity before, or weren’t given the appropriate time slots at other events. I’m so happy to create this world for them. It feels like home, and it really adds to its intimate vibe. I’m not only friends with most of the acts, but most of the acts are friends with each other, and a ton of the attendees.

ZF: If you had to convince somebody that’s on the fence about coming to Satellite Ranch, what would you say to them?

TW: If you’re looking for an intimate gathering under the stars at an incredibly beautiful venue, with a focus on quality art and music, this is for you. If you’re looking to support up-and-coming visual and musical artists, this is for you. If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere that presents the opportunity to see established acts live at some place other than a massive event or festival, this is for you. If you’re looking for the perfect end of summer party, this is for you!

SRMF2018-Featured-Image

SRMF 2018 4 Stages Poster

🤩 WOMP: Update from the Ranch! 🤩

We’re about ready to blast off 🚀 so we’re gonna answer any last-minute questions to get ready for an awesome weekend 👏💃🕺

🎫 GROUP TICKETS SALE ENDED 🎫 Last Night!!!

🌄 Day Passes Available at the Gate for $40 Sat & $50 Sun 🌄

🎶 NEW MUSIC UPDATE: Funkadelic Micro Bacon, featuring artists from Funkadelic Astronaut 👨‍🚀, Microcave 🎸, and Space Bacon 🥓, will be playing together and ready to shake things up 🎶

➡️ SatelliteRanchFestival.com/Buy-Tickets

Satellite Ranch Artist Spotlight: An Interview with Sam Crespo of Space Bacon

Zachary Franck interviewing Sam Crespo

Sam Crespo plays drums in Space Bacon and is the unsung hero of the band. Their style and sound is often fast and tenacious. As a drummer, it requires serious stamina and patience to keep up and play well. Space Bacon has continued to grow as a band and brand and Sam has been a vital part to their onstage success. Crespo is an avid fan of the Disco Biscuits, and their original drummer Sam Altman is arguably his biggest percussive influence. He met keyboard player Chris Gironda in the smoking section of a Biscuits show once upon a time, Chris asked Sam for a lighter and it ended up being the spark that created Space Bacon. After impressing everyone at Satellite Ranch last year, we are ecstatic to have them back for two sets instead of one. They guaranteed that they’re going to bring the heat, and I don’t doubt them for a second.

Get your tickets here!

ZF: I think a lot of people are attracted to Space Bacon because of the band’s character. You guys are accessible at this point in your career and it’s vital to connect with your fan base. How would you describe the overall personality of the band?

SC: I think we’ve been blessed both by the technological times we currently live in, as well as the understanding to maximize that potential. We’ve helped cultivate a very vibrant and engaging community of friends and fans, and we aim to match that engagement. Building an online community is easy when you have such dope fans.

Space Bacon is made up of four different yet complimentary personalities, each with our pros and cons. As time goes on, I think that our personalities sort of rub off on each other, and our common goals sort of meld into one common goal. I think this applies for us both musically, as well as for the broader perspective that we have about what we’re doing. We are all driven and determined to be the very best band that we can possibly be. How do you maintain that balance, of keeping yourselves seriously committed, while still having fun? I can’t tell you how because I don’t really know, but I CAN tell you that when we’re on a stage, doing what we do, I don’t think there are too many people in the room that are actually having more fun than we are.

 

Photo by Billy Murray

ZF: Fans often focus on the improvisational prowess of Space Bacon, but the best jams usually spring from strong compositions. How has the band’s focus shifted when it comes to songwriting?

SC: In the past, there was a more proprietary approach to writing songs; each song was treated like a prized creation that was to be guarded from outside influence. Outside influence was always a constant because we’re all highly opinionated, as well as highly motivated to make the best music we can make. There was never a song proposal that ended up looking identical to the finished product, as all of us always insisted on throwing in our two cents to make changes to various parts. I think there was also a feeling of pressure to have a song fully written and completed before being brought to the table. When you consider these two trends, you can understand a sentiment of something like “I just spent all this time writing this song and nowyou’re trying to change everything?” Lots of disagreement would ensue.

The difference is that now a song gets brought to the table when it’s just a little baby song, or an adolescent song, with two or three parts but no bridges, for example. In some extreme-cases it’s just one riff. We take those structural pieces and we build the rest of the structure together. It streamlines our song production. We took something that hindered our songwriting and turned it into a positive.

Photo by John R Wisdom

ZF: If you could pinpoint a single opportunity that altered the trajectory of Space Bacon’s career thus far, what would it be?

SC: If we’re talking opportunities afforded to us, I’d have to say when we were given the distinct honor of doing a run of shows opening for Breaking Biscuits (Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein of THE Disco Biscuits, with Adam Deitch and Borham Lee of Break Science), which also included our debut at Brooklyn Bowl. Opening for Umphrey’s McGee at the Capitol Theatre was by far the largest audience we’ve ever had the pleasure of performing in front of, and it was such a completely surreal dream come true for us, but I think that show doesn’t happen without the Breaking Biscuits run. Aside from getting to share the stages and green rooms with our musical idols for three days, we also learned a lot about how to better operate as an organization moving forward. That run was a game-changer for us.

Photo by Billy Murray

ZF: You guys played Camp Bisco for your first time, I know how special that was for you, what makes Camp Bisco stick out amongst other festivals?

SC: The very first word that comes to mind is: family. When the Disco Biscuits pioneered a completely new sound, they created a massive family, not only of fans, but also musically through other artists. If you look at the Biscuits and their fans as a nuclear family, you could look at other groups that were inspired by that pioneered sound, like Lotus, the New Deal and STS9, and their fans, as extended family. One of the most beautiful things about Camp Bisco is that you have Biscuits fam in full force, as well as their extended family. Three days of family having the time of our lives. The incredible honor of playing at Camp, almost ten years after attending my first Camp……I can’t really express how special that was.

The best thing about Camp is getting to hear and see the Biscuits absolutely crush in front of some of their most die-hard fans for three days in a row. When they’re playing the way that they have….the hive mind that they achieved that weekend, and throughout their careers….I don’t think anyone can deny that they currently are, and have always been, one of the absolute greatest jam bands of all time (phight me)

Photo by Billy Murray

ZF: Space Bacon is returning to Satellite Ranch Festival for your second year in a row, but this time you’ll be playing two sets. What do you like about SR and how excited are you guys to return?

SC: After finishing our late night set at Satellite Ranch last year we immediately knew we wanted to be back. The festival is held on some beautiful grounds and is run by an incredibly awesome, organized and determined group of people. The fact that we get to play two sets is truly special because it allows us to, I think, give a really fair representation of what we’re about and what we like to play, without feeling like we need to make compromises due to time constraints. We always try to be true to ourselves, musically, regardless of how much time we get to play. That being said, as is often the case with bands that improvise a lot, it’s very true that playing two sets is more of our natural habitat. We can typically fit about 5 or 6 songs in a given set time while still allowing ourselves the freedom to go wherever we want to go, jam-wise (gamgee)

ZF: If you had to convince somebody that was on the fence about coming to Satellite Ranch, what would you say?

SC: One of the most frequently voiced opinions that I’ve heard from other people when it comes to festivals is a growing preference for smaller festivals over time, as well as how much everybody misses going to them (Big Up, Catskill Chill, etc). Among the many things that stand out about them is, of course, the “homie factor” of being able to easily and naturally bump into all of your friends at the festival, throughout the entire weekend. Satellite Ranch, especially with this year’s lineup, is going to be the ultimate Homie Fest.

Anyone who was fortunate enough to catch the VIP set that closed out Camp this year knows how dirty things can and will get with Silver Fameus (Ben Silver of Orchard Lounge and Allen Aucoin of the Disco Biscuits) The rest of the lineup boasts, in my opinion, some of the very best jamtronica acts that the Beast Coast has to offer. I would also remind this imaginary person who is sitting on the imaginary fence that the Bacon Boyz will be playing two sets.

Space Bacon returns to Satellite Ranch Festival September 1-2, and headlines a two-night run at Mercury Lounge in NYC, October 5-6!

Bandcamp: https://spacebacon.bandcamp.com

ISOBE - Satellite Ranch Music Festival 2018

Isobe: Satellite Transmissions 020

Welcome to Satellite Ranch Transmissions 020!

This is the 5th mix from the Satellite Ranch Music & Arts Festival’s 2nd year lineup.

“This was a mix from a recent set of mine at the Summer Threestival 2018. I brought a lot of heavier tunes for this one as I always try to. 30 minutes of straight fire. I am really excited to be apart of Satellite Ranch 2018 and I look forward to playing for you all.” -ISOBE

We will see you on the mountain September 1st and 2nd!

BUY TICKETS: https://tixco.co/2KPbSRS
EVENT WEBSITE: www.satelliteranchfestival.com

Eliot Lipp - Satellite Ranch Music Festival 2018

Satellite Ranch Artist Spotlight: An Interview with Eliot Lipp

Zachary Franck interviewing Eliot Lipp

Satellite Ranch is more than pleased to have Eliot Lipp as one of our headliners this year. Since first coming onto the scene, he has performed at festivals across the country, establishing himself as an original producer with a unique sound and style. All of his albums have their own twist to them while staying true to his sense of exploration and feel. Throughout his career, he has moved from city to city, picking up various elements of sound that are transposed through his music. If you’ve seen him before, you already know how good he is. If you haven’t, you should definitely check out his music online. Make sure you’re in attendance for his set, you will not be disappointed.

ZF: How would you describe Eliot Lipp’s current sound?

EL: Electro Funk, Beats, Instrumental Hip Hop, Trap (but not really Trap)

ZF: You’ve seen a lot of artists come and go throughout your career, who are some of your peers that continue to inspire you?

EL: Guggenz, MZG, Blockhead, Biocratic, Bonobo, Baauer, Com Truise, Emancipator, G Jones, Hudson Mohawk, Legowelt. Michna…

ZF: You’ve played at Camp Bisco a few times and definitely gained a lot of fans there. Camp Bisco was important to musicians and fans because they delivered lineups that covered the full spectrum of sound, from jam bands and electronic music to indie rock and Hip Hop. What made Camp Bisco stick out to you when it came to lineups and atmosphere?

EL: Very diverse lineups. My first time playing Bisco I started a band with the guys that went on before me. I love east coast people, I love all the personalities I encounter there.

ZF: Headlining a festival is always cool, what can fans expect from you at Satellite Ranch?

EL: I’m going to play a lot of live synth as well as do a hybrid live/DJ set using half CDJ’s and half Ableton lap top + midi controllers.

ZF: How has living on the West Coast and East Coast affected you sonically, how important was it for you to experience life in cities on both coasts?

EL: I want to live in every major city in the US and a few abroad before I’m done. The west coast always has me playing smooth shit on Moogs & Wurlitzers, the east coast has me on distortion pedals & cassette recorders getting rough & tough.

ZF: Your sound continues to grow and transform every year. In a scene that can sometimes get generic, how do you manage to keep your authenticity while always exploring?

EL: I get a lot of inspiration from old music 80’s soundtracks, funk & jazz as well as brand new stuff like Flamingosis and whatever Eprom is cooking up.  When I first started making electronic music I did a lot of research on the pioneers (Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Carl Craig, Wendy Carlos, Moroder, All the weird 70’s fusion and Moog music…etc) I think understanding the building blocks helped me understand exactly what I wanted to bring to the table as an artist.

ZF: If you had to recommend one of your albums to a new fan, which one would it be and why?

EL: Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake kind of represents a number of different style and I think it’s a pretty good representation of my sound over all.

ZF: What are three records that had a major impact on your life?

EL: Outkast – ATLienz, Aphex Twin’s Analord series and The Avalanches – Since I left you. *bonus Daft Punk – Discovery

ZF: Did you get into music through producing or did you play an instrument first? If so, what is your main instrument and when did you start?

EL: I started out with piano and drums. I love rhythm and melody and I can’t really play anything with strings or stuff you have to blow into.

ZF: If you had to convince somebody that was on the fence about Satellite Ranch to come, what would you say?

EL: DO NOT MISS THIS INCREDIBLE AND ECLECTIC LINEUP!

Bad Leather - Satellite Ranch Music Festival 2018

Bad Leather: Satellite Transmissions 019

Welcome to Satellite Ranch Transmissions 019!

This is the 4th mix from the Satellite Ranch Music & Arts Festival’s 2nd year lineup.

Bad Leather is the DJ project from the magical fingertips of Joe Vela (Tweed). He mixes together old school and new school dance music adding layers of live, often improvised loops. Shake your booty to these sexy sounds. It’s good to be bad!

We will see you on the mountain September 1st and 2nd!

White Rice - Satellite Ranch Music Festival 2018

White Rice: Satellite Transmissions 018

Welcome to Satellite Ranch Transmissions 018!

This is the 3rd mix from the Satellite Ranch Music & Arts Festival‘s 2nd year lineup.

The Philadelphia duo’s [WhiteRice] live sets are comprised of Deep & Soulful House Music, but you’ll often find hints of other musical influences [such as, Minimal, Techno and Classic House Music] seamlessly fused within.

In this mix, they take you down the warm valleys of Deep & Minimal Soulful House music, and then back up with the occasional peak filled with jackin’ drums and vibrant vocals.

We will see you on the mountain September 1st and 2nd!

BUY TICKETS: https://tixco.co/2KPbSRS
DIRECT DOWNLOAD: https://tinyurl.com/ybg2u3nu
EVENT WEBSITE: www.satelliteranchfestival.com

Satellite Ranch Artist Spotlight: An Interview with Ben Silver

Zachary Franck interviewing Ben Silver
Photos by Jeremy Frazier of Soundfuse

Ben Silver has established himself as a tremendous DJ and an all-around encyclopedia of music. As a solo artist and 1/3 of Orchard Lounge, he has been laying down soundscapes at parties of all, shapes, and sizes for 15 + years. He is a true DJ in every sense of the word and looks forward to playing for any crowd that is ready to be taken on a sonic journey, from the couch to the dance floor. For his second year at Satellite Ranch, he’ll be joined by drummer Allen Aucoin (of the Disco Biscuits) for their debut headlining slot as Silver Fameus. For lovers of Orchard Lounge and the Disco Biscuits, this is one of the most anticipated sets of the summer. Make sure you’re at Satellite Ranch on Labor Day weekend, you do not want to miss this!

ZF: It’s been a pretty fantastic year for you as a solo artist as well as 1/3 of Orchard Lounge. What are some specific moments that stand out to you?

BS: The past couple years I have been playing more shows solo, so that’s cool. I’ve also been thrilled that there has been more OL shows this year. We have been having a lot of fun playing and we’ve had some great nights so far.  U-street Music Hall in DC, a few sets in Denver, and a fun night at Smartbar in Chicago are the ones that stand out. We are also back at Smartbar for our annual post-Lollapalooza 7 hour set which is always a blast. Camp Bisco was easily a favorite as well.

ZF: You’ve been spinning records for years, how has your approach changed over the years?

BS: Honestly, I think a lot has stayed the same. What I was digging for 15 years ago is still somewhat similar to what I spin now. Back then, when I would dig at Gramaphone Records and Hi-Fi Records in Chicago, I would listen to a ton of super deep, funkier house records and a lot of the time there would be a vocal A1 track and then a couple deeper tracks as well. However, sometimes there would be this magical second track on the B side that would be even deeper and way more out there. That was what I wanted. I feel the same today, except I have a much, much wider arsenal of tracks now-a-days. That is how it is with DJs though; they get older, go through more crazy experiences, collect more music, and I think get better with age, kind of like fine wine.

ZF: You threw down two massive sets at Camp Bisco, truly some of the best DJing that I’ve seen as of late, what makes Camp Bisco so special to you?

BS: This was our 10th year playing Camp (was a fan at three of them before that also), and all ten were great for us. It has always been amazing to be able to play for so many people and have so many like-minded people in one place at the same time. It’s a great event and it has been exciting to sit back and watch it grow, from a super small event with 500 people to what it has become today.

ZF: The VIP set with Allen Aucoin on drums was absolutely mind blowing. It was truly a journey in every sense of the word. How many times have you done that with Allen? What’d you think about that specific set?

BS: Thank you, we had a great time too. Allen is the man. He is just so insanely talented and he’s also just the nicest guy. He’s sat in with us a few times actually, we did a VIP set at Camp Bisco two years ago and then sat in for about an hour each of the last two times we played Cervantes in Denver. That VIP set was fun because we did a much more banging set for our main slot and then it rained, so we didn’t start the VIP set until 3am. So, we kept it pitched down in tempo and more spacey and vibey instead of overly heavy.

ZF: So, you’ll be headlining with Allen for the first time at Satellite Ranch, what can fans expect to experience?

BS: First off, this is an awesome event. I played it last year solo and it was intimate and full of good people. The location is really cool and Tedd Wampole is just an all-around great host, I love that guy. Allen and I have been talking about this for a bit and we are going to do our best to make it as enjoyable as possible. I want to touch on a number of themes but also keep it really deep.

ZF: You’ve played all types of festivals that vary in size and atmosphere, what do you like about intimate gatherings like Satellite Ranch?

BS: It always comes down to the people. If there are people I connect with and enjoy talking to, I have more fun. Sometimes the smaller events are a lot more fun than the big ones. I guess the difference there would be that at the really big festivals, you get to see some huge acts you don’t see often. The intimate events though, you are closer to the music and a much bigger part of the experience.

ZF: As momentum and interest in Silver Fameus continues to grow, do you feel like this could be a side project that you bring on the road a few times a year?

BS: I would absolutely love that. I’m down to do that anytime! We also love when Allen is with OL, so really anytime he wants to play, we do as well.

ZF: You’ve spun records with a few drummers, what stands out about playing with Allen?

BS: Allen just has a really dope style. He is so fluid, fast, and always smooth, but he also stays in the pocket. He plays in a way where you can still hear the vibe of the record that is playing and he becomes a part of it, instead of taking it over.

ZF: Solo sets are obviously a true test for a DJ, but so is spinning as a collective and vibing off each other, do you hope to someday take Orchard Lounge to bigger venues and festivals in the authentic electronic music scene rather than the EDM scene?

BS: We have played a bunch of electronic festivals too, from Spring Awakening and Mamby, Electric Zoo, big pre-parties at Movement etc. We love playing for people who really listen and appreciate a set where they won’t recognize any of the tracks. That’s what we’re all about.

ZF: If you had to convince somebody that’s on the fence about coming to Satellite Ranch, what would you say to them?

BS: If you want a quality intimate festival with a bunch of great artists all across the board, come to this one!

Satellite Ranch Artist Spotlight: An Interview with Dan Lyons

Zachary Franck interviewing Dan Lyons

Satellite Ranch is more than happy to have Dan Lyons back to play with not one, not two, but three different acts! This man has been an integral musician in our scene since 2010. Between his touring years with Solaris and his success with Horizon Wireless, he’s been a driving force in livetronica acts for as long as I’ve known him. On top of that, we get to see him throw down ridiculously explosive trance-fusion with Microcave for the festival hat trick. Dan Lyons is one of Satellite Ranch’s standout artists, and by the end of the weekend our patrons are going to see why.

ZF: Dan! Firstly, I’d like to say how excited we are to have you back at Satellite Ranch this year. Thank you so much for contributing your musicianship for not one set, not two, but three! You’re a real all-star for that. Just curious, have you ever played three sets with three different acts at a festival before? How do you feel about this daunting task?

DL: Firstly, thanks so much for deciding to pick my brain, Zach. You honor me with your curiosity. I’ve never played 3 sets at one festival, and I’m hard pressed to remember if I’ve ever even played 3 seperate sets in 24 hours before. I have however done some dual SOLARiS/Horizon nights, and on such occasions, I remember there being alot of blisters and spilled whiskey gingers by my feet.

 

Thing is, I’m 30 now, which is tantamount to being physically disabled, so yeah—I’m mildly worried about 3 sets at Satelleite. These days, as a counter-measure, I literally douse my fingers in Liquid Bandage solution before shows. It turns my fingers into pieces of plastic and makes me semi impervious to the woes of friction. So, I’ll probably bring a bottle of that, and a backup bottle as well, because sometimes as I sloppily use the first, the plastic cap of the bottle becomes bonded to the glass. One time I even had to bite it off during a hasty set-break in a criminally dimly lit dressing room…resulting in a chipped molar.

ZF: Give us some history. How long have you been playing drums and when did you join each project?

DL: I began drumming at seven years old. I joined middle school concert band soon after, but got kicked out within a few weeks. Our band leader, a man who was rank with the smell of cigarettes as if he had risen from an ash tray, was chronically late to class. In the peaceful interim precluding his arrival, I’d sit down on the drum kit and lash out in front of my classmates. They loved it, and it was my first taste of the power that can come from an audience. It was the Jazz Band’s kit though, and after catching me play it like seven times in a row, my teacher threw a bass drum mallet at me and sent me to the principal’s office. My Principle, Richard or “Dick” House, was a fairly unforgiving and aptly named man who kicked me out of the class entirely.

Since that moment, I’ve been tumblewheeling through life, chasing that elusive and envigorating dragon’s high of audience response. I always say yes, I always want to be on stage, and I feel like it’s never enough.

I joined SOLARiS to show the world the kind of music I wanted to play, I joined Horizon Wireless to celebrate life and ride the galactic monorail, and I am now with Microcave to do a mix of the both.

ZF:  What makes each project different and equally special to you?

DL: SOLARiS, god bless our little hearts, we were the little engine that could. We basically learned a million covers, wrote a million compositions, made like 7 studio albums, and really gave it the college try. Some day, thousands of years from now, like in that scene from Spielberg’s “A.I” when the Sixth Sense kid wakes up in the ice so far in the future that human beings look like robot aliens that fly around in a cube, someone will unearth SOLARiS’ catalogue and realize we were the greatest mid-tier upstate NY electronica act that almost was. Horizon Wireless is a love letter to everything I love about electronic music. Recently, someone referred to Harrison and I as “galactic twins”, and that really spells out the true power of our relationship, on and off stage. With Microcave, I’m joining a band with musicians who are just insanely good. I loved these guys as “Tractorbear: A Tribute to The Disco Biscuits”, and I am a kid in a candy store when I get to jam alongside these guys. And no offense to the first two acts, but the guys in Microcave are also the most handsome band I’ve played with. In SOLARiS and Horizon Wireless, I felt like a stud, but in Microcave I’m like Seth Rogen—just attractive enough to be physically seen in a movie, but if he was even 2% uglier, he’d be out of a job.

ZF:  This will be your second year at Satellite Ranch, did you enjoy yourself last year and what are you most excited about this year?

DL: Last year, the Ranch was the sleeper festy of the year for me. I had so much fun with Horizon on the latenight stage, in fact, it was one of our favorite sets ever. I’m siked to check out so many friends and foes’ acts at Satelleite Ranch this year. I will be filled with jealousy, friendship, and my typically competitive and judgemental spirit. Can’t wait to see what Teddy, Nasser, and the whole Ranch squad have cooked up this year.

ZF: All the years that I’ve attended festivals, Mike Greenfield (of Lotus) was always the drummer that lend his skills to multiple sets. Is he somebody that you’ve looked up to in the past? If so, how does he inspire you?

DL: I’ve actually taken a few lessons with Mike. Truth be told, he played drums alongside Sammy for the first Biscuits show I saw in 2004. The man is a hero of electronic drumming, and it actually took me many long years to rectify the fact that he didn’t replace Sammy as the drummer for the Biscuits. He has inspired me to no end, and one of the fills he taught me during a lesson will always stick with me, his face flashing in my mind for a brief glimpse every time I play it.

 

 

Photo by Billy Murray

ZF:  Horizon Wireless has been getting the recognition that you guys deserve. You guys are getting better year after year. How does it feel to see your hard work and dedication pay off?

DL: I honestly can get choked up talking about this. Horizon Wireless is the perfect confluence of events in both Harrison and I’s lives. Everything we do, all the shows we play and coincidences we experience, seem almost destined and out of our control. I don’t know how we do what we do, but it’s basically effortless and makes us both feel incredible. We’ve gotten to open for the Crystal Method, the Disco Biscuits, The New Deal, Escort, and have played Camp Bisco twice now. If I could go back in time and tell myself at 18 years old-a rabid Biscuits fan and a deeply unrefined drummer-that this is the way it would go, I would probably pass out because time travel turned out to be real and that would be very shocking to me, as well as meeting myself which may actually collapse the universe or make me dissapear in photos or something.

ZF: Microcave is the newest project that you’ve joined forces with. I’ve seen some footage from one of your shows. You guys are meant to play together and I have a feeling your set at Satellite Ranch will stand out as one of the best that the festival has seen thus far. When did you join forces with ¾ of Tractorbear and how is your chemistry with them?

DL: With Microcave, our potential is like an untapped goldmine. I can’t wait for people to witness the sonic gymnastics that we can perform as a unit. We are really only getting started.

ZF:  As a drummer and music lover, who and what are your biggest inspirations?

DL: Right now, my current musical influences are the drummers from ‘The 1975’ and Paramore. Both of them are absolute powerhouse players who keep it simple, but addictively clean. George Daniel from ‘The 1975’ is my absolute idol. I’ve learned so much from his hi-hat work, and his fills are awe-inspiring and the best pop-electronic hybrid drummer since Steven Morris of “New Order”.

I’m self-taught, so I grew up drumming along to a CD player. Started with Weezer’s “Blue”, then I learned the whole first album from ‘The Strokes’. To this day, my musical inclinations lean towards indie, electronic, and a newfound passion for garbage rap.

ZF:  If you had to convince somebody that was on the fence about Satellite Ranch to come, what would you say?

DL: Please, come. Witness my triple threat, or come heckle me if I can’t hold a drumstick by my third set. Also, ‘Silver Fameus’. I mean, c’mon.

SRMF2018-Featured-Image

Satellite Ranch Transmissions: 017

Welcome to Satellite Ranch Transmissions 017!

This is the 2nd mix from the Satellite Ranch Music & Arts Festival’s 2nd year lineup.

“A sampling of a few of the selections I have been collecting for Satellite Ranch. I have plenty more I cannot wait to share with you. I hope you enjoy these until then.” – Frank Ziggy

We will see you on the mountain September 1st and 2nd!

[instagram-feed]