Satellite’s Steven McMorran: Troubadours, Calling-Birds and Nashville

Satellite-interview-2013-golden-mixtapeWith this flu season in full swing, I’ve convinced myself that I’m dying of it. How else would one explain my residency in the bathroom and the aching in my throat? I am trying to keep myself from thinking about it by bringing you a new interview with a guy that I talked to before I birthed Golden Mixtape. It was the winter of 2010 and Steven McMorran and his band Satellite were playing The Troubadour in LA. We stood outside in the cold and talked about a number of things. Below, you can tell that Steven doesn’t remember it as well as I do, but that’s okay. He’s got an excuse. He’s been a busy beaver working the past couple years to make Satellite something worthwhile, and it’s paid off.

You can continue reading letters that form words to find out what’s been going on with Steven and the rest of Satellite, what the future holds, a Grammy pick and more. While you do that I’m going to go make some “po’ folk” remedies for whatever illness plagues me…

Kendra: Last time I interviewed you it was around this time of year in 2010 outside The Troubadour. What have you been up to from then till now?

Steven McMorran: It’s been quite a few significant adjustments.  I moved cities; we signed a record deal, did a lot of traveling and shows.

Kendra: Then your one wish was for a car, did someone grant that yet?

Steven: I don’t remember the context of why I said that, but I do have a car in Nash, and a junky one in Los Angeles.  With all the trips back out there, I just park it at my neighbor’s house when I’m in Tennessee.

Kendra: Also, your son was only three then and didn’t quite get how cool it was to see his dad play The Troubadour. Does he understand what his daddy does a little better now?

Steven: All I know is that if we’re in the car, he wants to hear the record.  He’s one of our biggest fans as long as it’s before his bedtime.

Kendra: Now heading into the music, Calling-Birds is said to lean towards more towards the Americana realm. Was that inspired by the success of bands like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers?

Steven: Not at all.  I think it came out of something all its own.  The lean is natural, but it’s still us.

Kendra: Why do you think those kinds of bands are doing so well in the mainstream without verging on annoying like some artists can tend to be when they’re music is being played on repeat throughout the year?

Steven: Speaking about Mumford, I think the lyrics say so much all at once.  I think that kind of language demands at least a second listen just to understand more about what was meant by it.

Kendra: Can we expect any collaborations on Calling-Birds?

Steven: I sing with Jessie Collins on a song called “You & Me.”  Other than that, it’s just us.

Kendra: When are we going to get the first single, and you can tell us how you all choose which one’s going to be the first one out of the gate to represent the album?

Steven: “Say The Words” is the first song out of the gate.  Seems to always be the first mentioned, so we led with it.   The second one is “Brooklyn.”  I think collectively those two songs represent us well. They’re different sides of the same thing.

Kendra: You represent Nashville and have played a good amount in LA. Since you have covered two major “let’s head there and make it” cities, have you all ever tackled New York?

Steven: Tackling New York is as hard as the first two cities put together.  We play our first show there next week though, so we’ll see how it goes.

Kendra: You have a handful of dates coming up in the New Year. Are there any plans for whole tour in 2013?

Steven: Yes, always look at wearesatellite.com for info on these shows coming up.  KY, NC, and GA are all coming up soon.  The more these new shows lock in, the more it seems like a tour that’s pieced together on its own.

Kendra: Calling-Birds drops weeks after the Grammys and since both you and Mitch are class acts when it comes to songwriting, just curious as to who you all think will take home “Song of the Year;” Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” Miguel’s “Adorn,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” or fun’s “We Are Young.”

Steven: I say “We Are Young” wins it.

Kendra: I’d like you to make a mixtape off something you said. I want your top 5 songs that represent joy, heartache, beauty and truth of life. You can pick a song for each and then throw in a bonus track, go!

Steven: at this moment i would answer as follows:
Joy: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” Stevie Wonder
Heartache: “Blood Bank” Bon Iver
Beauty: “The Suburbs” Arcade Fire
Truth of Life: “Oh My Sweet Carolina” Ryan Adams
Random bonus: “Sledgehammer” Peter Gabriel

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