The first time I listened to Sat. Nite Duets I couldn’t get enough of their unique blend of rock, experimental and humor. It was obvious listening to their music that the guys of Sat. Nite Duets liked making music together and weren’t afraid to goof off. The place for humor in music is something that the indie-world has always struggled with. Some critics find no place for anything but seriousness with music and let’s be honest, that’s no fun. When I chatted with Joe of Sat. Nite Duets we talked about having fun with making music, the band’s influences and other rad musical things which of course I’ve left largely unedited and uncut. Check out the full interview below and ‘peace be to you’.
PK: hey man
Joe: hey peter, this is joe
PK: awesome. so what role are you in Sat. Nite Duets?
Joe: i play drums and sometimes sing. i write some songs
PK: sweet, who are the other members?
Joe: well there are like four other core members right now, they are andrew jambura, ben gucciardi, stephen strupp, and john guzikowski. then there are other members who sometimes contribute
PK: when did you guys start playing together?
Joe: well myself stephen and ben have been playing in bands since grade school. we met up with andrew who also played in a band, in high school. we’ve been in this outfit for about 2 years now
PK: did you have any other releases with the older projects?
Joe: yeah, quite a few when you put it all together. our band was called two kids get new books, andrew was in a few bands, then we have all put out some “solo” material as well. andrew’s band was called boyscouts
PK: word, so since you guys have known each other for a long time is there any music that you all really loved growing up?
Joe: yeah, we all loved weezer for a really long time, and still do. and then we also liked led zeppelin and stuff like that in grade school, and then didnt like it for a while, and then came back to liking it
PK: most people have to like led zeppelin at at least one point in their life
PK: and really Blue Album is amazing. I’ve really started losing a little faith with them though…
Joe: yeah, i mean theyre just doing something different now. we will always have tba, pinkerton. thats all i need
PK: for sure, thinking about it I can definitely hear a little Weezer influence with you guys, one of the reasons you guys stuck out to me was that you were willing to be lighthearted with some of your songlyrics. something Weezer is good at
Joe: yeah weezer is an influence
PK: it’s good to have some humor in music
Joe: right, we don’t take it too seriously. at the same time, we are serious about it because it’s what we like to do (playing in a band, that is)
PK: it definitely makes sense and it comes across in your music. some bands loose the fun with music and you guys retain all the fun of making music while making some killer tunes. Pavement definitely was also good at that
Joe: yeah. i think we sometimes come across as “slackers” or “sloppy”, maybe because we sound like pavement and people associate those things with pavement but our approach, i think, is a little different. we do care how the songs sound (pavement probably did too) and put a lot of thought into how they’re arranged and recorded etc
PK: definitely. I mean even in short songs like Homemade Halo there is a lot going on at face value it may be easy to use “slacker” but really listening to your singles and One Nite Only prove there is a lot more to it. it can definitely be polarizing with people
Joe: you mean the label “slacker” can be polarizing?
PK: I mean the lightheartedness of the lyrics. the album covers ect.
Joe: oh right right
PK: some people can see those as too much joking around
Joe: yeah, it’s something we have talked about. in the end, a lot of it is meant to be funny, or at least it’s funny to us but i think there’s much more to it. it’s not just “a joke” but it’s also not extremely serious, like i said before. it’s not weird al or the band from spinal tap.
PK: do you guys know Das Racist?
Joe: i’ve heard of them
PK: well they sort of play the same card where they are fantastic musicians (rappers in their case) but they are also hilarious and like to have fun with their music
PK: they have proven that they can make serious and great music but they’ll also put out a song like Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell which is just plain hilarious
Joe: haha right and people like that song but they know it’s a joke
PK: I’ve been known to chant it.
Joe: haha. the way we write songs is just natural to us sometimes there are funny parts, but we never set out to be funny. and there are some serious songs as well, of course
PK: for sure, and both sides are very strong. BF Season is easily one of the funniest songs I’ve heard in a while but I also enjoy the music
Joe: thank you
PK: people who think music is above humor need to lighten up and that’s why bands like Das Racist and sometimes Pavement are important for bloggers to listen to
PK: Flaming Lips also do a good job riding the line. I also like how some of your songs recall some older southern rock which is something not a lot of bands go near
Joe: hm yeah. i don’t know where that comes from really, i know steve, who plays guitar, his licks can be kind of twangy sometimes. again, not something we set out to do
PK: I mean it’s not enough to classify your music as southern rock, but as you said there is a nice twang and it’s pretty refreshing for indie rock
PK: so after finishing up with the kickstarter project to release One Nite Only on vinyl, what do you guys have planned?
Joe: well we’ve been recording stuff this summer for a full-length to be released in fall which is probably going to be called “Summer of Punishment” that’s been consuming most of our band time. pretty soon we’re going to have to start making the t-shirts and stuff for the kickstarter
PK: I’m psyched for the shirt
Joe: we’re also releasing this 4 or 5 song thing called “Hot Hits From Cold Cave” along with the kickstarter stuff. yeah the shirts are going to be cool
PK: Summer of Punishment sounds exciting, can you give us any teasers about what to expect?
Joe: hmm. i’d say the songs are a little more straight rock, a little more traditional, structurally. it’s probably going to be 12 songs. really though it’s still coming together and i don’t really have a grasp on the “big picture” yet
PK: alright well I’ll definitely be excited to hear what it comes out as. is it going to drop on a label?
Joe: no, not at this point we haven’t heard from any labels so we’ll probably just release it ourselves, for free
PK: were you guys happy with all the response to One Nite Only? I forget how I stumbled across it but I’m sure that it made a good impact with some blogs
Joe: yeah, we were really happy about it. it’s fun to look on the internet and see something you made on there. also, we weren’t expecting any sort of response so that made it even more surprising and exciting. really when One Nite Only was recorded, it was almost like a side project to our other bands and we were truthfully just having some fun with it
PK: that’s actually really awesome! it’s funny that sometimes side projects become more popular than main projects do
Joe: yeah, for whatever reason maybe because with a side project, there is not as much pressure or expectation. you can sort of just do whatever you feel like, and that’s genuine, and i think that comes across in the music.
PK: I totally agree when music is just fun to produce it usually turns out for the best
PK: I watched the Wilco documentary recently about the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and it’s crazy that it turned out well considering how laborious it was for them to make
Joe: haha yeah. i’ve heard some weird things about that album, like that when they gave it to o’rourke he fucked with it a lot and made it what it is when before the songs had been just kind of normal, is that in the doc?
PK: I remember in the doc about how Tweedy really wanted to right straight pop songs and then mess with them structurally. It was probably both of them together because back then Wilco had some really experimental pop
PK: it was sad to see that their relationships were deteriorating through the album and then it almost didn’t get released. the whole mythos behind that thing is just huge
Joe: yeah and then it got released for free. which is really bad ass
PK: very bad ass. I have a lot of respect for huge bands that could make a fortune of things and then they just put it out for free. Radiohead with In Rainbows to some extent Lil’ B
PK: with the internet though it’s so easy to get things for free anyway. I definitely buy CD’s when I can but there is just so much good stuff out there
Joe: yeah. i never buy cds anymore, but i don’t feel that bad about it
PK: you guys are in Milwaukee right? wasn’t it Bon Iver day recently?
Joe: yeah, a few days ago. he played two nights in milwaukee
PK: that’s pretty cool, have you checked out the record? or any records this year that you guys have all really liked?
Joe: i haven’t listened to it actually, and i’m not sure what the other guys have been into… so far i have really liked kurt vile’s new album. an album by a band called Radical Dads called “Mega Rama”. album by a band called Pure X
PK: lastly, do you have anything to say to anyone who might be confused about your album covers that are mostly you guys getting wasted together naked?
Joe: hahah i don’t know, i don’t know that i do have anything to say about them. it’s just a pattern that kind of started happening with the artwork and we just decided to keep doing it
Joe: all-time peace