A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Geoff Kuth, vocalist of Bothell, WA indie post-rock band Seas to Skylines, delves into Greek mythology, NASA, and an 11-second audio clip of a thunderstorm on Saturn.
Album: Aphelia EP
Release Date: We released it online June 1st, 2012.
When it was written: Late Summer/Fall of 2011.
Where it was written: In our practice room (an extra room upstairs in one of our guitarist's house) in Bothell. "Saturn" is our loudest song. When we really get into it while playing in that room, it can feel like a small earthquake. It's nice to have such a powerful song to play because we do have a lot of softer music.
Favorite line in the song: "I will steal your crown!" The lyrics to this song were being written while the occupy movement was gaining momentum, so we were influenced by the people that addressed crowds to get them riled up.
Which part was the hardest to come up with: We write our music collaboratively. Usually, our guitarists come in with a guitar riff and we build the rest of the instruments off it. The main parts of "Saturn" came pretty naturally, but the bridge took a little while to get right. We mixed up the timing structure a little, so our drummer deviates the drums into 11/4 while the rest of the band stays in 4/4.
Odd fact about song: In March 2011, NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft picked up audio of a gigantic thunderstorm on Saturn. This audio was compressed into a 11-second clip and released to the public. The crinkly popping sounds heard at the beginning and end of the song is a filtered and distorted sample of that recording.
What was your inspiration for writing the song: One of our guitarists came across the NASA Saturn sample and we decided to loop it over a guitar riff we were working on. Then our other guitarist added his spacey tremolo and the song kind of took off. It was such a big sound we decided that it had to be about some kind of battle. When we tentatively named it "Saturn," I asked about using the Roman God for the subject of the lyrics. I then brushed up on the mythology and found out that Saturn was the Roman equivalent to Cronos (Zeus's father in Greek mythology). If you are unfamiliar with the story, Cronos castrates his father, Uranus, and takes over. He is told by his parents that one of his son's will overtake him one day, so he tries to eat all his children. His wife gets tired of eating her babies, so she feeds him a stone instead of his sixth son, Zeus. When Zeus grows up, he takes out Cronos. So this idea of succession definitely stood out and our song became a battle between the gods.
When was your favorite time performing it live: We rocked the High Dive in March 2012. Sound was dialed in well, energy was high, and it was a perfect way to close out our set.
What is the meaning behind the song: Many people want to separate themselves from their parents. They strive to accomplish this by the schools they go to, the jobs they have, the music they listen to, the books they read, the political beliefs they subscribe to, the grammar they use (yes, there were phrases ended in prepositions), what they wear, etc. But there is a point where we have to come to terms with who we are, and it is very hard to not be influenced by the people that raised you. "Saturn" is many interpretations of this. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft that got the sound from the planet is partially named for the astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini. His son, grandson, and great grandson were all astronomers. How did they feel in the shadow of their fathers? How did the Roman Gods feel next to theirs? How do you feel about the decisions your parents have made in their previous generations, and how has that effected you today? And something you shouldn't forget, how will your children feel about the type of person you are and the decisions you will make?