Firstly, a big thanks to David Olsthoorn for helping with the set up of this blog. The Photo at the top of the page was taken by his good self. Check out some of his other work here awakenddreaming.blogspot.com
The bio of Satellite Generals
The band started out when brothers Niall and James were 12. Taking up their respective instruments, they played together, much like the Jackson 5 along with their little brother Mark. The first album James bought was “Californication” by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Niall and James both learned every song on the album and continued to do so with each subsequent album they bought after that in the most obsessive fashion. From all the hours the boys put in together, they have grown up as a very tight unit which is evident when they play together. One can nearly predict where the other will go with a song and this comes from not only a shared love of music, but of rugby, surfing and other sports too. They appeared together in Pizza Hut ads, being picked due to their great acting skills and striking good looks. They are all clones of their Dad, Michael.
Niall and Graham were in the same year in Monkstown CBC and that is how they met. They would play the school concerts together but always in different bands, the Rogers’ playing together as a three piece or sometimes accompanied by a friend and Graham playing heavier music like Metallica and Black Sabbath with his own band.
Graham’s musical background is owed a lot to his older brother Neil, who introduced him to the heavier side of music. He eventually settled on TOOL as his favourite. He was obsessed with their strange song structures and time signatures. His musical influence was spread though and his other obsession was Joe Satriani who is known for his virtuoso style guitar playing. Together, this would create an interesting mix, not that the lads instantly agreed, but he thought so. He eventually adapted his style into the band to create a heavier, more technical element which the four members embraced. He’s not too bad looking either. He has a mushroom head though.
Jamie grew up on U2 and Metallica, his Dad being a huge U2 fan and his eldest brother Ger II, introducing him to Metallica. He spent hours locked away learning ‘The Black Album’ as he says. When he eventually left his house, it was to go play in school concerts in Rockbrook or play with his own band but that didn’t last long. He started out on guitar but was always drawn to the basslines of Muse and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This eventually led him to switch to the bass after a good few arguments over who plays what in the early days of the Satellite Generals. He settled on the bass and put 100% commitment into it, vowing to become a way better bassist than Niall is a guitarist, but secretly. Jamie operates under a strict ‘no noise pollution’ policy but is also the biggest offender of said policy. He sticks his tongue out a lot when he plays. It’s nasty.
In fifth year, Niall and Jamie met through mutual friends. At this stage, the Rogers’ were playing in a five piece band, the three brothers and two of their cousins. Niall and Jamie were instant friends, especially due to their similar love for music. It took a drunken night in town for one of them to finally pop the question and suddenly a band was born.
The band kicked off with Niall, James and Jamie learning covers of their favourite bands and evening adding an Iron Maiden twist to ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries (Jamie’s influence surely). After a house party and a gig in a local club in Dun Laoghaire, they decided they needed a second guitarist. Niall and James both suggested Graham and having already pestered him for a lend of his brothers bass amp for both gigs, they asked him to join the band, and maybe get a few more lends of his brothers bass amp. Graham agreed and the four lads set off to learn the covers again and maybe write a few songs.
This is reading quite like a biography written from the outside looking in. In reality, we are not known enough for anyone to bother to do that for us, so I’m going to continue this with a more honest approach.
Graham got offered a modelling contract……..
Over a year on, we had written close to twelve songs and had truly found our rhythm with song writing. We had played a good number of gigs in places such as Burn Beach Club, the Melody Bar, Think-Tank and the Village, supporting up and coming Irish band, “Jupe”. July ‘09, we entered Sun Studios for a day to record the four originals we had at that time. Considering it was only one day, we were happy with the quality of the songs we got from that day, having done each song live and only re-recording the vocals.
Since recording the demo, we have played on Whelans’ main stage and upstairs a handful of times. We played a wedding in England and a ball in Malahide Castle. These were definitely the highlights of 2010 for us as a band as we proved to ourselves we had the ability to perform well and entertain a crowd. With that in mind and the popularity of the songs we recorded in Sun Studios, we decided to record six more songs in the same place, with the same engineer. The results pleased us greatly.
Now that these songs are done, we have yet to decide what to do with them. Do we invest in skinny jeans, hair stylists, leather jackets and converse and try to go big? Or do we try and just get the music out there and see who bites, whether it be fan or fat cat? Really, we’re all just extremely insecure and need approval constantly, so I reckon we’ll try and get our music out in the open and try to have fun with it. After all, this is the reason we got together; to have fun and try and create music we truly love and can feel proud of.
Now that we’ve ticked those boxes, I guess we just have to try doing those things on a bigger level. How far we go is up to us, but either way, three years in, we’re just getting started.