Monday, March 28, 2011

In Orbit with Opposite the Satellite

by: Kiva Johns-Adkins for
(originally posted on Carol's Butterflies Blog on March 1, 2011)

LEXINGTON, KY - Opposite the Satellite, an indie band out of Virginia, has a style that mixes the sounds of southern rockers Lynard Skynard and the nu metal sound of the band KORN. Music doesn’t drive who OTS are. Who they are drives the music.
Brothers Andrew and Joe Bloomquest are joined by Todd Burton and James Rock in the striking quartet.
“We eat, sleep, drink and breathe Opposite the Satellite,” Andrew said. “It is an entity unto itself. It is an abstract being that speaks to us and through us.”
The band, which is currently in the middle of recording their first LP, “The Science of Falling,” (available November 2011) got its early beginnings when brothers Andrew and Joe Bloomquest got early encouragement from their father, who bought Joe his first guitar in fourth grade.

“My dad was really supportive,” Joe said. “I wanted to be a drummer but he said bands only have one drummer and many guitarists. Well, that didn’t last long. I have been playing drums for 15 years now.”
“We have been playing music together…forever,” older brother Andrew said. They both agree having the support of their dad has been one of their greatest gifts.
“Being in a band is not easy,” Joe said. “Thankfully, I have my brother and family and friends we trust. Being in a band, or a family, you have to trust each other and help each other.”
Since the band wrote and recorded their EP, “Blind Spot”, released in September of last year, they have replaced one of the founding members, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and needed to leave the band, meaning the sound of the LP will inevitably be different.
Joe offers sage advice to other indie bands out there trying to make their way in the business. “I think one of the most important things about setting yourself apart is to value your band members and each other’s time enough to not join the rat race. I also would say that it is harder to do this and maintain integrity, but have found that it really pays off to do so.
“I would start by finding the correct engineer for you – we use Brian Simmons of Storm Kloud Studios (Richmond, Va.) currently ­­- and trying to find in the budget some kind of production team, even if it’s one person. Record well, an E.P. or L.P., and build a foundation. Remember we build from the ground up. First impressions are everything. Do not over play your local area and try not to compete in battles. In this musical climate it is far more valuable to have open communication and idea sharing with your local artists than it is to be in a constant battle scenario. This is the fault of the promoters, and nine out of 10 times, greed. But until artists stick together and put their feet down, these people will have a strangle hold on your local scene.”
As a whole OTS, which has been an official project for eight years now, is “interested in music, politics and people…anyone who questions authority,” Andrew said. “Breaking the rules for a greater good is the highest level of moral reasoning.”
The power of the internet not only brings the world closer together politically and spiritually, it also allows indie bands like OTS with a great sound, strong values and important messages to get their music heard from Richmond, Va., to all parts of the world. Thanks to online radio stations like OTS is heard in countries including Indonesia, Australia and England. And they do it all independently, without a major record deal.
“We just received Virginia Local Music’s Artist of the Month,” Joe said. “We are working on a nomination for the 2011 Los Angeles Independent Music Awards. We have been fortunate enough to receive multiple strong reviews of our E.P. “Blind Spot,” and have been singled out by major label engineers to try and find a way forward to being picked up.”
The band is about family first and foremost but they are very in tune with the world around them.
“It’s just amazing when all of the people come together and stand up. It is mind-boggling,” Andrew said. “What is happening in Egypt, Libya and Bahrain is about breaking the rules for the greater good. For the global good, they (protestors) have a voice. If we don’t question authority, we don’t know who we are.”
Joe Bloomquest wrote their song “H1N1” and says the inspiration for it is very much what his brother Andrew is talking about.
“I like to educate myself on issues. I have had my own life experiences but this song is not a statement about who I am. It speaks to the fact that all of these things speak to me. These people need a voice.”
Andrew said the song is about unity. “That song highlights and brings to the surface that no matter where we are, who we are, we are united; one in the same,” he said. “We are feeling the same things, on a different level, and we are very in tune with that. We are fighting, but not with guns. We can do our jobs without guns by loving people and being honest.”
As for what the future holds for OTS:
“Opposite The Satellites Trajectory is very fluid right now; it’s hard to imagine what’s going to happen tomorrow, but the outlook is very promising,” Joe said. “We hope to be with you for a long time to come. Please join Opposite the Satellite on Facebook to get regular updates on ‘The Science of Falling’ and show announcements.”
To hear Opposite the Satellite’s music and learn more about them and what exactly their name means visit them at:
MySpace, Facebook, Reverbnation and Twitter @OTS_Music

Thanks to @babiesbrown for the editing

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