The Saturators Spotlight Series
The Saturators bring their unique blend of Dancehall, Reggae, Funk, Hip-hop and Afrobeat, which they call “Wet Music”, to Maxwell’s Tavern on 12/31/16. Put on your red shoes and get ready to MOVE! The ticket includes a 5-hour premium open bar, 2-hour food buffet and a champagne toast at midnight! TLN got the scoop from Misha “Silky” Savage (guitar / vox) to learn more about the band and what “Wet Music” is all about. This interview was conducted on 12/28/16.
TLN: Let’s start from the beginning, you guys formed from the “Funkaholics Anonymous” Hip-Hop jams in Harlem, tell us a bit about how that all started.
Misha: The Saturators was my first foray into a new band post-college, but we’ve gone through at least 4-5 different lineups since. The only member of the original crew is technically Theo, our master conga player. Funkaholics Anonymous was my attempt at transcribing a ton of local hip hop for live instrumentation, based on things I’d learned at The Lesson and The Gumbo. We used to take MC’s tracks, transcribe, arrange, and perform them as a microset. Our first team in was The Black God Pantheon, headed by Crimdella. It wasn’t until our third month that I met our frontman, Red.
TLN: The Saturators released their first single, “Stacks”, (also featured on The Latest Noise Fall Mixtape!) a couple months ago, what can you tell us about how that song came together?
Misha: Stacks was originally a routine I divined as just the ending – the chant – for use as a crowd hyper in Funkaholics Anonymous. It was honed as a song with an older lineup of the band before Red and I put lyrics to it – he took the song to a kind of, “Get your money up” anthem.
TLN: “Stacks” was recorded, mixed and mastered at Might Toad Studios in Brooklyn. How is it recording there? Anything stand-out from the recording session?
Misha: Mighty Toad is a studio in Southern Brooklyn run by musician Craig Dryer. He’s got a pretty formidable array of vintage gear and a real trident board that allows for some super juicy vintage sounds. His wizardry on drum sounds is the coup de grace of the record – I won’t give away how they were done – but it certainly stands out. That and Uncle Eddy’s Farfisa.
TLN: The Saturators are playing a special 3-set NYE show at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken, NJ. What are you most excited about playing at this storied venue for their NYE show?
Misha: The champagne (laughs.) I’m pretty interested in the mashups we’re lining up for this – we have some pretty terrific song combos that we’ve never done before. We expect some serious debauchery.
TLN: It seems the band is influenced by a wide range of styles, musicians and time-periods. What do you think is the one component of your sound or performance that makes you stand out from other bands?
Misha: Our makeup. The youngest member and oldest member have at least a 20 year age gap. Aiman, our MD/Bassist is from Malaysia, Jen is from Brasil/NY and Red is a Trini cat from Crown Heights. We look weirder, we have a really diverse range of influences based on our upbringings and times.
TLN: Hoboken and NYC are only separated by the Hudson river but can seem like worlds apart when it comes to the music scenes in each. Having played “The Latest Noise Live” show at Maxwell’s in October and plenty of venues in NYC what can you tell us about your experiences in each?
Misha: NYC is perhaps the widest ranging music market in the city. So there’s a stupid amount of competition. The issues we face at most venues are that the degree of choice can often baffle would-be concert goers. We’ve played 200+ person venues to total dives. I like the dives actually, I like 75-100 person venues. Its far easier for us to get the movement across when its so in your face. Maxwells is sort of medium-sized, but its how the fans react that I enjoyed most – The sound is pretty damn good onstage as well.
TLN: Digging a little more into your live performances, what is the most important thing you want to get across to an audience when you perform live?
Misha: For me, it’s Movement. Get up, Dance. The most unsettling thing for me is when an audience is static during our set –it’s like I haven’t done my job. Our catchphrase, Wet Music, is about the sweat on the dancefloor.
TLN: Can you tell us about any more songs you have on the horizon, can we expect an album in 2017?
Misha: You should see a music video from us within first half of the year. We have a couple songs in the vault that should make their way onto the sound spectrum in 2017.
TLN: What are some things you have learned in forming “The Saturators” that you could tell our readers who might be starting out themselves?
Misha: Decide what you want to do musically as soon as you can, and always schedule at least a month ahead of time. Set ambitious goals. Keep the lines of communication 7/11-levels of open (er, 24/7), as it pertains to both scheduling, and interpersonal honesty.
TLN: Any other bands that you guys are digging recently?
Misha: The band has pretty wide tastes. I feel to some degree we’ve all been digging Anderson Paak. I know that the individual members have been privy to Mark Giuliana, and Bruno Mars. ATCQ and Childish Gambino too.
TLN: What’s your favorite venue to perform at?
Misha: In NYC? Before it closed, Meridian 23. They were strong because they had a reputation for great programming and easy accessibility. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Nublu 151 as well. I’ve had the most fun performing at Pianos recently – I’m a sucker for intimate venues.
What’s your dream gig?
Misha: Questlove’s Birthday party (laughs.) I’d really like to do a big show at Le Poisson Rouge at some point. It’s a bizarre venue, but the vibe is incredibly cool. Either that or a big House of Vans show. They have free pizza and beer!!!
TLN: Heading into 2017, what do you guys want to accomplish in the next year?
Misha: We want to see dual releases / label formation and show curation with fellow bands – Think, Redddaz, JSWISS, Chandanie etc. We hope to start some type of ongoing media series to document this process with 1221 Media Ent – run by our friend Trizanne Fong. Our serious focus is going to about honing and identifying our community.
TLN: Anything else you’d like to share before you gig at Maxwell’s Tavern on 12/31/16?
Misha: Be prepared to Dance – and on a serious note – don’t drink and drive that night. I’ll carry you home if I have to. Mucho amor!