Aggressive jazz funk and moshable acid jams are some of the ingredients that should be thrown into the description of one of Tam High’s hidden musical treasures, Satellites Don’t Blink. This compilation of Mill Valleys finest odd bugs has merged together to create the unique sound that creeps from our valley’s redwoods. Alex Frank, Tyler Parkerson, and Maxx Hockenberry are the individuals behind the noise that has become Satellites Don’t Blink. From the simple beats and rasta rhythms of the C— Faced Brothers Band to their present state of groovy hardcore tunes, this group of rubber duckys have morphed from a middle school jam band to an ear enchanting taste of musical expression.
What brought Satellites Don’t Blink together?
Maxx: We met at Hoot’s house and just ended up jumping on instruments. Jammin’.
Alex: Pot, Supervillians, and reggae juice.
Tyler: I met Alex and Hoot in 7th grade and we just started jamming and writing songs. In high school we ran into Maxx and continued to jam out.
What has influenced you guys to create music?
Maxx: Funky reggae stuff, and the old time Red Hot Chili Peppers, minus the rapping.
Alex: Jimmy Hendrix is the initial spark followed by fun, a lot of fun.
Tyler: Our main influence is because it’s just fun. It’s fun to create a musical organism through notes and sounds. The best way to see someone’s emotions is to listen to their music or read their literature, this shows a person’s mindset in the best [possible] way.
Why make music?
Tyler: Self-expression, just to create something beautiful and share it with the people, to connect with the people.
What genre of music do you consider yourselves?
Maxx: Acid funk jams, weird funk music.
Alex: It really depends on what song you’re looking at, but I’d say moshable funk music or jazzy aggressive funk.
When we play at the Band school shows we aim to scare the Mill Valley moms.
Do you just play plugged in music or do you do acoustic sets as well?
Maxx: We don’t play many acoustic sets, but I’m planning on jamming more acoustic.
Alex: We’ve played acoustic stuff at protests. I don’t think we have any plans for acoustic sets.
Tyler: Most of SDB is plugged in but when we’re hanging out a spontaneous acoustic jam is bound to arise.
How do you feel when you play music?
Maxx: It feels like I have a blank slate in front of me and I can do whatever I want with it. Just pushing new areas of noise.
Alex: It’s like I’m making a really incredible meal or having some pretty good sex.
Tyler: Exhilarated. If you’re angry or you’re happy it will help you out. Music is communication of the soul with other people.
Do you aim your music towards a specific audience?
Maxx: We’ll play music for anyone, just trying to make music and have fun. But when we play at the Band School shows we aim to scare the Mill Valley moms.
Alex: The music is aimed towards ourselves, its geared toward us. We try to make it danceable at times but normally we make it a journey to a place you’ve never been before.
Tyler: We don’t have a specific aim for our music, we’ll just sit down, Maxx will start a riff, I’ll start a riff and we’ll play, whatever comes.
Do you have any role models in the music world?
Maxx: Nirvana, because Kurt Cobain is one of the greatest musicians of all time and just the whole vibe that comes with the old time Red Hot Chilli Peppers tunes.
Alex: I would have to say African drummers and dancers, their having so much fun as they make music and music is fun, you know. So many Western musicians take themselves too seriously, and I’m just trying to have fun. If you’re not having fun as you make music, you might as well not make music.
Tyler: It used to be a bass player but now it’s Zakir Hussien, a tabla player, because he and the music itself is some of the most advanced music ever, yet he is happier than ever when he’s playing. The best music comes from those in love with what they’re doing and Zakir takes it to another level.
What other band do you think you guys are most like?
Maxx: [Primus] works real well together and we have a similar sound and I think we have that same cooperation.
Alex: A funkier Tool, or maybe a jazzier Tool, or just a better Tool.
Tyler: I would say Primus, but not as good as Primus.
What is one of the first memories you have of your band mates?
Tyler: I met Alex in a 7th grade math class we would just laugh our asses off talking about South Park. When I first met Maxx it was in freshman P.E. and I thought he was the fruitiest kid I had ever seen, but I talked to him and he ended up being chill, despite the freckles and “Bieber cut”,yet I don’t think Justin Bieber was around back then.
Alex: Tyler punched me in math class and we became friends.
Do you want to make it to the big-time?
Maxx: I don’t really give a f—. I Just want to make music, whoever likes it, likes it, and whoever doesn’t, doesn’t, not in it for the money.
Alex: At some point I do. I’m going to music school. But I have no idea what the music it’s going to look or sound like. Probably a mix of crazy drum circles with electronic melodies. I want to put the flavor of everything in one symphony, funk, punk, jazz, percussion, all in one.
Tyler: No, not really. it would be awesome, but we’re not necessarily trying to.
What is your philosophy on moshing?
Maxx: It’s all about the energy of the music. Most people think it’s violent and crazy, but the mentality is very [calm].
Alex: Everyone needs to learn how to mosh, and at least mosh on a monthly basis. It’s all in health man, health matters, mosh.
Tyler: Moshing is probably one of the best moments you can have throughout the course of a day.
What was your first performance like?
Tyler: Our first show was the best thing ever, we drove out to the Dance Palace in Point Reyes and everyone we would have wished to be there was there. The bands were incredible and the energy was bouncing from us to the crowd. It was awesome, especially camping on the beach and jamming by the fire afterwards.
Alex: It was amazing. The week before, we worked real hard to get our songs together and just grooved ’em out. The show was awesome.
What would you define Satellites Don’t Blink as?
Maxx: A group hungry for your soul.
Alex: A group of people who want to make something beautiful…or ugly. While trying to make people into wise old men and women.
Tyler: Movement, everything we do is about movement. Movement of the soul, body, spirit, everything ya know sexual funk.
Last but not least, what’s your secret to growing a good beard?
Alex: Your beard will only be as strong as your leg, butt, and chest hair, you need all the elements.
Tyler: The secret is testosterone pills….
If your taste buds and ear drums are craving some feral sounds from the sky. you can check out Maxx, Tyler, and Alex’s sound by adding Satellites Don’t Blink music page on Facebook or checking out some live recordings on their Soundcloud. They are currently in the beginning stages of recording an album, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for word on your local Tam band goods.
Aggressive jazz funk and moshable acid jams are some of the ingredients thrown into the description of one of Tam High’s hidden musical treasures. Satellites Don’t Blink. This compilation of Mill Valley’s finest odd bugs has merged together to create the unique sound that creeps from our valley’s redwoods. Alex Frank, Tyler Parkerson, and Maxx Hockenberry are the individuals behind the noise that has become Satellites Don’t Blink. From the simple beats and rasta rhythms of the C— Faced Brothers Band to their present state of groovy hardcore tunes, this group of rubber duckies have morphed from a middle school jam band into an ear enchanting taste of musical expression.