Milwaukee-based band Sat. Nite Duets has been rattling around Riverwest for a few years now, spreading their infectious stoner-pop music in basements and theaters alike. This group of best friends just released their best and most daring record yet, titled Electric Manland. I sat down with band members Joe Guszkowski and Andrew Jambura to talk about the band, worms and their new album.
How did you come up with the band name?
JG: The band name is an anagram for United States. When we first started, it was a loose concept. We wanted to make an album about the United States as we saw it; what it meant to us. We put it into an anagram creator online and it gave us Sat. Nite Duets. That’s why it’s spelled the way it is, and that’s why technically it should be abbreviated to maintain the true anagram. But it doesn’t really matter.
How did the dynamic of multiple lead singers come about?
AJ: I think everybody had their own songs and it seemed to make more sense to all be in one band and play all the songs as opposed to making three or four different bands where the focus is on one person.
JG: The original seed for the project was Andrew’s idea. We were all off at college, and he said, “Hey guys, let’s all write a song or two about the United States and come together and record this album.” So, from the start, everyone was supposed to have a couple of songs. I think it just kept going like that. It was never like, “Alright guys, we should make a band and record some of these songs I’ve been writing.” It was always like, “Everybody bring some songs in!” It’s just how it was designed; for there to be no real front man.
So tell me about Electric Manland…
JG: This album is probably the most ambitious we’ve done. The most primal, heavy, best produced. We’re going through these ideas that we can’t really reach and these kinds of ambitious heights to make this big, epic rock record. We don’t really maybe have the ability or the means to do these huge ambitious things, but we’re reaching for it. So it’s got a kind of a low-fi aspect to it, but the scope is wider.
What is with the worm? Is that an inside joke that only the band is allowed to know?
JG: It’s not really an inside joke. I guess it was just something we thought it would just be funny to say in a song. The guy who thought of it; he just said it. He had written this song, this guy Chris who is sort of like a member but not a permanent member, wrote this song. We said, “Alright, what should we call this song?” And he just said, “Big Worm.” And then we just took that really, really far. And we’re still kind of running with it. I hope people don’t feel excluded, because it’s not an inside joke. It’s for everyone to have and make their own.
It’s a nice theme to weave throughout the album.
JG: Like a worm weaves throughout the ground.
Listen to “Big Worm.”
Favorite track on the album (that you didn’t write)?
JG: I like them all. It always changes. I really like “I Have The Wine” and “Women’s Prison”. If you gave me the album right now, and I had to pick which song to listen to right away, I’d probably pick those two.
AJ: I guess I’d have to say “I Have The Wine” too. I just think it’s a fun song. It’s definitely a song by our band.
JG: Everybody is very hyped about [Big Worm] in the band; but I would say if there had to be a second, it would probably be [I Have The Wine]. We always love to play that song. It came together really easy. We never had any trouble arranging it or anything.
Describe your band in one word.
AJ: We wanted to brew our own beer, but I didn’t have enough money.
JG: Wilco has its own beer. Why not us?
Be sure to join the band on Saturday for their album release show at Polish Falcons with special guests Jaill. Until then, enjoy Electric Manland streaming on Bandcamp!
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