Just two years ago, keyboardist/bassist/vocalist C. Ray Harvey brought together a band, which also features his wife Andrea Harvey on vocals, drummer Eric Frank and guitarist Andy Plank, in the hopes of exploring a brand of electronic music not widely heard in Fort Wayne. Writing original music and playing on stages like Brass Rail and Calhoun Soups, Salads and Spirits, Wooden Satellites became part of Fort Wayne’s thriving musical community.
“We felt like the music we were playing filled a void, that there was a gap for what we were doing,” said Harvey. “This is a great city for music, although that isn’t necessarily appreciated outside of those of us who are doing it. We’re really each other’s audiences, and there are a lot of different bands doing different things but none exactly doing what we are.”
Eventually they wanted to capture that sound in the recording studio. Looking for a professional effort, Jason Davis’s Off the Cuff Recording was suggested to Harvey as a good fit. One significant glitch made him wary of partnership.
“We had interviewed some people and didn’t really trust anyone to mix our music,” said Harvey. “Someone told us about Jason but said he would only record in analog. I basically went to his house to fire him before I’d even met him because I thought there was no way we could record without computers. Half our music was in a laptop.”
Eventually, Harvey was won over, and the resulting album, “Let’s Make Crimes,” pushed the band outside of their comfort zone in ways Harvey hadn’t imagined but now very much appreciates.
“It forced us to scale back in really good ways, focusing on the different layers of each song. The layers were pulling us in different directions.” Adding to the new direction was their decision to release the album on vinyl, making the project more costly but satisfying for the vinyl-loving bandmates and earning them a spot of distinction at local records stores like Wooden Nickel and Neat Neat Neat Records.
Having fulfilled that goal, the band now looks ahead to recording some more songs — this time digitally — for release on iTunes, with downloads available this month with purchase of Wooden Satellites merchandise. The band trusts its fans to find their own definition for the Wooden Satellites sound.
“I wouldn’t call us rock ’n roll or modern rock,” said Harvey. “I listen to songwriters and performers like the Beatles, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and try to find what they’re doing in their songs that works. They’re all artists who stole from everyone around them, and I try to find what I can in that music, in American rock and electronic pop songs, and use them in a new way.”