Saturn Formula formed in 2003, originally working as a hip cocktail bar band in Melbourne. Daniel Sommariva (drums and programming) and Ben Ganly (piano) share a love and passion for the connection and groove found in music and have been friends for 13 years. With a sound inspired by the acid jazz and lounge movement of the 60s, fused with Latin rhythms, jazz, soul, funk and electro, their chemistry dazzles audiences and delivers a sophisticated retro sound. We fired off a few questions.
What are your thoughts on the GC music scene?
There are many musicians and a lot of music happening, which is good, but there seems to be a shortage on originality / contemporary artists. Obviously the tourism and multicultural nature of the GC are big factors, but It would be really positive to see more venues getting behind artists that dare to be different. The cover band phenomenon makes it harder for upcoming local and interstate original artists to get recognised or even show interest in performing here, so the scene is different. Perhaps a change will come eventually, or live music will become more superfluous. In a world where Pokemon can entertain the masses, anything’s possible.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give an aspiring musician?
We all draw our influences from somewhere, take it and interpret it in your own style, push boundaries, listen to everything, keep an open mind, be original, play from the heart, respect those beneath you, work hard on yourself and never stop dreaming. Don’t take the easy road.
What’s the biggest challenge to up and coming Australian artists?
I believe this challenge is global. With all the technology available, the ever growing population, the capitalistic nature of the industry, the narcissism… The greatest challenge is to be heard. To stand out. To contribute to an already profoundly saturated market. To keep your spirit up and justify all the work, time and money you put into your art.
If you could take 5 musicians / artists on a roadtrip around Australia, who would you choose?
As long as we had a mutual understanding of dynamics, musical cohesion, the groove, a professional attitude and respect for each other, it wouldn’t matter. It’s about providing quality entertainment while nurturing each other. The collective sound is everything.
The most under-rated musician right now?
Sadly there are plenty out there not being heard, and they have their own reasons for laying low, but I see them playing on the streets, at open mic nights or at random parties. Anyone who isn’t famous or playing a payed gig but plays original and creative music from the heart with skill and precision is under-rated in my opinion.
Saturn Formula celebrate the release of their new album at Mandala Organic Arts Café, Monday 3 October at 8.00pm. More at saturnformula.bandcamp.com.