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Winnipeg Buzz: Jet Set Satellite’s Heart Still Pumping (eliza dushku mention)

Chris Yackoboski

Saturday 4 March 2006, by isa

Some artists feel that you have to suffer to create great art. If that’s true, Jet Set Satellite may have taken a few shots in order to create their new album, Vegas.

For example, when asked what the dark, metallic-looking machine on the cover of the CD is all about, frontman Trevor Tuminski says, "If the band had a heart, this is what it would look like... a weathered engine."

In describing what the band has gone through since their previous disc, Blueprint, was released five years ago, Tuminski further explains how the band’s heart was beaten up for their art.

"So many things happened. Getting this record made was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Every day I was questioning what we were doing. We left our record deal, we were trying to get Vegas off of the ground, family members passed away... it was a real dark period. We broke up, we lost our focus, our vision, we didn’t know what we were going to do. Then, over a month, we started playing again."

That shady outlook found its way into the music, as Tuminski reveals when describing how the new record was named.

"We knew we’d written a very, very dark album, and Las Vegas is shiny on the outside with a dark vein underneath. It’s sort of an analogy for the music industry struggle we went through."

"We have no interest in sounding like Weezer or Linkin Park. They wanted us to do someone else’s song, and it was terrible. There was no way I was going to do that."

Tuminski is just as vocal about his disappointment with the "so-called management" the band received. "We played the biggest gig of our life, opening up for 90,000 people, and management wasn’t there."

All hasn’t been doom and gloom, however. Jet Set Satellite have been able to place numerous tunes and videos in such television shows as E.R., Dead Like Me, Tru Calling, Roswell and Judging Amy. The band have also scratched their way into feature film licensing, too, with American Outlaws (a Colin Farrell vehicle) and Soul Survivors (with Eliza Dushku and Casey Affleck) using Jet Set tunes to heighten the mood. "We’ve been very fortunate in that regard," Tuminski says.

"We had a song on the season finale of E.R., which I negotiated myself. My favourite was on Dead Like Me, because Stewart Copeland was the guy we had to go through, and they actually used one of our videos on the show. I’m a huge Police fan, so I was so proud. But our music has a cinematic quality from the get-go, so it makes sense that we’re getting some of these things."

That cinematic element isn’t quite as prominent on the new record. Although there are still some subtle atmospheric sounds and some quieter moments, for the most part, it’s riffs and hooks all the way. "This album is more muscular," Tuminski says.

"Blueprint was like dipping a toe in the water, and Vegas is jumping right in. We found that at shows after the first album, people were rallying around the harder stuff, and a lot of the atmospheric or ambient stuff didn’t really fly."

Jet Set Satellite are currently bringing their weathered engine to these towns:
# March 4 London, ON @ The Embassy
# March 5 Chatham, ON @ Twisters
# March 6 Windsor, ON @ Chubby Pickle
# March 8 Oshawa, ON @ Dungeon
# March 9 Peterborough, ON @ Trasheteria
# March 10 Cornwall, ON @ Rangatangs
# March 11 Montreal, QC @ L’Hemisphere Gauche
# March 16 Brockville, ON @ Keystorm
# March 17 Kingston, ON @ Merchant
# March 27 Thunder Bay, ON @ Outpost

Cat Jahnke is providing the soundtrack for an entry to the 168 Hour Film Festival in California. The title track of her upcoming None Of Those Things CD has also been named a finalist in the Nashville-based International Songwriting Competition. Jahnke says there’s no date set for the album’s release yet, but she’s shooting to drop it in May.

The Pyramid Cabaret has added New Wave Mondays with DJ Rob Velar to the theme night schedule. The Mod Club is still running every Thursday with DJ Sean Allum (formerly of Duotang) and The Invisible Man. There’s no truth to the rumours that Sundays will soon feature all Sundays songs and Wednesdays will feature only Pixies tunes.

The Dust Poets are in the midst of a western swing coinciding with the release of their new one, Lovesick Town. Having already hit Alberta, the folk-popsters still have these dates remaining:
# March 3 Saskatoon, SK @ Lydia’s Upstairs
# March 4 North Battleford, SK @ Legion No. 70
# March 5 Regina, SK @ The Club In The Exchange
# March 6 Lumsden, SK @ St. Peters Parish Hall
# March 8 Brandon, MB @ Evans Lecture Theatre
# March 9 Basswood, MB @ Basswood Hall
# March 10 Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre