Introducing Saucer: Your heavy neighborhood space cases
*Editor’s note: The feature photo’s credit did not appear in the print version of this article. This photo is credited to Allen Martin of MartiniVision Creative Services and was given to YES! Weekly courtesy of the band Saucer.
By: Katei Cranford
With the first week of summer officially kicking off, bands are heatin’ up stages all across the Triad.
In Greensboro, a quartet of space-cases have come together, armed with galactic riffs and cosmic chords, to melt faces more fiercely than noon-day sun does an ice cream cone.
Meet Saucer, a “rock band” of seasoned friends spreading their “post-whatever space trudge,” and crashing toward the Triad music scene.
Space puns notwithstanding, the deckhands in Saucer include drummer Ben Braxton, bassist Sean Hall, guitarist Ryan Stack, and Kate Weigand on baritone guitar.
No strangers to the Greensboro music community, the four started playing as a unit in late 2017, with a smashing first show at Corner Bar during GSOFest in April. “Best first show with a band any of us have ever played,” Saucer said collectively, “it’s like the stars aligned and everything came together.”
Though Saucer itself is new to the scene, each member cut their teeth in various bands of the past. Hall (in Black Squares/White Islands) and Weigand (in Lebaron) circulated the mathy, post-rock end of the Triad music universe. Stack’s past in madman punk bands like Tarantulco and the janglier (but no-less nutty) Cucumbers sprinkles in sweet chaos.
Braxton boasts the most diverse resume from rock ’n’ roll outfits Piedmonstmen and Fist Fight, to current projects: electronic-duo Transport 77 and “dad-doomers” Ebon Shrike.
“We think that a diverse mix of influences really helps bring a unique and sonically interesting composition,” Saucer said, “it’s nice when a diverse group of musicians can come to the table and create a ‘sound’, so to speak.”
That diversity runs through their musical interests. Braxton’s a man who digs Michael McDonald, Blue Oyster Cult and “anyone who plays big dumb drums.” Hall favors Death From Above 1979, Wye Oak, and At The Drive In. Stack’s into They Might be Giants and Celine Dion. And Weigand really “likes Hum.”
The Saucer crew came together thanks (in part) to David Lynch. “I’m pretty sure I met [Weigand] by harassing her about her Eraserhead tattoo,” Stack recalled. “That means I met Ryan because he harassed [Weigand] about her Eraserhead tattoo,” Hall countered.
Living by the code, “if my molars ain’t throbbin, my head ain’t bobbin,” Saucer isn’t exactly a band for a soft Sunday in the park. But they are a band of friends engaged in a “communal writing process with a little more of the style geared toward [Weigand’s] chunky riffs.”
The chunkiness comes from Weigand’s baritone guitar, a low-end monster of the string family. She explained the distinction with a Satanic analogy: “regular guitars sound like Satan’s first floor, while a baritone guitar sounds like Satan’s basement.”
“That makes bass Satan’s septic tank,” Stack quipped with his own take.
Having a girl in the band can be like an elephant in the room. This may be the era of #MeToo, but there’s a long road ahead. And “the girl” often catches the attention of audience-members unconcerned with stage-plots or personal space. It’s already happened in the few shows under their belt.
For better or worse. Saucer embraces that elephant with their own dry humour. When asked about the biggest difference between their current and previous projects, their answers rolled like a vaudeville routine: Hall exclaimed, “Yeah! There’s a girl in the band.” Stack added, “there’s still a girl in the band.” Weigand dead-panned: “I’m still the girl.”
That humor contrasts with their heavy tone and stage presence, but carries over into talks of the future and upcoming work.
“Our next project is a double cover comedy album featuring Celine Dion,” Braxton said, “we went into the studio on June 6 at Legitimate Business to record an EP with Kris Hilbert.”
Though there’s no confirmation from Dion’s camp, or release date set for the EP, Stack’s heart goes on in hopes of working with the Titanic songstress. “I would really love to open for [her],” he said.
Snagging an opening-slot for the 90’s pop icon may be a bit far-off on the horizon for the indie band. In the meantime, Saucer has a round of shows coming up, the next being with Basement Life and Youth League at Boxcar (120 W. Lewis St.) on Friday night.
“Do you like your tv dinner to include space travel, tooth decay, Hum and a side of heavy melodic riffs?” Eric Mann (of Basement Life) asked on the show’s Facebook event, ”if so you will like Saucer.”
Katei Cranford is a GSO rock-n-roller and all-around Triad music nerd. She chats up tunes and towns as hostess of Mostly Local Monday, a radio show that runs like a mixtape of bands playing NC the following week. You can catch her on WUAG 103.1FM every Monday from 5-7pm or via live stream at www.wuag.net.