The Rocks Off 200: Saturn Will Not Sleep, Scout Bar's Electronic Mad Scientist
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Photos courtesy of Steven Trimble
Who? Steven Trimble, the "controllerist" behind Saturn Will Not Sleep, is part producer, part sound manipulator, and master of all that is electronic. Armed with a boatload of tech gear and some handy lighting elements, Trimble incorporates electronica, hip-hop, glitch, and industrial music to create mad-scientist type of sound that defies categorization.
That sound is best described as controlled chaos, really -- what starts off as Saturn's own mix may veer off into sampling Nine Inch Nails, or he may welcome a rapper onstage to spit over his mad-lab sounds. That mixture of beats, noise, and sound is elevated to another level once he throws in his wicked light show, which is tailored to the tone of the song for good measure.
"I get so much confusion about what I do," he says, laughing. "My first merch is going to be a shirt that says, 'I'm not a fucking DJ,'"
Rather than falling back on the familiarity of DJing, Trimble's aim is to bring something totally experimental to the Houston music scene. And with the attention he's gained over just a few shows, he's well on his way.
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Home Base: With a pretty ordinary day job -- he's a graphic designer by trade -- and a flourishing painting career, plus his portable technology, Trimble is able to spend quite a bit of time creating whatever he wants, wherever he wants.
His artwork has definitely opened doors for his music. Well before he opened a recent show for The Hunger at Scout Bar, they were a client of his. Most of the artwork around the Clear Lake venue is his, in fact.
"It's Clear Lake and Scout Bar, with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids; the inner loop gets plenty of love from artists," jokes Trimble.
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "I'm not married to Houston for the rest of my art or music career," he says. "But for right now, I'm here, and if I can do anything to change the scene up for the better while I'm here, then great."
The Rocks Off 200 continues on the next page.
Good War Story: "Metal dudes don't get what I'm doing, for the most part," Trimble says. "Most dudes toting guitars aren't impressed cause I'm not strumming strings. I was playing a show with a metal band recently, and I can't say for sure who did it, but somehow they unplugged four of the lights while they were unloading their gear.
So when I took the stage, everything went wrong. It's kinda like that sometimes, when you're bringing all that tech equipment out. So you know when you go on stage that you can expect a blue screen of death to happen at any moment. But you don't expect the lights to stop working.
I kept looking around, trying to keep the beat while figuring out how shit came unplugged and how to get it back up. It was chaos. Had I not gotten drunk real quick, I would have been thrown out of Scout Bar once I was off stage. Evolve, man. Listen to something besides Slipknot. And don't unplug my lights.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "There's all these bands out there," he says. "And they're not bad, but they're all playing the same song. If I hear one more kid scream into a mike, I may stab myself. And we're local artists. The sooner we realize that, the better off we'll be. Bring some humility with your ego."
Five Desert Island Discs:
Crystal Method, Vegas
Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
Pink Floyd, The Wall
Rage Against The Machine, Rage Against the Machine
First Song You Fell In Love With: "All Along The Watchtower" -- "The Hendrix version, not the Dylan version," Trimble says. "I must have been 11 when I heard it," he says, "And it was like, 'Dad, I want a guitar. Now.'"
Saturn Will Not Sleep performs Halloween night with Erase the Virus at Scout Bar, 18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Clear Lake.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
See the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni on the next page.
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