Music Festival season is in full swing, as California’s two weekend Coachella kicked things off for 2022 in April and Nine Inch Nails closed out Boston Calling on Sunday Night. We are just one month away from Audiofeed, July 1-3 in Champaign, Illinois. This Christian oriented music and arts festival was birthed out of the ashes of Cornerstone. Audiofeed seeks to carry on Cornerstone’s legacy of staging showcases of great independent and underground music with the spirit of love embodied by Jesus but without the proselytizing that goes along with other popular Christian music fests.
For the very first time, Tuned Up is a sponsor for the festival, hosting a pop-up Tuned Up Lounge, and curating a variety of bands and artists that will appear on the Black Sheep Stage. In anticipation of the festival, we here at Tuned Up will be giving a preview of several of the artists we selected to play at Audiofeed this year.
SPACESHIPS hails from South Bend, Indiana and describe themselves as a post gaze/dream metal band. Comprised of members Ben Gooding, Bret Wood, Joel Sanchez, and Nat FitzGerald, SPACESHIPS atmospheric blend of post-rock, shoegaze, and metal are sure to please fans of Vheissu-era Thrice, Caspian, and the more melodic side of Deftones. SPACESHIPS have released an album and an EP on Friend Club Records. Their cover of Thrice’s “A Song for Milly Michaelson” was recently featured on a Vagrant Records Tribute album co-released by Friend Club and Wiretap Records. Guitarist/Vocalist Nat Fitzgerald was kind enough recently to answer some of my questions as an introduction to the band.
1) Describe SPACESHIPS in 5 words:
Heavy, spacey, crushing, reverb pedals
2) Could you name a song or two of yours that someone unfamiliar with your band could check out to get a sense of who you are?
“Joy/Pain”: This track is a good sampler of everything we do: Heavy shoegaze walls of noise, lush post rock atmospheres, and mathy countermelodies.
“Solid Ground“: This was maybe our first signature song—it’s got all the interweaving countermelodies and builds to explosions that mark our best songs
3) What could an audience member expect to experience at a SPACESHIPS show?
We’ve had all sorts of reactions—we’ve had hula hoopers, spontaneous hug lines, moshing…there’s even one guy who comes to all our shows and loses himself in a kind of tantric interpretive dance. And then if course some people just stand there, so just follow your heart.
4) Which artists and/or albums would be carved in stone on your post-rock Mount Rushmore?
This Will Destroy You – self titled
Lantlos – Melting Sun
Russian Circles – Empros
Thrice – Alchemy Index vols 2&3 (not a post rock band, but those EP are pretty post rock; and are probably the biggest influence on our sound)
5) What kind of music does the band listen to in the van on the way to shows?
It’s all over the place: on one drive we went from Dawes to Chon to Zao to Spotlights. There are a few standbys though—there’s always plenty of mewithoutYou, Alcest, Holy Fawn, and Radiohead.
6) After several years of canceled shows due to the pandemic, what are you most looking forward to about playing out live again?
We’ve been so disconnected from each other the last two years that I’m mostly just excited to be with one another again. We’ve all had major changes—new jobs, new children—and it’s been difficult to get everyone together. I’m not exaggerating when I say that making music with these guys is my favorite thing, and I’m excited to do that.
7) Who are some other artists you’re looking forward to seeing at Audiofeed 2022?
Pedro the Lion (who isn’t?), Idle Threat, Adjy, Wind Words, American Arson, Narrow/Arrow(!), Cardboard Highway, our Friend Club labelmates All Hallowed, and many more!
8) What are some future projects coming up for SPACESHIPS?
We have a split coming out with our good friends analecta, a post rock duo here in South Bend. Our half has been floating around without a companion for a long time (we recorded it around the same time as Tiny Fires and Pillars), so we’re glad to have finally found someone to share the other side with us.
We also have a full length coming out this fall, but you didn’t hear it from me. 😉