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brave Saint Saturn boldly Goes...

One of our trusty JfH staff, Sandrene Matthews ventured to Reynoldsburg, Ohio where she caught Five Iron Frenzy's live performance. FiF's lead singer Reese Roper also heads up brave Sain Saturn as a side project with other FiF members Keith Hoerig and Dennis Culp. So S.G. took the opportunity to quiz Reese on some BSS-related material for an exclusive JfH interview.
This interview took place on: 2/4/01.

  • Jesus freak Hideout (Sandrene Matthews): The band was originally called "the Astronauts," is that right?
    Reese Roper: It was called "Astronaut." Is this recording?

  • JFH (Sandrene): When and why did you change it to "Brave Saint Saturn"?
    Reese: We changed it, gosh, I guess while we were recording the album. And we didnt have a name for the band because our label did research on the name and they were like... You know, we put out songs on samplers as 'Astronaut' and they looked at me like "Oh, theres five other bands with that name." So we picked Brave Saint Saturn really, because Saturn is like... all the planets are assigned names by Roman gods. Saturn is the name of the Roman god for the underworld. Not that were trying to tap into Roman mythology or anything, but its just that like, um, that Saturn as a planet and stuff is always used to represent loneliness and broken-hearted-ness and, I dont know, so we thought it would be really cool to do to that just so people could think we were tapping into Roman mythology and put Saint Saturn on it. Brave Saint Saturn because its cool to have a band name with three words. All the other bands do it!

  • JFH (Sandrene): Is there some sort of deep meaning to the NASA/space references in the songs and mood (of the album)?
    Reese: Well, because when it originally started, we were Astronaut, and I wanted it to have something to do with space. Because its good to use as metaphors, I guess. Like on our first album the metaphor is for being alone. You know, because, like, to be in space youre pretty much all by yourself. So we used that metaphor. And for the stuff Im writing for the second album the metaphor is being lost. The first record talks about how the crew of the space craft loses contact with mission control on January of 2001. So theyre lost in space somewhere. So a lot of songs follow that theme.

  • JFH (Sandrene): There have been a plethora of descriptions for your music: space pop, astro rock. What's your official say on the style of music that you play?
    Reese: *Laughs* What?

  • JFH (Sandrene): And that wasnt supposed to rhyme, but it did anyway
    Reese: No, thats cool. I dont know. I think we came up with the name astro rock. It doesnt matter. I mean, its pop. Its pretty... Its kinda experimental, just because theres other sounds and lots of stuff we cant do live so we have to play some tracks. *laughs*

  • JFH (Sandrene): I know a lot of the songs are really personal to you. Do you find it difficult to perform some of them, or to reveal so much of yourself to the audience?
    Reese: Yeah, theres a part of me that wants to write the songs because you want people to be able to relate to you emotionally and because thats good art. Like if you can convey how you feel in whatever youre doing-- if youre painting a picture. If you can make people like you feel in that picture, then thats good art. And so I wanted people to know that, the whole album is about people not being alone. You know, like not only do I experience rejection and lonliness, but Jesus Christ experienced it, He experienced it a hundred fold what we go through, so I wanted to get that across. But its one thing to do that out of intention and then another thing to have to answer to all these kids who are like You broke up with your fiance? What? Tell me all about it! You know? And there are people who get it and are like Wow, you know, that happened to me. Or thats really tough, its cool that God brought you through but then theres this entire segment of people that its like a National Enquirer article and theyre just like Tell me more! And can I take a picture? And so thats kind of a bummer. But its cool because it does minister to people and its cool because they realize that theyre not alone and that people go through hard stuff just like them.
  • JFH (Sandrene): You said your mother was a little wary about you putting "Under Bridges" on the album. What made you decide to do it anyway, and how do you think the public has reacted to it?
    Reese: Well, I had changed the words around. Like at first it was about the homeless guy that is talked about in the first verse, there was a verse about his breath smelling like Jack and Coke, I think, or something like that. Just because, I really wanted to get across that therere people that we think are vile and disgusting, Jesus told us to take care of, and that He said when you do that for the least of these people that youve done it for Him. And so I really wanted to get that across. And it kinda offended my mom. She saw she was offended at first because she was like Jesus would not get drunk on Jack and Coke and pee his pants! *laughs* So I changed the words and said Mom, now think about this... And she listened to the song and she liked it so we decided to put it on.

  • JFH (Sandrene): What was the inspiration for "Shadow of Def"?
    Reese: Um, *laughs* We were in New Zealand, and I was making *laughs* whenever there was a guitar around Id pick it up and Id make up songs about Micah. *laughs* So I was sitting there making up songs about Micah and somehow this, like I cause Micah listens to a lot of hip hop and stuff So this really acoustic sounding song, this folksy sounding song (Five Iron song "Where Zero Meets 15" comes on stereo outside) What is this? Um, but because he likes a lot of hip hop I was putting all these hip hop words in it, and so I thought it would be really funny to do a song like that. So I did, and then two months later this band called Dynamite Hack did the same thing, they did a cover of DWA Boys in the Hood. I dont know. Its good. Its better than ours. Its better than us

    Learning to Breathe album cover

  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you prefer doing double duty of guitarist and vocalist in Brave Saint Saturn or focusing on singing as you do in Five Iron?
    Reese: When I picture myself, I wanna play guitar and sing and be good at it, but Im really not a very good guitar player. And I dont have enough time to practice so its tough. And its a challenge. I enjoy the challenge of it, but I dont know. I wish I was much better.

  • JFH (Sandrene): What sort of vocal preparation do you do to enable you to sing so high?
    Reese: *shakes his head* I dont know. I think its genetic. I dont know. I sing really high. I have a girl voice.

  • JFH (Sandrene): Can we expect a future with Brave Saint Saturn, or was this more of a one time thing?
    Reese: Yeah, there will be more. Right now the idea is that were going to do a trilogy, therell be three different albums. The first one is about being lonely and the second one is about being lost and the third one is going to be about coming home. So theyre all metaphors. Like using this idea about being lost in space and then coming home. And you know, its going to be metaphors for our walk with Christ through life.

  • JFH (Sandrene): Have you ever thought about getting some sort of famous person to do a duet with you on one of your albums?
    Reese: *laughs* We wanted Michael W. Smith to be on Rocketown on our first album. I dont know what happened. He probably heard it and it s*cked, so *laughs*

  • JFH (Sandrene): What do you think about the website thats dedicated to girls who love you?
    Reese: I havent seen it! Whats it called? I wasnt really aware that girls liked me Thats pretty cool!

  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you eat the Oreo whole or twist the top off?
    Reese: Both. I do both. Actually, I put it in the milk, and I let it go until its about to sink and then it turns this way before it goes down and then you grab it, then you eat the whole thing and its soggy and its rad.

  • JFH (Sandrene): Reese's cup or Reese's pieces?
    Reese: Reeses cup

  • JFH (Sandrene): Matlock or Melrose Place?
    Reese: Matlock

  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you watch Melrose Place at all?
    Reese: *laughs* no. no!

  • JFH (Sandrene): You had to think about it so I was just wondering
    Reese: No. Matlock! Im wholesome! I watch Matlock.


  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you like cheese?
    Reese: Do I like Keith?

  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you like cheese?
    Reese: Cheese? Yes, yes, I love cheese.

  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you like Keith?
    Reese: Yeah, hes alright.

  • JFH (Sandrene): Sometimes?
    Reese: Um, no, all the time. Hes cool.

  • JFH (Sandrene): Handmade cards or storebought cards?
    Reese: Handmade

  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you make a lot of cards?
    Reese: No. *laughs* I dont send a lot of cards. I dont have a lot of friends. I dont send very many cards.
  • JFH (Sandrene): This will be online and then everyone will want to be your friend now, and youll have to send lots of cards.
    Reese: You see, thats the thing. Thats why I dont have a lot of friends because I wouldnt send cards. I forget a lot of the time. Sometimes this lady comes to our shows and shes like Reese, how come you havent called me back? Reese!! And she keeps bugging me and Im like Lady, get off me! and Keith is like Reese, how come youre so mean to your mom? And then I remember, Oh, that one! That lady! Thats my mom!! And then *laughs* Yeah.
  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
    Reese: Yes two. I sleep with baby Grover and baby Ernie.
  • JFH (Sandrene): I dont think I saw baby Grover.
    Reese: Oh, hes new. Hes a new addition.
  • JFH (Sandrene): Your familys growing.
    Reese: I know. I know. And Im so proud of them. Im like, Those are my boys! And they do things, like jump off the bed, and fall, and they lay there. Im so proud of them!
  • JFH (Sandrene): Are you not a big soda drinker?
    Reese: I like Mountain Dew. But if I drink too much I feel like crud.
  • JFH (Sandrene): Do you talk/walk in your sleep?
    Reese: I talk.
  • JFH (Sandrene): Any stories youd like to share?
    Reese: Every once in awhile I wake myself up Hey but last night, Sonnie, he like started talking in his sleep really loud, he was like uuuuhhh, eeegggh! and he gets up really fast. And I thought hed just woken himself up. But he jumps out of bed and hes throwing the covers off and hes jumping and hes moving around the room feeling and then all of a sudden he just stops. And then hes quiet. Then all of a sudden he goes to the bathroom, so I figured he woke up right then. This morning he told me he thought he was in a pyramid! He was like, I dont know. He thought he was in a pyramid and it was dark and he had to get out
  • JFH (Sandrene): Thats all I have, unless youd like to add anything else.
    Reese: Um, dont eat yellow snow. Thats all. Um, cheese is good, cheese is great, I like cheese when its on my plate. Good.
  • JFH (Sandrene): Oh, actually, I have one more. Are the rumours true that youre going to quit Five Iron and Brave Saint Saturn to do the voice for Brak (on Space Ghost Coast to Coast)?
    Reese: Yes.
    bSS Live at Cornerstone 2000 taken by some girl


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