Divine Message

By Dan MacIntosh

Posted January 31, 2013 in Music

Photos by Max Epstein

Sounds of Satellites, appropriately enough, looks to the heavens for inspiration

Sounds of Satellites is an Orange County rock band fronted by Chance Espinoza, and this band’s music is passionate to the extreme, with the singer’s raw vocals carrying the lion’s share of the group’s overwhelmingly powerful emotion.

It may just have been good fortune that blessed Espinoza with his lucky, gaming-friendly first name. “The story is that my dad originally wanted to name me ‘Church,’ and my mom said, ‘That’s not okay!’ and so they settled on ‘Chance’ as a compromise.” Espinoza explains.

It retrospect, a name like ‘Church’ would have been prophetic and quite appropriate for this act because much of Sounds of Satellites’ music is intensely God-inspired.

“A lot of the music is driven by stuff that I’ve gone through, as well as struggles I’ve had and doubts I’ve had with God,” Espinoza affirms.

The band’s unique name has spiritual connotations, as well.

“There was a point in my life when I was kind of struggling to figure out what the voice of God was, and what that even meant because I’d heard people say, ‘I hear from God. He told me this. He told me that,’ and it’s not that I didn’t believe them; it’s just that I didn’t hear the same thing.” Espinoza elaborates. “So one time, I kind of got this image in my head. You think about a satellite. I’ve never personally heard a satellite, at least not from Earth because they’re pretty far away. But they’re constantly communicating with us every single day. Through TV, through radio, through Internet, through cell phone service. Every day. Without the satellites, the communication that we have doesn’t exist. And at times, I think it’s the same way with God. He talks to us in so many ways, like, through other people, through TV, Internet, anything like that. I think God communicates with us kind of like the way the satellites communicate with us: without audibly speaking, but communicating other ways.”

When Sounds of Satellites first started, Espinoza was far more concerned about communicating with girls, rather than God. “The first songs I wrote were about girls,” Espinoza admits, “and I knew almost immediately that that was not how it was going to continue.” After being positively impacted by one band in particular, Espinoza was inspired to radically change his whole approach to writing and performing rock ’n‘ roll. “Probably my main driving factor as a musician is the band As Cities Burn. They really inspired me to write music the way I do. After hearing bands like them and really listening to them and their lyrics, I realized I really didn’t like my voice at the time. I felt like I sounded wimpy, so I said, ‘You know what? I’m changing the way I do things,’ so it just kind of went way raw from there.” This transformation resulted is Sounds of Satellites current impossible-to-ignore rock passion.

Espinoza has a unique way of defining success; one that doesn’t necessarily require a fast car and a Hollywood mansion to validate it.

“If what you’re waking up and doing isn’t something that you hate,” he begins. “If you’re doing something that you enjoy doing—even if it’s a 9 to 5 that you’re not in love with—but you’re doing it for someone you love. If you’re doing it to either help others or support a family, I feel like that’s success. If you can wake up with yourself every day and kind of live with who you are and have an impact on other people, then I’d say that’s successful.”

Espinoza’s take on success makes a lot of sense. It obviously wasn’t discovered merely by chance, and is a message that comes in loud and clear.

Sounds of Satellites w/Modern Traditions and Ryan Skove at The Wire, 247 N. 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 985-9466; www.thewire247.com, www.facebook.com/SoundsofSatellites. Sat, Feb. 2. 7pm. $10. All ages. 


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