It’s time for a deep dive with Astronomique. This Minneapolis band feels like falling, floating through the stars and time, and you are invited to come along on the journey. Take ‘60s psychedelia, marry it to the best of the dark romanticism of the ‘80s along with a heaping helping of echo and vocal sweetness and you will have what the band has self-dubbed “space wave.”
NewsWhistle threw our patented Six Crucial Questions at the band, and was lucky enough to get answers from each one of them! Read on, and then take a trip with Astronomique.
Logan Andra Fongemie: lead vocals, synth
Sean Hogan: vocals, guitar
Mitch Billings: vocals, drums
Preston Saari: bass guitar
1. What is your earliest musical memory?
Logan Andra Fongemie: Me as a three-year-old watching my mom bounce on a mini trampoline while listening to Kenny Rogers records.
Sean Hogan: If we go WAY back, I have a faint memory of singing along to the Beach Boys “Kokomo” which was on the radio during lunch in pre-school. My parents always told me all the girls in the class loved me, and I am assuming it’s because I was able to sing along with all those rich Beach Boys harmonies.
Mitch Billings: My parents took my sister and me to see Hank Williams Jr. at the Minnesota State Fair. This may have been my first trip to the “big city” as well.
Preston Saari: Johnny Cash and the Carter Family.
2. What has been your most embarrassing musical moment?
Logan Andra Fongemie: Driving hours across the country to headline a college radio music fest, only to find out that we played at like 2:00 AM to four people. Then the music director made the situation even better by posting multiple times on their Facebook event. “How come none of the people who RSVP’d showed up?” Ha!
Sean Hogan: I was in a band called the New Monarchs, which is where I met our current drummer Mitch. We were playing a show at Bar Abilene in Uptown – not necessarily known for its live music. The “stage” was just a corner of the restaurant they had removed the tables and chairs from. Not a huge deal though right? We all came from rocking out in basements so this is basically the same thing. What we overlooked was the power being used for the live sound equipment/instruments on stage. We got a few songs into our set and blew the power to that portion of the restaurant. Pretty embarrassing, but they got the breaker switched on and we kept going – only to have it blow again! Definitely not our finest moment, haha.
Mitch Billings: I was out doing karaoke with some classmates on one of the first weekends of law school. I was tapped to do the Snoop Dog portion of Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” I apparently know that song more than I thought because I sort of took over and sang the whole thing. It definitely left a great first impression.
Preston Saari: Playing a show with my arm in a sling and my face all busted up from crashing my bike.
3. What do you like and dislike about touring?
Logan Andra Fongemie: I both like and dislike the fact that I haven’t done much touring. Like because I haven’t had to drive a million miles to play shows at crappy bars for no one. Dislike because I might as well experience that.
Sean Hogan: Most favorite part – seeing and trying new things in the town I am playing in. Checking out new restaurants, local shops, and enjoying local brews that we can’t get in MN. Least favorite part – being cooped up in a tour van hours at a time definitely gets to you. It’s important to help alleviate “tour bus fever” by stimulating the mind – playing games, singing along to songs, ensuring you’re stopping enough to stretch out, etc.
Mitch Billings: Haven’t really done much touring in this band. But after a show in Fargo, we drove back in the middle of the night. That wasn’t much fun…
Preston Saari: Never really toured.
4. What is your favorite record store, anywhere in the world?
Logan Andra Fongemie: Know Name Records is right down the street from where I live. It’s got a pretty great selection of ridiculous records, like Jazzercise and Tiki Disco.
Sean Hogan: Locally, I was always a Cheapo guy because I was also looking to browse the VHS and DVD section along with the record selection.
Mitch Billings: Not even just to get the hometown points, but it’s Electric Fetus. I grew up not far from St. Cloud so even before I moved down here for college, it was a place I went to shop.
Preston Saari: Electric Fetus in Duluth.
5. Other than your own music, what is your favorite song or album of all-time? Why?
Logan Andra Fongemie: My own music is my favorite of all time. Just kidding. David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes” is really great. I love everything about that song, especially the synth sounds and the killer key part at the end.
Sean Hogan: Always a tough question – I think my favorite song of all time (and it’s a sad one) is “How To Disappear Completely” by Radiohead. I’m a fan of top fives for albums, so at this particular moment in time I’d say: Radiohead – Kid A, Daft Punk – Discovery, Weezer – Pinkerton, Jimmy Eat World – Clarity, Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf.
Mitch Billings: This is always a loaded question, but, if I’m forced to choose, I’m a Weezer guy. I think I lean Pinkerton. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire is pretty far up on my list as well.
Preston Saari: “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles. It was my mantra for years. Still puts me in a great mood.
6. You wake up in a seedy Berlin hotel room with no recollection of the past 96 hours. Who is your first call?
Logan Andra Fongemie: Ghostbusters.
Sean Hogan: First I find my phone, then look through all the photos for any evidence of what happened, then I call my dad (who is a lawyer) to both let him know I am okay and solicit any legal advice I may need.
Mitch Billings: Again? Mom wasn’t too pleased last time…
Preston Saari: My sister because I have her number memorized and she’d laugh.
Images Courtesy of Astronomique
Other Six Crucial Questions:
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