Multi-instrumentalist Bill Satek has been a constant presence in Chicago’s underground rock community since he first teamed up with drummer Ryan Scanlon to form experimental act Sen Di Na in the early aughts. Since then Satek has found himself involved in handfuls of local bands—Lechuguillas, Famous Laughs, Double Morris, Crisp Undos, Alien Shit—and in 2008 he started his own project, an experimental pop outfit called Mines. It’s been about five years since Satek brought his band to life, and next week local label Lake Paradise will release Mines’ debut, Just Another Thing That Got Ruined.
Lake Paradise cofounder Jake Acosta heaped a good amount of praise on the record when he first told me about it back in December, and he hasn’t been the only one eager to talk candidly about Satek’s band and album; in the passing months it seemed like I’d run into more and more people who would talk passionately about Mines’ music as if it was a well-kept secret they were tired of keeping to themselves. It took one track off Just Another Thing That Got Ruined to convince me—the lush, swirling “Mom ‘N’ Pop (militia) aka Big Girls Cry,” which has a knockout chorus that shoots skyward like a rocket.
I’m not the only one at Reader headquarters who admires the album—Luca Cimarusti is also quite taken by it, and wrote at length about Mines’ LP for the band’s record release show at the Hideout on Sunday. “On the new album Satek and company sound like a band that’s touring the national festival circuit, not one that’s been grinding in dank basements for the past five years.” Want to hear it for yourself? Well, you’re in luck! The Reader snagged the exclusive advance stream of Just Another Thing That Got Ruined. To prepare for the record’s release I recently met up with Satek at Logan Square’s Boiler Room to discuss what his musical catalog has in common with an iceberg, his career as a pipe fitter, and Will Smith’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Read part of our conversation and listen to the album stream below.