You’ve heard this story before: Group of nerds assembles to create sci-fi-centric rock band. And, let’s be honest, you’ve always been disappointed. Not this time. Five Year Mission is, dare I say, the first of it’s kind — a really fantastic Star Trek rock band! On the eve of their second album debut, YEAR TWO, TrekMove got an exclusive interview with the 5-man geek band. More after the jump.
Simply put, Five Year Mission is an impressive group of geeks — Mike Rittenhouse, Chris Spurgin, Noah Butler, Andy Fark, and Patrick O’Connor — who come from musical backgrounds and have come together to document the missions of the USS Enterprise (no bloody A, B, C, or D), one episode at a time.
The group takes turns writing songs, and has so far written one song for each of the first 32 episodes of The Original Series. Their first album – YEAR ONE covers everything from The Cage to Shore Leave. Rather than writing one album for each season, each CD takes on 16 episodes, meaning 5YM will have enough material to cover year’s 1-5. After that… who knows?
New Album YEAR TWO Debuts December 9th at Starbase Indy
5YM’s newest album, YEAR TWO, will debut at the Starbase Indy convention in Indianapolis, which takes place in the Indianapolis Marriott East December 9-11, during a battle of the bands between Federation and Klingon forces. It’s highly likely that batleth battles will ensue on stage.
YEAR TWO is available now for pre-order and will be available on all your standard mp3 platforms (iTunes, Amazon, etc.).
Here’s the track listing for YEAR TWO:
The Galileo Seven
The Squire Of Gothos
Tomorrow Is Yesterday
The Return Of The Archons
A Taste Of Armageddon
This Side Of Paradise
The Devil In The Dark
Errand Of Mercy
The Alternative Factor
The City On The Edge Of Forever
Who Mourns For Adonais?
YEAR THREE and Beyond
For the time being, the guys are dealing with the logistics of the release of their latest album. The next item on the menu is writing songs for YEAR THREE. This album will, of course, feature one of Trek’s most beloved episodes, “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Rather than taking their normal approach and drawing straws to write this song, each band member will take a crack at writing his own version of “Tribbles”. The band plans to release an EP with all five versions of the song (tentatively to be released this Spring) and will have the fans choose which of the five should make it onto the full YEAR THREE album.
Interview With the Band
Almost the entire crew compliment from 5YM was able to sit down and chat with TrekMovie (hey, four out of five aint bad). Here’s the transcript from our exclusive interview.
TrekMovie: Who is Five Year Mission? What are your day jobs outside of the band?
Five Year Mission: This is Chris. I’m a web developer outside the band. I’d much prefer to be doing the band full time. This is Noah, and I’m a 5th grade teacher during the day. This is Mike, and I have a comic book store. (rest of the band chimes in: NERD!). This is Andy, and I work at a medical research library (someone faintly calls NERD in the background). We should mention Patrick, he’s not here. I guess we can make up his day job? He’s a sanitation worker.
TM: I assume you’re all self proclaimed nerds and Trekkies. How much of a nerd were you before you started the band?
FYM: Mike was the biggest Trekkie before we started the band, I would say. Why don’t you expand on this, Mike?
Mike: Uh, yeah [laughs]. I’ve been a fan of Star Trek for a long time. But, mostly in the last four or five years I’ve really got into it a lot more. Since the band, even more.
Noah: I’ve always been a fan of the 1960’s series. I watched it as a kid in reruns. I haven’t quite gotten into all the spin-offs yet. But, Mike is pushing me in that direction.
Chris: I started the Animated Series. I had seen a little bit of TOS and several of the TNG episodes before the band. I was always a fan, but more of a casual fan. Once the band started up I got to be a much bigger fan, and now I’ve seen all of the Original Series. Have you guys seen the Animated Series?
TM: I’m surprised you’ve all seen The Animated Series. That’s the one that people usually skip.
Andy: I figure that since we’ve been doing all TOS that I should stick with TOS for now. I’ve been watching a few episodes of TNG and a bit of Enterprise here and there. I’m finding that as I go, I’m starting to get more and more into the other series. I assume that’s Chris’s thought process as well.
Chris: Nah, I just wanted to go in order.
Mike: I, of course, have seen everything. More than once.
TM:Something that I’ve always wondered: Obviously, your band name is Five Year Mission. Are you going to release one album per season of TOS? Because, what happens after year three when there’s no more episodes left?
5YM: We are doing five albums, years 1-5. But, each album does not represent a season. The seasons have between 25-29 episodes in them, and you can’t really fit that many songs on a CD. So we’ve broken the 80 episodes into 16 per each CD. That way we get 5 albums total.
TM: After Year Five is there any possibility that you’ll pick up something else? Maybe another series?
5YM: Depends on who you ask. There’s been some discussions whether to move onto The Animated Series, The Next Generation, the movies. It really is just going to depend on if people are sick of us or not. Or if we’re sick of each other. We’re just trying to concentrate on the year that we’re working on. We’ve just gotten done with Year Two as far as recording the CD, and we’re about to release that. Then, we’ll start on Year Three. Really, the amount of work that goes into that, we just don’t want to think too far ahead to year four and year five right now.
TM: The new album, Year Two, comes out December 9th. What can we expect form the new album, and how is it going to be different from Year One in terms of style and the storytelling?
5YM: With Year One a lot of the songs were written without a full band in mind. A lot of the songs we wrote as just individual people. There wasn’t a lot of structure. Then we pulled in a drummer. A lot of the songs we wrote and recorded almost at the same time. Whereas, in Year Two, we’ve been playing together for a year or so, and as we were writing the songs we knew that there was a full band. Our ideas got more expansive. We got a little more out there with our styles, and the diversity of the styles of songs on the album is more so than Year One. Frankly, I think this album just rocks. More. Than Year One.
TM: Do you have a favorite song from the new album?
5YM: I think we all have our own favorites. Arena I think is going to be quite a crowd favorite once everybody starts hearing that.
Andy: I’m a fan of The Galileo 7, mostly because I get to yell “woo!” in it. And, at the beginning I get to yell out a nice gutteral scream.
TM: Were you guys a band before Five Year Mission, or have you just come together to do this project?
Chris: This is brand new. All five of us were in different bands in the music scene. I met Mike, Noah, and Patrick through other bands. I hadn’t met Andy until we were looking for a drummer. We’d all been in local bands, and we knew each other, we’d played shows together. But, we hadn’t been in a band together before.
TM: I’m just trying to imagine how that conversation went. “Nerd band seeks bassist to play Star Trek songs”.
5YM: Noah has a great story for this one!
Noah: This was Mike’s idea. I’d known Mike for a while, and one night we were out running errands or something. It was dark, and he’d parked the car and shut the engine off. We were sitting there in kind of awkward silence, and he said something along the lines of, “well Noah I wanted to talk with you about something, and I didn’t know if you would go for it. But, I feel like we know each other a lot better now. I know you a lot better, and I think now is the right time to bring this up, and…” I was really curious as to where he was going with that! He finally says, “I’ve got this idea for a band.” And, I was a little bit relieved. But, he then explained his idea, and I thought it was awesome. So we assigned each other a couple of songs and wrote them and played them for each other. I think Mike was actually going to do the whole project himself had he not started bringing other people into it.
Chris: I didn’t have to be asked. I just saw you guys working on it and was like, hey!
TM: I know you guys have been on the convention circuit a bit. What conventions have you played for before?
5YM: We just got started this past year in playing conventions. We’ve probably done 4 or 5 conventions this year, but we’re looking to do a lot more next year and get in on the bigger ones as well.
TM: Do you have any plans for upcoming shows?
5YM: We’re just focusing on the CD release right now, which is at a convention [Starbase Indy]. And, we’ve got a standing invite for GenCon. After that, we’ll start making plans for next year within the next couple of weeks. At Starbase Indy we’ll be playing in a battle of the bands with a klingon band. It’s Federation versus Klingons.
TM: Will there be batleths involved in this battle of the bands?
5YM: I hope so!
Mike: I think it can be resolved peacefully, actually.
Andy: I’m gonna take a cheese grater to their forhead ridges!
Latest Music Video from YEAR TWO, The Galileo Seven