Nauticult’s “Saturn Devours The Sun” Takes On Abusers And Cycles Of Violence

Interviews, Music

Written by Mark Van Streefkerk

January 20, 2020

In Nauticult’s video “Saturn Devours The Sun,” Austin Sankey doesn’t mind being dragged – literally by a car in this case.

“I got dragged by a car maybe five miles per hour, in the Woodland Park parking lot. I got dragged by a car 20 times. We kept going back until we felt like we got it. We went back and did it on four different days, and the only reason why we didn’t use [all] the shots of me just getting straight dragged by a car was that it was too painful for me to spit all the lyrics,” Austin says, proud of her commitment. “I got cut up. I got bruised. I got road rash all over my body.”

The footage begins the recently released music video for “Saturn Devours The Sun.” It’s the last song on Nauticult’s EP Human Use Of Human Beings. A jarring, sometimes grating video that runs over eight minutes long, “Saturn Devours The Sun” is a collage of layered images of the band: Sankey, guitarist Dylan Berry, and drummer Evan Fitzgerald, who shot all the footage over the course of two years. The material is psychedelic and grunge-inspired, with analog, glitch effects, and other editing done by creative group Satur8r of local venue Kame House.

“We came up with some core notes [of how we] wanted it to appear visually and we sent it off to our friends Satur8r, and they kind of took the video, and they processed it in the VHS, and they used analog effects for everything, and layering,” Sankey explains. “We just wanted it to be very flashy, and lots of imagery at once. We set a couch on fire and sat on it for one shot.”

Filmed primarily around Greenwood, and Carkeek and Woodland Parks, Nauticult wanted to steer clear of literal, visual interpretations of the song’s grim subject matter, despite the intense effects and stunts.

“Saturn Devours The Sun” is explicitly about denouncing abusers and rapists: “He’s such a catch a catch a predator / Bring the vengeance / Flood the senses / Beat em senseless / Stab appendix / Slash their tendons / Bash fiberglass / Into their ass and solar plexus / Strangle cult leaders / With the tendons of preachers,” Sankey raps.

Violence and abuse are “very broad, but deeply personal” to Sankey, who finds a kind of exorcism in using “violent music” to address the nightmarish realities of these issues. “Saturn Devours The Sun” was penned three years ago, and Sankey admits she’s ready to move on.

The dynamic singer and lyricist started performing in a second band, Dear Child, and Nauticult is already working on another full length album.

“We’re pretty far in right now. It’s gonna be a 13-track album,” Sankey says. “Pretty much the core theme of it is going to be about being trans, and it’s going to be a more fun, accessible, bouncy project and less dense than anything we’ve done before. We’re working on a single right now, with a video in mind that we’re going to drop before the album, that’s gonna be it’s own thing. We’re working on four videos, thirteen songs.”

Nauticult’s next show is on February 2 at the Black Lodge with Yufi, 99Jakes and Goreshit.