Beyond the Boys’ Club: Larissa Vale of Black Satellite – Interview and “Broken” Song Premiere

"'Broken' is about the feeling of the world bleeding you dry, but even when you think you have nothing left to offer, everything will correct itself in a certain way."

Black Satellite BTBC and song premiere
Black Satellite, photo by Chris Owyoung

    Beyond the Boys’ Club is a monthly column from journalist and radio host Anne Erickson, focusing on women in the heavy music genres, as they offer their perspectives on the music industry and discuss their personal experiences. Erickson is also a music artist herself and has a new EP and single out, “Last Love,” with Upon Wings. The latest edition of Beyond the Boys’ Club features an interview with Larissa Vale of Black Satellite.

    New York City’s Black Satellite are a unique industrial-rock duo bringing together Larissa Vale and Kyle Hawken. After several years of writing music together, Vale and Hawken released their full-length debut, Endless, in 2017. The buzz surrounding the record earned them a support slot opening for Starset at NYC’s Gramercy Theatre, and since then, they’ve toured with everyone from John 5 to Nita Strauss.

    Now, the band is gearing up to release its sophomore record, Aftermath, mixed by veteran producer Ben Grosse.


    Today (March 3rd), Black Satellite unveil the single “Broken” via Heavy Consequence. According to the band, the song “embodies the notion of refusing to succumb to hopelessness even when everyone around you tries to tear you down. That despite how others have treated you it will all come back around in the end. Watch the music video for “Broken” below.

    Black Satellite will embark on a US tour with Cradle of Filth and DevilDriver starting March 8 in Tempe, Arizona, with tickets available via Ticketmaster or StubHub.

    For Heavy Consequence‘s latest edition of “Beyond the Boys’ Club,” Vale speaks with us about the upcoming album, the experience of being a woman in metal music, advice for up-and-coming musicians, and much more. Read the conversation immediately below the music video for “Broken.”


    In 2018, Black Satellite released two Type O Negative covers, “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” and “I Don’t Wanna Be Me,” to honor late frontman Peter Steele. What inspired you to cover Type O?

    I thought it was such a great opportunity to try something new and breathe new life into such classic songs that so many people like. When we approach covers, we don’t want to just do the same song that people have heard before. As fans, we don’t want to do the same version with someone else singing it, so it’s a new interpretation. It’s tipping our hats to the great musicians and the songwriting that came before us and trying to revitalize that for today.

    You’ve released two singles off your upcoming album, Aftermath — “Void” and, now, “Broken.” Can you talk about both of these tracks?


    “Broken” is about the feeling of the world bleeding you dry, but even when you think you have nothing left to offer, everything will correct itself in a certain way. We released the song “Void” first, because we thought it was a great bridge from the first record, which was an alternative vibe, to this new record, which is more in the style of hard rock and metal. But, “Broken” definitely comes out of the gate swinging. It’s really heavy and really represents what the rest of the record has to say. It’s a lot heavier than our debut album, Endless.

    Was the writing for your upcoming album, Aftermath, influenced by the pandemic?

    Interestingly not. So many people were using that as an inspiration for obvious reasons, but I didn’t want this to be tied to that experience for me on a personal level. Writing this record was like escaping that reality that we were living instead of leaning into that as inspiration for the record. People were locked up for a significant amount of time, so it’s almost like diving into that darkness within you and relishing in it instead of straying away. It’s allowing yourself to go into a darker path to see what is there.

    You recently toured with John 5. What was that experience like?

    It was amazing. He’s one of the sweetest human beings ever, and we had some really nice talks about his cats, which I appreciated. I told him that I have two cats, and I found one outside as a stray, and he was like, “Oh, that was really nice of you to take it in!” That was the coolest tour, because he was one of my inspirations growing up, and I was like, wow, this really came full circle. I get to watch John 5 play each day!


    Have you seen a difference in the number of women in metal and rock music today verses when you started out?

    Absolutely. Even just scrolling through our feed or in the press, I don’t remember reading about it as much. Especially on the road, I notice a difference, too. It’s two different categories: the touring world and the recoding world. But, in the touring aspect, it’s always been like, there are no girls out on the road. But, especially on the Nita Strauss run, between the two different camps on the tour package, there were 12 girls. That was insane! Even just within our camp, we had three guys and four girls, so now we’re kind of tipping the scale the other way.

    What positive changes have you seen for women in the music industry lately?

    It’s not like, “I’m a man. I don’t listen to that shit.” It’s appreciating it for what it is. And, it’s not even so much slapping that “female-fronted” label on it anymore. I know a lot of people resent that label, as well, because it’s just like we’re trying to play music, and now it has to be called female-fronted rock instead of just rock as a broader category? I don’t feel like people are slinging around that label as much, which is nice.


    What female musicians have you looked up to over the years?

    It’s funny and ironic, but I didn’t really have a lot of female inspirations. They’re all male vocalists. It’s not for any particular reason. It’s just what I grew up listening to and was into. So, I naturally was inspired and tried to embody those kinds of things as a girl. Like, how do you sing like that? What does that sound like coming out of this body? I never thought about male or female. I just sang how I wanted to sing based on what I was into.

    Do you think there’s more pressure on women in music to look a certain way to be appealing?

    Absolutely, but not in the way that you think. I’ll just talk about how I approach the way I dress when I’m onstage. I just wear a leather jacket, not really showing a lot of skin or whatever, and with my haircut, it’s even almost androgynous to a certain degree. It’s funny, I had a drummer once, and someone wrote in an article “female-fronted,” and he was like, “I forget we’re even female-fronted sometimes. I just don’t see you that way.” And I was like, that’s really cool, but not because female-fronted is a negative thing, but just because for the first time, I’m bridging that gap and not one thing or another. It’s just being appreciated for heavy music in the absence of that label. So, I reflect that in my stage attire, as well.

    What advice would you have for women looking to get into heavy music?

    Be yourself. That’s what I was doing. I wasn’t thinking about male or female or whatever. This is your inspiration. You just do it in any way you know how. It’s unique to everybody.