Ballroom dance influences punk

By HermineBloom

Marsha Satterfield, lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist of indie-punk trio Tina Sparkle, recalls joining her older brother Tom’s band when she was 14. The brother and sister duo went on to play with numerous bands for the next 15 years, such as The Forecast, Scouts Honor and The Amazing Kill-O-Watts.

But Tina Sparkle is the siblings’ main priority these days, which is evident from the release of their second full-length album, “Welcome to the No Fun House,” on Feb. 8.

The makeup of the Peoria, Ill.-based outfit has changed a few times since 1998, which is when their band name was first coined, but Satterfield said its current members are rock solid. Now, Satterfield in addition to Chris Anderson (bass and backing vocals) and Tom Satterfield (drums and backing vocals) comprise Tina Sparkle.

The Chronicle caught up with Satterfield to talk about inspiration for their recent release, where the name of their band came from and the Peoria music scene.

The Chronicle: Tell me what’s different about your newest release, “Welcome to the No Fun House,” compared to 2007’s “All Around Champion Screw Up”?

Marsha Satterfield: It was all written during the time I was living with my grandma for 10 years. A lot of it’s about her struggle with Alzheimer’s and taking care of her. Also, while all of that’s going on, [there’s] getting over an ex-girlfriend and all of the steps moving on with that. We also got rid of the bass player and our second guitar player quit. That’s when we got Chris [Anderson]. We seem to work better as a trio. It makes us more powerful.

The Chronicle: What’s the Peoria music scene like?

MS: It goes in and out of phases where it’s kind of rough and there isn’t too much going on. It fluctuates between [a lot of music] happening and nothing going on, but a lot of people think they have to leave Peoria to have anything happen with them. I highly disagree with them. I say, “Make it better if you can. Stay where you are.” There’s quite a bit of variety in Peoria. [It]varies from hardcore to metal to punk to indie to blues and jazz. Of course there are the alt-country types, too. Right now there’s a band that’s pretty awesome, but they’re just getting started. They’re called Dirty Gentlemen.

The Chronicle: How did the name of your band come about?

MS: It’s from this movie “Strictly Ballroom.” Our sister was going to college in Beloit, Wis., and she was into ballroom dancing and that was a movie they got into. I don’t even own the movie, which I should. [laughs] It’s just one of the names of the characters. My sister came up with it a long time ago when I was just playing solo.

The Chronicle: Compared to other bands, how is Tina Sparkle any different?

MS: Well, I don’t feel we’re doing what everyone else is doing—at least around here. I’m kind of stuck in the ’90s, and I’ve always been stuck in the ’90s. The only difference for me is I have control of the situation, whereas before I was just a bass player singing backup vocals. I’ve never had such a feeling of [being in] an actual band as I do with Tina Sparkle. Sometimes it’s more like one person is always doing everything and telling you what to write. With Tina Sparkle, I’ll come in with the idea and all the lyrics, but Tom and Chris bring in a lot of input and they’re a

heavy force.

The Chronicle: What bands influence you individually and as a whole?

MS: PJ Harvey, Veruca Salt and The Pixies—but not as much now. As a whole, there’s a lot of The Who influence. I think my brother and I play a lot of Dandy Warhols-type music.

The Chronicle: What is it like to work with your brother in the band?

MS: It’s great. I can’t play with anybody else. I’ve tried other drummers. We seem to have an instinct where we always know what one of us is going to do.

Listen to Tina Sparkle’s newest album at