Saetia was a screamo band from New York, USA that formed in early 1997. Their first show was at ABC No Rio to about thirty people. Two and a half years, 17 songs, numerous tours and four bass players later, Saetia played their final show at ABC No Rio to forty people.
Their name originates from a misspelling of the Miles Davis track "Saeta", from his album Sketches of Spain, which, in turn, was named after the saeta, a religious tradition of flamenco music.
During the mid 1990s, being into hardcore punk meant that you were either listening to Earth Crisis and the rest of the early Victory Records roster, or you were interested in a more obscure and chaotic brand of hardcore represented by such bands as Frail and such labels as Gravity Records. In the spring of 1997, five friends who attended both kinds of hardcore shows as well as NYU classes together decided to form a band and contribute to punk hardcore in their own way. Saetia had been born.
Greg Drudy, Jamie Behar, Adam Marino, Billy Werner and Alex Madara began playing hardcore that endeavored to combine all of the band member's personal musical tastes and influences. With little more than 4 songs, very little money and a lot of heart, the quintet recorded a demo tape with hair metal master, Ron Thal (later re-released as a 7" marked Level-Plane Records #1). The band picked up momentum, and played shows regionally in the northeast and midwest. Saetia's live performance was marked with what seemed like years of tension being released at once, often resulting in dry heaving and self-inflicted injury, and on occasion nervous breakdowns. The band played with a diverse group of bands, ranging from You and I, Ethel Meserve and Catharsis to 400 Years, Sleepytime Trio and even Avail.
In 1998, Alex Madara was replaced by Colin Bartoldus and the band visited WGNS studios in Washington DC to record its debut LP for Mountain Records. Listeners were taken with the off time playing and off kilter melodies that came to characterize the band’s sound. Shortly after its release, Adam Marino left the band to join Error:Type 11 and Steve Roche signed up to play bass for the band on its US Tour. The band managed to release one more 7" EP on Witching Hour Records before it ended in 1999.
In 2001, Level-Plane released a discography CD which collects all of Saetia's recorded output and includes a few live tracks as well from a basement in Minneapolis. The band has reached an uncanny level of cult status, and they are considered forerunners of the "screamo" sound. They are cited as influential to a wide variety of musicians; from youthful punks involved in the DIY hardcore scene, to Thursday. Members of the band went on to form and play in Hot Cross, Error:Type 11, Instruction, The Fiction, Interpol, and Off Minor.
Line-up through the times:
Billy Werner - Vocals
Jamie Behar - Guitar
Greg Drudy - Drums
Colin Bartoldus - Bass (LP), Guitar (Final 7")
Adam Marino - Guitar (Demo & LP)
Steve Roche - Bass (Final 7")
Alex Madara - Bass (Demo)
Matt Smith - Bass (Final live performance)
• Demo (1997), Level Plane - cassette
• Saetia (1997), Level Plane - 7"
• Saetia (1998), Mountain Co-op - LP/CD
• ABC No Rio Benefit (1999), Level Plane - CD
• Eronel (2000), Witching Hour - 7"
• A Retrospective (2001), Level Plane - CD