Local Teen Band Violet Saturn Releases First Music Video

Spencer Carr Reed and Nils Schmolka, two members of Violet Saturn, in a still from their new music video “Sweetest Life,” shot at the site of their burned-down house. Spencer’s stepdad, stuntman/stunt coordinator Erik Stabenau, is in the car spinning donuts.

Musically talented Malibu siblings Spencer Carr Reed, 17, and Lauren Carr Reed, 13, who formed the band Violet Saturn along with friend Nils Schmolka, have just reached a major milestone in their young careers. After recording five songs at a recording studio last summer, their first music video, featuring the song “Sweetest Life,” was recently released on YouTube, Apple Music videos and Vevo.

“I thought it was time to progress, because the songs were all pretty tight,” Spencer said. “It was time to record the first five songs professionally.”

Getting the songs onto music streaming services as well as creating the online music video is helping the band develop a larger fan base. Their debut single “Sweetest Life” has been streamed more than 300,000 times; the second release, the cover song “Slither,” has had 100,000 listens. The remaining tunes will be released one at a time in the coming months.

In the studio, friend Tye Trujillo (whose dad plays bass for Metallica) played bass and Joe Rickard was on drums.

The band had originally planned to shoot its music video on the grounds of the family home in Malibu with help from mom Christie Carr; stepdad, stuntman/ stunt coordinator Erik Stabenau; and band-member father Mario Schmolka. As plans were nearing completion, the Woolsey Fire swept through the town on Nov. 9 and burned down the family house, along with the other four houses on their short street.

“All their guitars and equipment were gone,” Christie wrote. “But with the help of friends and family, they were able to replace equipment and come up with a new video plan.” They decided to shoot the video on the site of the burned-down house. “This was both a therapeutic and a positive way to get through a difficult time,” Christie noted. 

“Lauren had lost nearly all of her clothes in the fire, but was able to find one sparkly jacket at the Malibu Recovery Project’s clothing donation center for fire victims to wear in the video, and also a sparkly jacket that fit her stepdad, which he wore to play her stunt double,” Christie continued. In the video, he spins donuts around a burned-out cul-de-sac in his car. 

Filming at the burned-down house “added a dark feel to the music video, and the song is also dark,” Spencer explained. 

The song “Sweetest Life,” as best as the band can explain it, is about turning dark moments into “sweet,” positive moments—surviving middle/high school and business relationships, realizing that friendships aren’t always real and moving past bullies and judgmental people to a happier life.

The recently released music video has already gotten about 33,000 views, according to friend Finn Coben, band photographer and promoter.

Both brother and sister seem to have been born to write and perform music. Spencer started playing the violin at age six—his mother’s idea. And, although he didn’t care for that particular instrument, he went on to take up other instruments of his own choosing, including guitar, trumpet, French horn, drums and piano. He’s even starting to sing a little bit.

Although he’s self-taught on some instruments, Spencer also takes band classes at Malibu High School, and was in jazz band in middle school.

He started writing music on the guitar at about age 12 and hasn’t stopped since. His usual creative process is to come up with a riff on the guitar that he likes. “Then, I’ll invite Nils over, and we add to it and layer it. Sometimes Lauren comes up with something first, but it’s usually the riff.”

He describes his musical style as bluesy and modern alt rock. 

“Some riffs have a metal undertone, but clean singing—there’s no screaming,” Spencer explained. Some of his favorite bands and artists are Tool, Korn, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. “But I try to listen to everything,” he said. 

His sister, Lauren, is the band’s lead singer, and says she’s been singing her whole life—since she could talk. She wrote her first song when she was eight, and continues to writes songs and lyrics. She says her creative process happens spontaneously, and that her lyrics and melodies just “come out of nowhere.” Her favorite artists are Korn, Slipknot and No Doubt with Gwen Stefani.

The siblings are extremely compatible when to comes to writing songs together—they like what each other does, and build off of each other’s material. “Music-wise, we get along fine, because we all agree Lauren writes good stuff,” Spencer said. 

The video is available to watch at youtu.be/rTAvkvca5Vc. Violet Saturn is on Instagram and Facebook, with music on Spotify and other streaming services.