The Terranauts produce a sound that carries the honest traditions of bands like Avail and Hot Water Music, and the purity and grit of the mid-90's Chicago pop-punk scene. Their songs are sung with heart and sweat like so many other prominent midwestern punk bands before them.


Based in Chicago, The group Terranauts emerged in late 2005 with a sound bridging power pop with Midwestern punk. The name represents the band’s own journey and exploration through their music and experiences; “terra” meaning Earth and “naut” meaning pilot or explorer. With all four members coming from long-running Chicago rock acts (Derek and Bryan from “The Indecisives”, Jessica and Jeff from “Quarters Only”), the band creates a mix of pop sensibilities with a thundering rhythm section and jagged guitars that presents a single sonic body moving with rigid structure and organic melodies. Combining their past band experiences of six album releases, two U.S. tours, sold out shows at the Fireside Bowl and Metro, and hundreds of shows throughout the Midwest, the Terranauts know what it takes to move ahead in the congested music scene.

Considering influences ranging from Cursive to Refused and from Lawrence Arms to Muse, the Terranauts amp up pop melodies with sharp hooks and a strong rock edge. A versatile voice that can change mid-song from a soft and haunting melody to a ferocious attack, vocalist Derek Dietrich-Muller brings high energy and provides the lead guitar work to back it up. On Bass, Jessica Steffes offers a driving force behind the songs and adds a complementary voice and writing style to Dietrich-Muller’s that creates the group’s unique dynamic. Jeff Jedlowski cements the band together with his signature aggressive rock drumming that has become a staple of The Terranauts sound. Bryan Scott’s synthesizer underlines the dichotomy of the band’s mechanic/organic feeling through play of tone and rhythm.

Entering the studio in mid-October 2006 with no time to waste, Terranauts laid down the basic tracks for the album A Monument to Breathing Things, with producer Andrew Ragin (Tusker, The Right Aways, Scream Poet Scream, Slow Horse) who helped craft an album that captured the songs as a unified whole. Ranging from the stripped-down rock crescendo of “An Alarm” and the straight ahead punk on "I Scream Social", to the anthemic, rousing “Trash and Artifacts” , The Terranauts shows a rare ability to transcend the punk genre and make it their own. Lyrically, A Monument to Breathing Things examines domestic and consumer culture from the point of view of the psyche. It questions our conventions, imagines our motives, and serves as a reminder that we are human.


An Alarm

Written By: Derek Dietrich-Muller

for your time served / filing your life away
proving your identity / to keep your pockets safe
collect your food containers / paper trails of signed disclaimers
blend-o-matic music players / we're building something out of trash.
a big call back / using the voices from the car alarms and train wrecks
the tv speaker fuzz / the ambient airplane buzz
we're sweating them together / sewing a vehicle.
and all the wasted energy
from people stuck in traffic / the beat from the constant breaking
the dirt the car is making / to say "hey, we're worth out time"
with a big red ribbon
here's our work of art / a scientific magazine
a camera of unlived dreams / a monument to breathing things.
an alarm designed to shake your bones
a reminder that we are human
soft hair and instincts / soft flesh and yelling
not just a link in the the machine of passing information
in bits, in text, in sound waves
not an answering machine with a system.
an alarm, an alarm to shake your bones / what is your time worth
an alarm, an alarm to shake your bones / does your system work…
with a pain so good? / or work on your last nerve?
an alarm designed to shake your bones
a reminder that we are human
soft hair and instincts / soft flesh and yelling
not just a link in the machine of passing information
in bits, in text, in sound waves
not an answering machine with a system
not a mannequin in need of clothing.

I Scream Social

Written By: Derek Dietrich-Muller

to the north the clouds are at a starting gate
as the sun sinks they gather steam
preparing for a night of fun and weathering
the leaves they turn they all promise something worse
the streets are powerlined in dusk they spring to life and

they're menacing and threatening
like the dark corners of my mind
an eerie calm, the sun is gone
the sky opens up people come inside

the crowded bar when it pours
shelter from the the world
in more ways than one, keep 'em coming
shelter from the world is on tap
shelter from the world to fill their glasses

like two towers standing in the dark
defiant of and despite the
threat of lighting they stand tall
and though there is static on the line
we bounce our signals back and forth and side to side

adjusting the frequency
trying to tune everything else out
on the dance floor the lights are lords
and they spin their world around

the crowded bar when it pours
shelter from the world
in more ways than one keep 'em coming
shelter from the world is on tap
shelter from the word to fill their glasses

images that cloud my dreams
rearview dangling vanilla trees
they're all satellites, sending signals
tiny purses and slicked back hair
sun glasses to prevent the glare
lights reflecting off jewelry and disco balls
expensive people navigate
the room begins to spin and pixelate
suddenly I can see them change
they have fangs and wings and claws

i stay inside with my own kind
and broadcast across the country
we gotta stretch we gotta connect
we are wires barely touching

long distance stethoscope
lets me know your condition
IV telephone administers a healthy dose
of sugar, salt and words from you
cough and tell me whats new
the rain comes down all night long
waiting on a sign from dawn

and then there's...

Trash and Artifacts

Written By: Derek Dietrich Muller

award ceremony / you'll kiss the ground
collect your prize / collect your prize / dying to
be dressed up and stand around
and discuss issues / in cufflinks / and a bow-tie / and bright pearls /
holding a mixed drink.
missile silos to the sky / raise your paper cups and fine china
we're firing streamers from every power in the world / everyone has a
hold that bovine to your eye with pride / popsicle for a busted lip
drink / don't sip on your hot tot-ties / drink 'er down
get in line / the buffets fine / there's plenty of bandages and
nurse your wounds and dance / monuments resemble ruins (freshly caught
here comes the confetti / here comes the confetti / and ashes / severed
limbs into the sky.
bulldozer take the house's hand to kick off the ball
they waltz until they all collapse / under the influence under the
stress /
a place to rest their heads
and the podium of leveled ground / and no features / to interrupt the
let the ceremony begin / hammers as trophies / mounted and meant as
master of ceremonies proclaims "they thought that we were just digging
the chorus sings "punch cards and postcards are now the same"
from the the crowd you'll hear the refrain "trash and artifacts"
and the mechanic says to the pilot "cutting the breaks sure worked out
the end"


A Monument to Breathing Things released on July 16, 2007 at The Note in Chicago -album produced by Andrew Ragin

Set List

1. Nurse in the Mini-skirt
2. I Scream Social
3. Breaking the Grid
4. An Alarm
5. Friendemies
6. Smile, You're All Teeth
7. Trajectory
8. Trash and Artifacts

average set time: 35-40 minutes