Satellite (Rise Against song)

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Cover art for the single "Satellite" by Rise Against.
Single by Rise Against
from the album Endgame
ReleasedNovember 1, 2011
RecordedSeptember 2010–January 2011 at The Blasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado
GenrePunk rock
LabelDGC, Interscope
Songwriter(s)Rise Against
Producer(s)Bill Stevenson, Jason Livermore
Rise Against singles chronology
"Make It Stop (September's Children)"
"I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore"

"Satellite" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their sixth studio album Endgame (2011). Written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath, "Satellite" expresses the idea that the band stood by their social and political beliefs, and that they would not conform to mainstream media. The song first premiered on March 4, 2011 in a webisode series detailing the recording process of Endgame, but was not released as the album's third single until November 1, 2011. The song impacted radio on the same day.[1]

The song was positively received by critics and praised for its passionate lyrics.


A caucasian man wearing a black shirt. The man is holding a red guitar while singing in front of a mircophone
Tim McIlrath (pictured in 2015)

"Satellite" was written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath in collaboration with the song's producers, Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore. Stevenson and Livermore engineered the song alongside Andrew Berlin, while Chris Lord-Alge served as the mixer. It was recorded at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado and mastered by Ted Jensen.[2] Rise Against first unveiled the song on March 9, 2011 a webisode documenting the studio recording sessions for Endgame.[3] The band later released the track as the album's third and final single on November 1.[4]

During the writing process for Endgame, McIlrath noted how he took inspiration from the song "Not Ready to Make Nice" by the country band Dixie Chicks. "Not Ready to Make Nice" was written in response to a controversial statement made by Natalie Maines about then U.S. President George W. Bush. The lyrics for "Satellite" were inspired by the Dixie Chicks song.[5] McIlrath also saw the song as a way of expressing that the band stood by their beliefs and that they wouldn't conform.[6]


"Satellite" is a melodic hardcore song.[7] John Fortunato of The Aquarian Weekly described the song as a "fist-pounding mantra",[8] while Davey Boy of Sputnikmusic commented on how "Satellite" was produced to "enhance the [album's] melodic nature".[9]

Lyrically, the song features several paradoxes and metaphors, such as "You can't fill your cup, until you empty all it has".[2] According to McIlrath, the song's title comes from the idea that "Rise Against is kind of like a satellite and every once in a while we're in orbit over you - we pop into your lives and play show".[6]


The song was positively received by critics. Chad Grischow of IGN commented on the "melodic bliss hidden in the [song's] hammering riffs", and noted how "Satellite" and fellow Endgame track "This Is Letting Go" make the album a "tough resist for even those not accustomed to the staggering punk package it wraps it all up in".[7] Boy labeled the song an "infectious sing-along" and praised the track for its fiery and passionate social commentary.[9] Ulf Kubanke of found "Satellite" to be a perfect pop song, praising its anti-establishment message.[10] However, Alex Young of Consequence of Sound described the song as one of the haphazard moments from the album,[11] while John Gentile of felt that some of the lyrics were clichéd and bland.[12]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video was directed by Marc Klasfeld,[13] and was released on November 1, 2011.[14] Filmed during numerous Endgame Tour performances, the idea for the video stemmed from the distinct reaction by fans during live performances of the song. In response, the band felt compelled to dedicate the video to their fans.[15] Alongside concert performances, several behind the scenes shots of the concert production crews are also shown.[16]

A mashup video was produced, combining the music video with various motocross riders, including Blake Williams and Robbie Maddison.[17]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Endgame.[2]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[21] Gold 150,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ " Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. October 25, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Endgame (liner notes). Rise Against. DGC Records, Interscope Records. 2011.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Rise Against Post New Song "Satellite" In Final In-Studio Webisode". KROQ-FM. March 9, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Satellite" (CD single)|format= requires |url= (help) (Media notes). Rise Against. DGC Records, Interscope Records. 2011. |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ O'Donnell, Kevin (December 22, 2010). "First Look at Rise Against's Upcoming Album". Spin. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Garner, George (February 15, 2015). "The Ultimate Rise Against Videography" ("Satellite" slide). Kerrang!. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Grischow, Chad (March 14, 2011). "Rise Against: Endgame Review". IGN. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Fortunato, John (May 4, 2011). "Interview with Tim McIlrath from Rise Against: Prophesying A Favorable 'Endgame'". The Aquarian Weekly. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Boy, Davey (March 14, 2011). "Review: Rise Against - Endgame | Sputnikmusic". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  10. ^ Kubanke, Ulf (March 11, 2011). "Endgame - Preaching with a Punk Bazooka" (in German). Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Young, Alex (March 17, 2011). "Rise Against - Endgame | Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  12. ^ Gentile, John (March 15, 2011). "Rise Against - Endgame |". Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  13. ^ "Satellite - Rise Against - Vevo". Vevo. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  14. ^ Common, Tyler (November 1, 2011). "Rise Against release music video for 'Satellite'". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  15. ^ "Satellite New Music Video". Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  16. ^ Kim, Dave (November 2, 2011). "Rise Against Pay Tribute to Fans in "Satellite" Music Video". WGRD-FM. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  17. ^ Wilkie, Jim (March 15, 2012). "Riders mash up in Rise Against video". X Games. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive - March 6, 2012". America's Music Charts. 2012-03-06. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  19. ^ "Rise Against Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  20. ^ "Rock Songs Year End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  21. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Rise Against; 'Satellite')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved March 13, 2018.

External links[edit]