Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview: Ume

Ume are an Austin-based indie rock 3-piece fronted by singer and guitarist Lauren Larson along with her husband and bass player Eric and drummer Rachel Fuhrer.  Their excellent sophomore album Phantoms was released last August to great praise on Modern Outsider Records.  The bands stands out among the crowd with an energetic live show and a sound built on heavy, distorted guitar riffs that have afforded them to tour with Helmet and The Black Angels and they show their versatility with touches of Cure-like melodisicm and Lauren's sweet and sour vocals.

The band is currently on tour with Helmet and the Toadies but are making a stop at this weekend's inaugural Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati.  They will be playing on Sunday at 4:30 on the aliveOne Stage.

Lauren took some time to answers some questions about their influences, outdoor festivals, new songs and Beyonce...

You have played a few festivals, including SXSW and now Bunbury this weekend.  What do you like best about outdoor fests and what would your dream concert lineup be?

Whether we're playing in a basement or festival stage, I've got to do the same thing - hold nothing back and put myself completely in the show.  I do like having a bigger stage to perform on and the energy of the festival crowd is inspiring.  Dream lineup: Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, Pink Floyd with Gilmour and Waters, Fugazi, Bjork, Portishead, and PJ Harvey.   

My favorite song on your excellent new album, Phantoms is "Burst" with it's Cure-like melodicism.  What is your favorite song to play live and why?

Thanks... not a lot of people pick up on the Cure influence.  My favorite song to play live is always changing.  At the moment I'm having fun trying to play the guitar behind my back during the instrumental build on "Hurricane II."

What bands are you most excited to see at Bunbury? 

I once saw Death Cab for Cutie play for 10 people in Houston at a shoe warehouse, so I'm excited to see how they've changed since becoming one of the biggest bands around.  I'm also excited to see our label mates Pomegranates and Bad Veins.

You have been compared to bands like Sonic Youth and The Joy Formidable but who do you say are your influences?

It ranges from Led Zeppelin to Lykke Li, Black Sabbath to Blonde Redhead, Miles Davis to Fugazi...

Your critically acclaimed second album Phantoms is amazing.  Where are you in the process for your next album? 

We are currently demoing new songs and road testing new material.  We'll be trying out a few brand new ones at Bunbury!

What one older and one current song do you wish you would have written yourself?

Old - "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" by The Beatles.

New - "Street Joy" by White Denim

Are any of you active in any side projects?

Rachel plays drums in local post hardcore band We'll Go Machete.  I occasionally practice with a couple folks from Black Angels, but both our bands are so busy it was tough to get anything going.

Not that you would want to but if you had to, who would you choose to replace you in the band?


The Bunbury Music Festival starts today and there are still tickets left...don't miss Ume and Lauren playing the guitar behind her back!

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