Thursday, February 11, 2010




For a while I heard about UME and finally had the chance to see them destroy the stage at Red 7 while opening for River Boat Gamblers. I was very impressed by the sonic CBGB nyc rock out vibe they produced. Been listening to their new EP that they recently produced non stop in the play lists.
They are playing at the Highball tomorrow evening. Should be a great show to remember!

How long has the band been together and how did you form?

We really got things rolling seriously as UME around 2007 when we all moved to Austin, but the three of us have been playing together off and on since 2002. I first met Eric and Jeff playing DIY punk shows in the Houston area while we were in different bands in high-school. I was playing guitar in a grindcore-ish thrashy band at age 15. At one of my band's first shows at a skate park, Eric came up and talked to me while I was sitting on a vert ramp. We've been together ever since.

Where does the name UME come from?

It's a Japanese plum blossom pronounced "ooo-may." Our friend Tim came up with our band name in honor of his favorite food, umeboshi. He actually hooked-up with his wife at an UME show :)

Which bands influenced UME and what groups are you currently listening to?

Fugazi to Ric Ocasek, Archers of Loaf to Team Dresch, Deep Purple to Prince, Spazz to Bat for Lashes. I've been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Fever Ray, and Screaming Females lately.

How was the recent tour with the Meat Puppets and any future tours planned?

It was an honor for us to tour the west-coast with such talented, down-to-earth, and really hilarious guys. Cris became on of my BFFs on the road and entertained us for hours with his gift for instantly deciphering spoken word scrambles - though I got him with "ronhatcceniropt." Yes, we're going to be touring constantly right after we finish recording the full-length this summer.

Where’s your favorite experience showcasing UME?

We really love playing live and getting to meet people that enjoy our music. I'm also still motivated by taking the stage and catching people off guard by the fact that I'm, yes, actually "in the band," not just "with" the band or the merch-girl. It's surprising to me that this is still many people's expectations and it's my dream to help change that.

What cities out of Texas have shown the most appeal to the band?

We've met and been supported by awesome people in Austin, Dallas, and Houston early on... we've even had some good shows in Beaumont and the Valley.

I really enjoy your new EP Sunshower. How does it differ from your last album?

Sunshower was our first time to actually enter a studio to make an album. Our first release is pretty rough and began as a set of demos that was picked up by a Brooklyn label. At that time, the band lived 1600 miles apart and rarely practiced. By the time we recorded Sunshower we were able to practice consistently and I think we began to find our identity as a band. I also tried to find my voice as a singer (I've never considered myself a singer) and incorporate more melodic elements with the heavier side of our sound.

Any songs that you really enjoy playing live during shows, songs that you just have to play?

We still play one of the first songs we ever wrote called, "Baby Xie-Xie." Its ending crescendos into chaos in a way that makes it a fun live experience but probably tortuous on headphones :)

Do you have any future projects coming up?

We're working like crazy to finish writing the full-length and to get into the studio this spring. We're also in talks with a few labels and hope to have some good news around SXSW.

Besides music, what are some hobbies that you all enjoy?

Jeff's a heavy reader and Eric has been getting in to making effects pedals and just built a tube amplifier for his stereo. I've been mostly trying to write vocal parts for the new songs, but also cooking a lot of southern-style food - collards, cornbread, and pinto beans (cooking is pretty uncharacteristic for me, but this cold weather has been keeping me inside:)

What are some of the bands current favorite films?

Lauren - I'm on an early Al Pacino kick - Godfather I and II, Jeff - Gattaca, Eric - Lonesome Dove

What is your favorite film monster?

Pumpkinhead and Kiefer Sutherland from the Lost Boys




1 comment:

jessi fresh* said...

LOL! this is great richard! glad you checked them out @ red 7~~ can't wait for SXSW! go Ume!!~