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Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Since early 2005 when we first discovered Seattle's UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA and put them on Future Sounds 18, we've wanted to get to know the Oz behind the curtain of U.S.E. After we witnessed them turn The Rumble: Seattle into their own dance private dance party, we had to get them to do the Rumble WC Tour of shows, and it's worked out around the release of their soon to be released full-length, 'L O V E W O R L D'.

We recently got even deeper with a pre-Rumble tour interview with the seven piece U.S.E, here's the result....

FS: First off, we’re thrilled to be involved with U.S.E’s LOVEWORLD release and return to the music scene. With 7 members in the group, it must be tough to get everyone together to work on anything. What’s the writing and recording process like for U.S.E?

USE: We get together in a very hot room, sweat a lot, grin at each other and start bashing on our instruments. Once we find a lick and a beat we keep building on it while drinking lots of redbull. Sorta sounds like a jam band, and there is truth to that, but we take our collaboration and song craft seriously. Next we go into the studio and record it for hours and hours. Lots of production. Lots of fun! As a side note, there are 7 of us. However, counting the audience that usually comes on stage its about 50.

FS: I honestly remember and downloaded your first release back in 2004 and I distinctly remember that it was mind-blowing at that time for a band to give away their entire album for free. You also started your band claiming to be an act from Mannheim, Germany and pulled the wool over people’s eyes in Seattle. Sounds like you always approach music from a creative and adventuresome place. Where does this come from?

USE: Our contribution to the world is our music. We want to share it w/ everyone. What better way than for free? We would rather have more people hear it and make a couple bucks less. Yes, we need to make a living, so that can be hard sometimes. But in the end we leave behind music, not money (cuz we spent it on duct tape fixing our instruments). The creativity and adventure go along with a song. That’s just a natural progression.

FS: Why was their such a gap between your last release and LOVEWORLD?

USE: After constantly touring we had to let out some of our other melodies in our heads that didn’t quite fit the U.S.E thing. And then life happened. As dumb as that sounds, it is pretty much true. Shotgun weddings (weddings with shotguns), other albums released, etc etc. In retrospect it is a bit hard to know exactly why it took so long, but it did. We slept a lot during the day, too. Then the songs and beats from the road coupled with social events culminated into L O V E W O R L D.

FS: I’ve rarely ever heard an artist as proud of the city in which they live, maybe since Randy Newman’s “I Love LA”. You first gave us “Emerald City” about your love for Seattle, and this time you give us “Look At This City”. Could we get the 8 favorite things about Seattle – one from each band member?

1. Big city w/ a small city feel.

2. The lakes, the mountains, the sound, the trees, the people.

3. The bands

4. The passion that people have for our city (its politics, landmarks and work for the environment.

5. Almost live

6. Pat Cash Man

7. Dick’s Hamburgers.

8. The gum wall by Alibi room. It slowly changes and usually keeps looking pretty- just like people.

FS: I feel like U.S.E have mastered the art of the vocoder. Rank in order your favorite use of the vocoder over the years from this lot: Jamie Fox, Cher, Daft Punk, Zapp & Roger

USE: Thanks! Cher is the first and last name in that realm. Technically, I think that was autotune, but it doesn’t matter in the end cuz it was so awesome. She really mastered the art of sounding like a soulless robot. How the hell did they come up with that idea? Did the intern sneak in at night attempting to sabotage the song because she yelled at him for not providing her 13 bottles of Evian, so he turned up the autotune and thought it would ruin her career? Truth be told, Daft Punk is the obvious and greatest inspiration for the vocoding. Jamie Foxx was great on that FOX series in the 90’s. Did he play a vocoder too?

Those last 2 sentences were Jon e.’s. He wants Cher and wont admit it. He has a thing for pancake butts.

FS: The themes behind U.S.E tracks have a consistency to them: Love, dancing, love, partying, kissing, dancing, love, etc. Are you modern day hippies?

USE: Who knows? Maybe we are hippies of a sort. A little idealism never hurt anybody. Although most of us shower on a semi regular basis.

FS: As you gear up to release LOVEWORLD and do a run of west coast dates through The Rumbles, do you have any advice for those attending a U.S.E gig for the first time?

USE: Make sure you stretch, smile and tip your bartender.

FS: Thanks for taking the time to respond and I look forward to seeing you again at The Rumbles.

USE: You're very welcome.

Portland FS readers, see U.S.E this evening at Holocene for free!

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