SXSW 2013: Ume to perform new material at Reverb's day Party - Reverb

SXSW 2013: Ume to perform new material at Reverb’s day Party

By Erik Myers

Attending Reverb’s SXSW Party this Saturday? Remember: it’s “Ooo-May.”

Ume only took Monday off, as they’ve been busy bringing their no-nonsense rock to several venues throughout their hometown for SXSW 2013. Vocalist/guitarist Lauren Larson took some time that evening to discuss with Reverb her mind frame behind a few of the new songs they’ll be performing and why the album they’re working on remains nameless.

Reverb: Being an Austin resident, what’s your opinion on SXSW?

Lauren Larson: It’s so massive now. I think it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. A lot of the locals hate it because it always transforms our town, but at the same time, it provides a lot of opportunities for bands and people from outside of town. I recommend that anyone coming to town doesn’t think that’s how Austin normally is. Check out Austin any other time of the year, it’s a laid-back town.

Reverb: What’s the scene like these days?

LL: We’re not the biggest city, but we’ve got such a supportive cast of people who support live music and enjoy it.

During last year’s SXSW, you were on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” How was it?

LL: Anthony Bourdain and his crew came to SXSW and we were one of the bands they chose to see. They came to a party we were playing and then we went to dinner with Tony at a place called Barley Swine, and they filmed us there. It was amazing, he was so easy-going. I think the quote from him went that we were “a shit-load of rock in a tiny room.”

R: Are you looking forward to anyone at SXSW this year?

LL: We’re going to be playing so much… but if I can get in to see Prince, that will be my dream come true.

R: What’s the status of the new album with rock producer Adam Kasper?

LL: We just finished recording in Seattle with Adam. He’s worked on so many of our favorite records… Queens of the Stone Age’s “Songs for the Deaf,” Cat Power’s “You Are Free.” He did the last Nirvana record. It was an amazing experience. We learned so much and we’re super excited to get the new music out.

R: How would you compare this new album to your last one, “Phantoms”?

L: It’s definitely different. For us, we consider it a step up. It’s the first record we’ve done with our new drummer Rachel (Fuhrer). She really brings a new rhythmic element to the band. And this is a guitar rock record. I think when people see us live, then listen to the new record, they’ll think “This is what we’ve been waiting for.”

R: I don’t suppose a title’s been chosen?

LL: Nah, that’s the last thing.

R: The last thing?

LL: (laughs) For some people it might be the first thing. For me, it kind of summarizes the whole experience. Until it’s kind of done, when I can hear it in sequence, then I’ll name it.

R: Were you in any kind of mood writing the new album?

LL: We recorded at Robert Lang in Seattle, and I’m a bit of an insomniac, so I’d stay down in the basement, with all of this amazing gear Adam Kasper had, and I wrote three songs in one night once. That’s never happened. There was just this freedom I felt, just trying to push myself more as a songwriter and turned my editor off for a while.

R: Name three songs, records or artists you’re loving right now.

LL: Tame Impala’s “Lonerism.” Really liked that one.

Just got tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at Jazz Fest, so I’ve been listening to “Rumors” a lot. (laughs)

And I actually have been turning back to Nirvana’s “Bleach.” Been listening to that a bit lately. Reminding me to have fun with rock n’ roll again.

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Electronic blogger Erik Myers is a Denver-based writer and contributor to Reverb. Contact him at erikmye@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter.

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