Yikes, it's been a while since we've updated the site. That's because we've been completely focused on recording and mixing our next album. The plan was to have it out this year – in fact, now! But we got a little too ambitious and started to record more songs than originally intended. So, the bad news is we're not going to have the album ready until early next year. The good news is that it will contain 12 or 13 incredible new songs. I can promise you it will be worth the wait.
In other UZZA news, we've got a couple of shows coming up. The first one will be at the 7th Street Entry where we'll be performing with Ficshe, Scarlet Mother and Geodesique (who will be celebrating the release of two brand new EPs).
We also have a show coming up on January 9th at the Fine Line where we'll once again be playing with Geodesique, The Night, along with special guests Stellar Vector! We haven't seen those boys in a while so this will be a special show. More info to come. In the meantime, it's back to work on the album. Good grief, who knew being in a rock band demanded such a dogged work ethic?
Come on down to the valley, Golden Valley that is for UZZA's Samsara CD. http://www.downinthevalley.com/t-security.aspx
Located in the Pop category!
Last night saw the triumphant return of UZZA to the stage. We haven't played a show since January – largely because of line-up changes and the fact that we're pretty immersed in recording our next album, "Maya". But all work and no play can make a band a little restless after a while. So when we were asked to perform with dark-rock luminaries, The Dreaming, we readily accepted. And, as the saying goes, we chose wisely. We had a great time and delivered a commanding, mesmerizing performance that people will be telling their grandchildren about. Okay, that's a little hyperbolic, but it was a pretty good show – despite the fact that we didn't have a drummer! Sadly, he had to work that night and, let's face it, sometimes our work must come first. Which reminds me, that guy on stage who looked like an accountant was indeed our bass player, Geoff Maas. He'd come right from his suit-and-tie job to perform with us. So, while he didn't look the part of 'rock star extraordinaire', he sure performed like one – with the sweaty dress shirt to prove it. That, my friend, is why musicians usually wear black. It doesn't show how sopping wet you are.
Hey, speaking of hot things. Kudos to the other bands we played with. Wither the Tide took the stage like a force of nature. The literally made the building shake with a brutal, take-no-prisoners, full-on musical assault. Sargent Avenue was a pleasant surprise – terrific musicians with a brooding, yet melodic sensibility. I hadn't know of them before this show but I have a feeling we'll be hearing of them again. They're also involved with some important causes. Check out their work with Traffic Jam if you get a chance.
Then there was The Dreaming. They were fantastic! Great musicians with solid chops fronted by a powerful singer – Christopher Hall, formerly of Stabbing Westward. The songs were heavy but not devoid of hooks. In fact, quite the opposite. These guys write good songs and perform them with studio precision. They were beyond entertaining, they were inspiring. If you ever get the chance to check these guys out, do so.
Thanks to the bands, Station 4 and all the people that came out to the show last night. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as we did. Here's hoping we'll get to see you again soon. In the meantime, it's back into the studio tomorrow for UZZA. We'll post an update after tomorrow evening's session. Stay tuned!
Although we're still hunkered down and obsessively focused on recording our second album, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to play a show with national artists, The Dreaming, on Monday, July 23rd at Station 4 in St. Paul. UZZA will be the first of four bands (which includes Sargent Avenue and Whither the Tide ) and will be performing sans percussion as our drummer is unfortunately unavailable on that particular evening. Damn you, gainful employment! To fill the void we're going to try a new approach: using programmed backing tracks. These days no one seems to mind that sort of thing. Still, it's uncharted territory for us. The problem is – if this works out – Tabatha might just fire the whole band and go on tour with an iPod. Honestly, who would blame her?
So this week we went back in the studio to begin recording our sophomore effort, "Maya". If it's anything like my sophomore effort back in high school, it will receive high marks while being wildly unpopular (particularly with the ladies). Ha! Anyway, let's hope for better with the album!
We've tracked about five songs so far with another six or seven to go. We're looking at this next album being around 10-12 tracks. We'll be recording on-and-off for the next 2-3 months, most of which will be done at Arctic Studios in Minneapolis. We're also pulling in some of our musician friends from around town to help flesh out some of the songs and give them a unique personality. We'll let you know who they are as things progress. However, we can announce that a good friend and former work colleague, Dave Campbell, has stepped in to play drums on the record. He's been a real trooper, learning a ton of stuff in a compressed amount of time. He's been great to work with and will likely be playing our release show sometime in November. Thanks, Dave!
In the meantime we won't have time to play any shows, but as soon as the album is completed we plan on spending the next year or so focusing on live performance. We can't wait to get back to playing live again – especially with this crop of new, upbeat songs. We hope you'll like them as much as we do.
..And we're back!
While most bands would release a CD and then spend months, if not years, playing shows to support it, UZZA has taken the unconventional approach of heading right back into the studio to begin recording our second album. With so many great songs in our repertoire we felt there was no reason to wait around. If all goes well we should have a new album ready by Thanksgiving 2012. Wow – two albums in one year! What is this, the 60's?
That's the good news. The bad news is that working on the new album will make it difficult to play very many shows this year. There will be some, but they will be very selective and they might not happen until sometime this summer. There is another reason for this, and that's the other half of the bad news. Well, not 'bad' exactly, more like bittersweet...
After years of playing together, our drummer, Brandon Nessen, and bassist Samwell Rowan have moved on to form a new band – Das Fauna. They've played a few shows already and I can tell you first hand that they are quite remarkable. As with UZZA, Brandon and Samwell inject their incendiary musicianship into every song. Together they make one of the most explosive rhythm sections in the Twin Cities. We wish them the best and encourage you to check them out.
Now a couple more items that most certainly count as good news: UZZA is proud to announce that our original bass player, Geoff Maas, has returned to the band and is currently recording with us again. It's great to have him back! So now Geoff Maas, Chris Ginther, Tabatha Predovich and Rich Patterson, are the current fixtures of UZZA. Meanwhile, for the recording, we're enlisting several additional people to fill in the gaps and expand our musical options. Some people have called this the 'Steely Dan approach'. Whatever you call it, I must say it's proving to be a lot of fun.
As you can see, I don't make a lot of updates to the site but I'm going to try to be better about that. Especially that now we actually have things to report! So stay tuned, we'll let you know how the recording is going and what to expect in the very near future.
Well, we finally have a physical CD with 10 great songs available to purchase. Yay! The problem is, right now they're only available at our shows. Boo! Ah, but rest assured we are diligently working on getting the music available to listen to and purchase online. Yay! However, it still may take us a couple of weeks to get it all together. Boo! So we urge you be patient. We'll let you know as soon as we have the album in stores and online. In the meantime, if you're truly desperate, drop us a line in the and we'll see what we can do for you.
UZZA will once again be performing live on Friday, January 6th, 2012 at The Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. It will be a great show with some real heavy hitters, including Pinwheel, I, Corvinus and headliners Gabriel & The Apocalypse. If you're looking for some nice, gentle, friendly music to dance to this is NOT the show for you.
In other exciting news, UZZA will be releasing their long awaited album, Samsara, next month. It will include the following songs:
01. Square Eggs 02. Sickness 03. Evil Thoughts 04. Creep Crawl 05. Behold A Pale Horse 06. Right Side Desire 07. Just Beginning 08. Still Life 09. Words 10. Beachy Head
The CD will be available to purchase at the show. After that it will be available for sale online and at select retailers.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at Wild Tymes. Unfortunately, we went on WAY later than we'd originally planned (almost 1am). We know many of you couldn't stay for the entire show so, in case you missed it, we've posted some clips from the show at YouTube, including the one above: Memory Void. If you like that track, then be sure to check out the other videos for Keep Hanging On and Square Eggs, too. The clips look a little rough because the original footage was so dark you could only see the stage lights an a little bit of Tabatha. We ran it through some gamma filters to help brighten it up. The trade off is that the resulting footage gets really grainy. Time for a new camera with better low-light capabilities!
Also, thanks to the other performers – as|of, Ficshe and the always amazing Venus DeMars. It was really an engaging and diverse group of musicians. No one sounded quite like anybody else. As|Of delivered a dark, driving set full of bone-crushing beats and industrial menace. Their music was so heavy you could actually feel it reverberating through your body! Ficshe, on the other hand, was a dreamy blend of lush electronica and etherial vocals. Someone at the show referred to it as "bedroom goth". Indeed! Then there was Venus, who not only performed but DJ'd before and between sets. The DJ sets were a fantastic mix of classic, alternative and underground music – much of which was played off these big, round, black discs called 'records'. Some of you may have read about 'records' in history books. As for Venus' performance, she pretty much stole the show (as usual). Her solo set was profoundly powerful. Not because of the mandatory apparel and theatrics, but because of the intimate and revealing nature of the songs. Moody, melancholy melodies executed with exceptional musicianship and a voice that's as haunting as it is hypnotic. Really beautiful stuff! Last but not least, there was UZZA. Outside of a clam or two at the very end, we put on a pretty solid show (IMHO). I heard somebody refer to our sound as "sultry, psychedelic spy music". That's great! We'll have to start using that description from now on.
Thanks again to everyone that made it out to the show – especially the performers. If you're hoping for another chance to see UZZA you'll get your wish in late September, we'll be back at Wild Tymes for what's sure to be another great show. Stay tuned for details.
This week, UZZA signed with Minneapolis record label, Dead Sound Music Company. Co-founders Devlin Andersen and James Gross approached us after hearing the rough mixes for our much-delayed album "Samsara". They heard a lot of potential but also saw and opportunity to make something good into something great. And, hey, who would say no to that? Thus, we're working on putting the last, finishing touches on our very first record and we're so close we can taste it. It kind of tastes like black currant and dark chocolate. If all goes well we hope to have the CD available at our upcoming Wild Tymes show.