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.
So, we're mixing our album right now. We're hoping to have something ready in the next couple months. Boy, we can't wait to get this sucker finished! In the meantime, we've been working with Charles Sadler from Stellar Vector. He's been rehearsing with UZZA for the past few weeks developing keyboard parts for our current set as well as our new songs. We're going to be adding his parts to the existing recordings and inviting him to play some upcoming shows with us. In fact, it's looking like Charles might end up becoming the sixth member of our band – although he needs to pass the Skull & Bones-style initiation first. I won't go into detail, but it involves masks of recent presidents, a marble slab, and an effigy of a small child. You know, harmless fun!
All that aside, we're excited to be entering the next phase of UZZA – including a new lineup, new songs and new shows. Keep your eyes and ears open for us and look for the upcoming album: "Samsara". With nine songs swelling with dark, brooding intensity, it's sure to be the feel good hit of the summer. Until then, check out our Shows page for upcoming gigs. If you want to know anything else, drop us a line by visiting our Contact page. Cheers!
So our first year as a band is under our belt and, I must say, in that very short time we've managed to come quite a long way. Besides playing a ton of shows and meeting a bunch of cool people, UZZA has underwent a transformation; we've evolved from being a cautiously capable group of individuals into an audacious, single-minded ensemble. We blast through our sets like a force of nature - a sonic tsunami, if you will. We've bonded as a band and broke new ground as performers, taking more chances and having more fun. It's now, at the peak of our musical prowess, that we've begun recording our first album, comprised almost entirely of songs in our current set. We're recording at IPR studios in Minneapolis and helmed by our engineer David Stevens. Most of the tracks were recorded live in only a few takes with vocals and keyboards to be overdubbed later. While the performances aren't as meticulously executed as a Trevor Horn album, there is an energy to the rawness that more than makes up for it. Even in it's unrefined state it sounds as if we've captured lightning in a bottle. The hope is to have a finished product by May of 2010. In the meantime, the band is taking a brief hiatus from playing live to focus on writing new material. At this point we already have enough songs in the works for a second album! And, in true UZZA fashion, they boast a broad range of moods and musical styles that defy classification. We can't wait to play them for you. Unfortunately we'll all have to wait until next year for that to happen. Until then, check back here or our MySpace site for news and show updates. Alright, kids, see you in the spring!!
We have our last show for the year coming up on Saturday, December 19th at the BarFly Loft in Minneapolis. We'll once again be playing with All The Pretty Horses and Bella Koshka so, if you missed us the last time we played The Loft, here's your second chance! Although be sure to get there early because UZZA will be taking the stage around 8:00pm. Yes, 8:00pm. It's an early show - you know, for the kids! In addition to the aforementioned bands, we'll also be sharing the bill with local faves Pop, Inc. and headliners C/A/T. It's going to be a very full evening so be sure to chug some Red Bulls beforehand.
After this performance, UZZA will be taking a short hiatus to work on new material and finish recording tracks for an album due out next year. It's looking to be a collection of 8 or 9 songs, maybe more. Once we get a little further into it we'll provide some details. In the meantime, if you want to hear our band you'll have to come to the BarFly show on the 19th. Hope to see you there!