Tuesday, March 1, 2011
[spinner.com] From Jack White and Karen Elson to Trent Reznor and Mariqueen Maandig, there's just something about rock and love that always seem to go hand in hand. And now we can add Ume to the list. Bassist Eric Larson and his wife, guitarist and singer Lauren Langer Larson, met in high school while playing the DIY music circuit in Houston and have been together ever since. The Austin-based band is currently bringing their distortion-heavy rock to stages all over the country. They're also in a competition to be the first unsigned band to make it on the cover of Rolling Stone. If you like what you hear, vote for Ume HERE.
Spinner recently talked to Lauren about how they got their band name, why she has a Ph.D. in philosophy and what it's like touring with her husband.
How did Ume get together?
I met Eric when I was playing in punk rock bands around 15 years old out in Houston, and we've been playing together ever since. We kind of grew up together playing music. And actually our current lineup with our new drummer just started playing with us last night in Sacramento, Calif. She just got on board, but the band has been playing together of and on for several years. Then when we moved to Austin in 2008, that's when we got a little more serious.
Where did the band name come from?
It was actually our friend's favorite food, Ume. It's the Japanese word for the plum blossom or pickled plum. We picked it when we were just brainstorming, and he actually met his wife at an Ume concert.
I read that when the band was on hiatus, you went and got a Ph.D. in philosophy. Why did you go back to school?
My whole life I have been a musician but also an academic. I actually started playing music in high school, but I had gone to college and studied philosophy and English. I got published when I was an undergraduate, which helped me get into graduate school. So I started a Ph.D. program when I was pretty young. And I was kind of schizophrenic at the time because I'd writing essays and teaching then I would run down to the basement and still play my guitar. I think after being in an academic bubble for so long, I realized my passion was music. And actually, I started working in the community and did non-profit work, working with young girls in music and also with the girls in Austin. And I think all things I studied at an intellectual level, I was able to actualize in real life. It was a really powerful experience for me to work with the music community itself and the non-profit community.
What did you like listening to as a kid?
Since I was young, I always into Prince records. I was dancing around to David Bowie and Prince and imitating Axl Rose. So I always loved music.
What was the song or band that made you realize you wanted to be a musician?
It was probably Nirvana. I remember picking up my brother's guitar. He never thought I would be able to play guitar but then I started playing 'Come As You Are' really quickly. Then I stayed up all night learning from a cassette tape of Nirvana just to show him. But my hands are really small so it was hard for me to do traditional power chords. And a lot of the bands I listen to played them but my hands were too small so I just developed my own style [of playing].
READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 11:33 PM