Meshing guitar-based rock with the raw passion of punk rock and the melodic sophistication of pop, Ume are an Austin, Texas-based trio made up of Lauren Larson on guitar and vocals, Eric Larson on bass, and Aaron Perez on drums. They earned a growing following for their relentless touring schedule, explosive performances, and clever but unpretentious music.
Their latest release Too Big World beautifully showcases the band’s balance of elegance and brutality, strength, and fragility. Released in April 2015 on Dangerbird Records, the six track EP features covers by Neil Young and Archers of Loaf, as well as tracks from the band’s recording sessions with producer Adam Kasper (QOTSA, Cat Power, Nirvana) at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, WA. Describing the band, Metal Hammer UK said, “If a futuristic amalgam of Mastodon and Queens of the Stone Age were to jam a bunch of Fugazi tunes and rope in PJ Harvey on vocals, then this could well be the result.”
Lauren and Eric began making music together after meeting at a skatepark in highschool. Shortly after forming Ume, Lauren moved on to attend graduate school in philosophy, but eventually traded in the PhD pursuit to follow her guitar heroine dreams. Driven by a desire to share how they felt as kids the first time they saw Fugazi, Lauren and Eric have logged tens of thousands of miles together on the road, moving from basements and dive bars to major festivals like ACL Festival 2015, Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, Paris’ Rock En Seine, and London’s British Summer Time Fest. In 2015, Lauren and Eric welcomed their first daughter into the world. The couple alongside powerhouse drummer Aaron Perez are currently writing their next record.
The band has shared the stage with Black Sabbath, Blondie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Warpaint, Franz Ferdinand, Helmet, Wu-Tang, and Foals, and were personally called by Perry Farrell to open for Jane’s Addiction at their Lollapalooza afterparty. In May 2014, Lauren was invited by rock legend Nancy Wilson of Heart to perform alongside her at an acoustic benefit show in San Francisco featuring James Hetfield, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Sammy Hagar. Ume also appeared on the 2012 Season Premiere of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, who celebrated the band as “a shitload of rawk in a tiny little room” before taking them to dinner during SXSW. The band’s name –pronounced “ooo-may” – was taken from a Japanese plum blossom that they later learned symbolizes perseverance and devotion, a moniker that aptly reflects the musicians’ tenacity and passion.
- EVERY SONG I’VE EVER WRITTEN: BAND NIGHT (Fusebox 2016)