Like other bands before them, Ume (pronounced ooh-may), took to Kickstarter in order to help fund their next album. Raising the necessary funds faster than you can say “trip to Seattle,” the indie-garage band is planning a quick turn-around, with the album slated to be released in 2013. Not ones to take time off, the trio is on the road with Helmet and The Toadies, and will be playing at House of Blues in Anaheim on Wednesday night. In between recording and touring, we caught up on the phone with singer/guitarist Lauren Larson, who was home in Austin, who told us about the new album and what it was like hanging with Anthony Bourdain.
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn): How long have you been working on the new album?
Lauren Larson: We were there 13 days in Seattle at the Robert Lang Studio with producer Adam Kasper. He just finished the new Soundgarden record and a lot of amazing people. The sound is big and heavier than what we did before and more diverse, too.
What was it like working with him?
It was cool, especially using the same amps that Soundgarden recorded on. There was this clarity of tone that we captured that we've never been able to get. It was really rad.
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Having done most of your recording in Austin prior to this, what was it like working up in Seattle?
It was really nice because we were hunkered down in a basement in this very strange, haunted compound overlooking Puget Sound. It really forced us to stay focused and we hardly had any phone connection.
The band has opened for some pretty big bands this year. What was it like playing with Jane's Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins?
It was crazy and both were dreams come true. When we on tour before, I really did get a phone call on my cell phone from Perry Ferrell and we opened for them at the Lollapalooza after-party, which was really crazy. The guitarist of Smashing Pumpkins found out about us from our friends and asked us to play with them. I've seen Smashing Pumpkins several times since I was 15, so it was a real honor to share the stage.
When you got the call from Perry, did you think at first it was a prank by one of your friends?
I was warned that something was going to happen, if not, I would be suspicious and there's no way I would have believed it. But it was a bit shocking and awesome.
You were also on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations program a few weeks ago, which must have been pretty cool. What was it like hanging out with him?
That was just a lot of fun. We're big lovers of food and to have our music on such a big show is really an honor. They covered a few bands at South-by and we were one of the bands they picked. We were playing a pretty cool dive bar here in Austin and during the second song, someone yelled, "There's Anthony Bourdain!” and he was there and came to see us play. Everyone was pretty tanked I think when we were filming, but it was pretty fun. Seeing it on TV made me a little embarrassed because whenever you see yourself you can tell you've been drinking because my accent was really shining through (laughs).
What's the set going to be like when you get to Anaheim? Are there any concrete plans or ideas? Do you mix it up from night to night?
Since we've been in the studio we're going to stick to our set that we've been touring with. It will be old arrangements but there will be previews of the tracks that will be on the album, but they've been redone for the record. We haven't been able to rehearse the new versions yet.