Canadian dark wave trio Ultrviolence returned with a dark and brooding release in May with the Forty Knives EP released via the excellent Vancouver label, Northern Light Records. Six tracks of intensenly crafted post punk soundscapes, guitar shrapnel and pained vocal delivery from the main mind behind the band, Nate Jespersen. I recently had a chat with Nate as he kindly shared some thoughts about the creation of the EP, his songwriting process and digging deep into yourself for your art.
Overblown: I can hear elements of post punk and darkwave in your sound, how would you describe Ultrviolence to an uninitiated listener?
Nate Jespersen: I would say we have very crooning post punk, darkwave, shoegaze, and post wave elements mixed with honest lyrics.
Overblown: What was your writing process for the Forty Knives EP like in the early demo stage and how did recording at Jacknife Sound in Vancouver influence the overall production of the tracks?
Nate: I am a very disciplined person. I usually have a routine where I work out very intensely, walk my dog in the mountains, and then I come back to the demo studio I have and write for 5-8hrs. I’ll do this for 4 days a week which gives me lots of options. I usually have the songs written in my brain before I start to attempt, and I’ll record many versions until it’s just right. When I come into Jacknife there are a lot of things that are looked at or used, that maybe I wouldn’t think of or have the energy to be aware of. It influences the end product to be more monolithic and confident. The atmosphere of the music/instruments/effects etc.. ends up meeting the song writing. Which I love.
Overblown: The lyrical themes explored in these songs seem cathartic for you, is digging that deep into yourself a goal for the music you write?
Nate: I’m a huge Frederick Nietzsche fan who has inspired all aspects of my writing and life. I know I’m digging deep into myself to articulate my life, it ends up being a story. Sometimes if you want to write dark music, you don’t need to write it about the Holocaust or murderers, all you have to do is dig into yourself and you’d be suprised at the monster that is in all of us for real.
Overblown: The video you released for “Dead Bedrooms” is absolutely haunting! What inspired the track and the incredible striking visuals you used?
Nate: Thank you! I live in the country, and my neighbor had some goats blood and we thought it would be rad to pour it on me while I sang the song. It turned out great with a strobe light. The video almost did itself, it was spooky. It was filmed in 180fps 35mm which I was really happy about. We told people it was fake blood to avoid PETA, but the cat is out of the bag.
Overblown: Your tracks have such great vocal hooks and instantly memorable guitar riffs, who are some of your influences as a guitarist or songwriter?
Nate: As a guitarist and songwriter there are a few , the main influence is Adrian Borland of the Sound. If you listen carefully there is not a bad song or weak point. I always wanted to be strong and honest like that. I would say when I was younger it was Noel Gallagher due to the monstrous force of melodies and songwriting.
Overblown: What are the future plans for Ultrviolence, are there some shows planned to support the Forty Knives EP or more videos in the works?
Nate: Speak of the devil, we have a new video to share done by the multitalented ACTORS/LEATHERS front woman Shannon Hemmett! It’s entitled Let You Down Slow and is our 4th video released from the Forty Knives EP. I’ve been writing some acoustic songs for a new EP or release soon. Watch out for some solo Nate acoustic gigs coming, and who knows what the tides bring? I felt like relaxing and writing this summer so that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Check out the dream like new video for “Let you Down Slow” right here