D//E Interviews: Uniform

Having just unleashed one of the most anticipated and heftiest albums of the year, a record heavily influenced by dystopian themes, Uniform seem to be having a great 2018, as the band easily classify among the finest extreme music has to offer at the moment. The Long Walk's success owes a lot to the the Brooklyn band's robust songcrafting and sophisticated writing, as well as to the addition of Greg Fox (Liturgy, Zs) on their roster.

Also worth mentioning, Uniform's live presence which is quite riveting these days. The band have just concluded their tour with Deafheaven and Drab Majesty, and have a single date with Thou coming up, before going out again for a series of shows with The Body.

The band's core, Ben Greenberg and Michael Berdan answer D//E's questions about the new album, and a little more.

How did the creative and production process change between last year's Wake In Fright and the new album?

In just about every way you could think of. Wake In Fright was an exercise in digital density. Every drum hit was 5 to 10 layered samples. The level of detail between songs was painstaking. This was the complete opposite, we brought together a large group of demos, went into the studio, got sounds, and edited arrangements on the fly, as we played. It’s really a live record. And we were able to take our setup straight out of the studio and onto the stage. Ditching tracks was so liberating. There was a ton of pent up energy, just waiting to get out, once we were all in the room together it came very easily.

What does drummer Greg Fox bring to the sound of Uniform? How did he join?

Greg is a machine, just unbelievably reliable and flexible. He showed up day of, we were initially going to record with a different drummer but he got sick and the last minute. So Greg hadn’t heard any of the songs before. He fit right in, it was remarkable. We’d been talking about adding a drummer for years, and we’d actually talked to Greg about touring together at some point, but that was before any of the record was written, so it was all kind of a speculative gamble. I think it paid off, it was definitely a relief when things came together!

What made you relate so much to the Stephen King book, The Long Walk? What parallels to you see between that story and today's society?

The Long Walk (the novel) is essentially about the struggle for existence, and the futility of it. I think everyone can relate to the feeling of pushing uphill just to survive and being constantly knocked back. We all race towards these goal posts that society sets out for us, as though there’s something to be won. If you take a long hard look at the prize, though, it’s terrifying.

Do you think that a dystopian reality similar to the one described in the book is possible to happen?

I think we’ve been living in a version of it for a long long time.

The video for the coming album's first single, The Walk, looks amazing. What do you think is wrong with news broadcasting today?

Thanks, Danny Perez absolutely killed it and deserves all the credit. I think media in general is such an obvious tool of self deception, delusion, oppression. Not just television, all forms of contemporary media, especially the one you’re reading this on right now. It keeps people in a perpetual state of fear, anger, horror, and simultaneously distracts from and furthers our immense disenfranchisement. Pure evil, not the cool kind.

What was it like having your music on the new Twin Peaks? What did you think of the latest season?

It was a true honor, definitely never thought that would happen! David Lynch is a master, I grew up on his films. There are so few true originals left, it was beyond flattering to be even a small part of his legacy.

How did the collaboration with The Body happen? 

We started talking about it when we were on tour together in 2017, and wound up in the studio about 6 months later. Those guys are the fucking coolest, getting to work together has been amazing.

You keep on delivering new material in quite quick succession. Do you plan on continuing at this pace?

We make things at whatever pace suits our creativity. As long as there’s a new challenge, something to learn, then a project is worth attempting. The day we get bored or retrace our steps is the day we stop being a band.

What are you currently listening to mostly?

The first three Screaming Trees records, Milton Nascimento, Mozzy, Carla Thomas, Puke Spit & Guts, Janet Jackson, Slayer...

You are currently amidst a heavy touring schedule with Deafheaven and Drab Majesty. How is it coming along?

Tour has been amazing, the shows have been incredible, such an unexpectedly positive response from such big rooms. We really didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been truly amazing. Everyone’s killing it. So much love and gratitude and respect to Deafheaven and Drab for having us along!

Top photo by Ebru Yildiz

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