We Are Us (also known as UX) are a high energy electronic duo who play heart felt music that resonates the incredible ups and tougher downs of living in the post knowledge society (the age of unreason). There is real emotional depth to their music and live performance, so I wanted to find out more about what Dan Elsmore and Stu James were planning for 2018.
We are the unheard
We are the silenced
We are the forgotten
We are the lost
What gave you the idea for the name and why?
Stu: Dan was making a lot of synth based punk tunes and releasing them on soundcloud under the name I Am Jack. This was probably around three years ago. At the time he would come over to mine for a catch up and try and convince me to attempt to make music using software. I was slow to catch on, because at the time was very much still into punk / post hardcore and didn’t really have much of an appreciation for electronic music. After several months I learned some basics and so we started writing and releasing some quite basic ambient tracks, initially on soundcloud and then YouTube – as it was no longer just Dan we changed from the ‘I Am’ and thought it’s now ‘We are’ .. so we changed the name to Us. Also spelt UX because we wanted to make it easier to find. We are called We Are Us on Facebook for this same reason.
Me: That’s the thing I guess, you’ve got to have a unique name that will take listeners straight from Google search to your web pages.
So where are you based and where do you gig?
Dan: We’re both originally from Stafford, but Stu now lives in Stoke-On-Trent. We decided to hit the ground running where gigging is concerned and have always made an effort to gig in as many places as possible. Since meeting the Electronic Music Open Mic (EMOM) crowd this has become much easier and has opened the doors for gigs with similar acts all around the country. Ultimately we’ll gig anywhere that will have us.
Me: Stoke-On-Trent looks like a popular place for electronic music making judging by the forthcoming EMOM event that is passing through the place this week.
What technology do you use?
Stu: We produce using Reason by Propellerhead. Through that, we mainly use a Novation Launch key 61 and an Akai Professional MPD218 and going forward are fully integrating these into our sets.
We are the brave
We are the soldiers
We are the warriors
We are dust
What music has influenced you?
Dan: We are 100% multi genre so our influence pool is pretty huge, from Pink Floyd to Enter Shikari, 21 Pilots, Hanz Zimmer, FKA Twigs, Synkro, NUAGES, Noisia and Prodigy, to name a few.
What was your last release and what have you got planned for future release?
Stu: Our last release in 2017 was a self-titled effort that we decided to put together just to see if we could pull it off. A lot of what happened in our personal lives was causing frustrations and we wanted to try and deal with them through writing music. We were inexperienced in production, but this didn’t stop us, we still took it and performed it everywhere we could.
Dan: Our next release has had much more thought go into it – every aspect of it. It’s about telling a story, giving the listener and the audience an experience, and of course pushing musical boundaries. We don’t have a release date yet, and there is much to do in the way of mastering, lyric writing and the artwork but I can tell you that the Album will be called [sic] and we will be performing tracks from it as and when we have them ready, in true UX fashion.
Me: You also had one of my favourite tracks ‘The Silence of Being’ from your last release on the EMOM compilation CD at the end of last year. I love that track.
We are the loners
We are the mistakes
We are the regret you love to hate
When can we hear you play next?
Stu: We are getting pretty stacked already with various nights, support gigs, and a couple of festivals booked in for later this year.
Dan: We’ll also be supporting TOOM at Fuel Café Bar in Manchester on the 12th February 2018, also with Cynthia’s Periscope and Poet & the Loops.
Me: Yeah, really looking forward to that.
Finally then, given the choice, which would you go for vinyl, CD or download?
Stu: I would download but am going through a bit of a phase of getting hold of a lot more vinyl.
Dan: Out of all of them? Vinyl…
Me: Thanks for the interview Dan and Stu and I’ll see you both at Fuel Café Bar in Manchester for the TOOM EP launch.
We are your heroes
We are your villains
We are everything in between
We are your lovers
We are your friends
We are the desperate until the end
WE ARE US
Photo by Samantha Claire