Music from across the pond has been influencing artists in the United States for years. From the Beatles to Mumford and Sons, musical influence knows no bounds. This influence has stretched from Europe to Michigan with the arrival of ULAN BATOR, an experimental rock band, that formed back in 1993 and has been playing ever since.
ULAN BATOR describes their sound as, “A mix between contemporary experimental music, french songwriting and psychedelic rock. Pretty weird.” Fans of the Midwest music scene might be unfamiliar with ULAN BATOR but after they experience the show live, that is likely to change.
Amaury Cambuzat, founding member of ULAN BATOR, expressed excitement about being their unique musical sound to the Midwest music scene. “It’s the first time we will tour Midwest, first tour in America ever for this band so, I can’t tell you now but I so curious to listen to opening band we will meet there! I’m sure that there’s a brilliant alternative scene so far,” said Cambuzat.
ULAN BATOR is kicking off an American tour starting in May. “We have this amazing tour of 13 gigs in 13 days across the US which will start on the 3rd of May,”said Cambuzat.
I had the chance to interview Amaury Cambuzat of ULAN BATOR. We discussed everything from how the band has changed since 1993 to what is like going on tour in the United States. The entire interview is below.
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C: When did ULAN BATOR come together? We started as a trio in 1993. Twenty years ago.
U: The line-up was different. I’m the only founder member from the beginning.
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
U: I studied classical music during my childhood, piano. I remember that my favorite LP was the soundtrack of Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange’s movie by Wendy Carlos. Then came David Bowie (Low, Heroes, Diamond Dogs), The Stooges and later NY bands like DNA and The Swans. About european music, I prefer to mention composers like Erik Satie, Ennio Morricone or German bands like Can, Neu! or popol Vuh. My influences are a mix between those different artists.
C: ULAN BATOR in a few words, how would you describe the band’s musical sound?
U: Unique. I hope! A mix between contemporary experimental music, french songwriting and psychedelic rock. Pretty weird anyway… What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music? I’m not really listening to music when I’m composing. I’m always afraid to be influenced in a bad way, to reproduce something. I prefer so to listen to classical music or to commercial music on the radio. I don’t really need to find some new ideas around. My brain is still busy with mine.
C: ULAN BATOR has gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
U: We had the fortune to make an album with Michael Gira from the Swans 10 years ago, released on his own label Young God Records in the US. Have to say that this helped us a lot to introduce our band name in the US… Not very common for a French band.
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Midwest music scene?
U: It’s the first time we will tour Midwest, first tour in America ever for this band so, I can’t tell you now but I so curious to listen to opening band we will meet there! I’m sure that there’s a brilliant alternative scene so far.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
U: I think that social networks are now helping in a way but it was a mess for several years, a kind of permanent work in progress. Have to say that the thing I like is that social media putted everyone, every bands at the same level. This is democracy. A kind of :)
C: What does the future hold for ULAN BATOR?
U: We have this amazing tour of 13 gigs in 13 days across the US east-coast which will start on the 3rd of May, with a brand new album’s ready. After the US, we will have to work hard on some promotion and try to organize tour in Europe and why not, another tour in the US but maybe West-Coast…? Would be such great! VIDEO: ULAN BATOR: “TakeOff” (from forthcoming DVD, CD, LP: “En France/En Transe”) https://vimeo.com/54513064