Article Archive

USE - USE: The Force

Author: Jane Stabler
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
In this day and age, electronic music is more synonymous with individuals DJing than a group of guys on stage making party sounds. But that’s exactly what USE are doing, or as they put it, they’re “not just two guys twiddling knobs on stage”, and if their growing international following and the rave reviews of their live shows are anything to go by, it seems they are doing it well.

Their abbreviated name could be confused for a university, and the boys tell me they often get asked if they are affiliated with USC (University of California), but more annoying is people’s fondness of turning them into a country. “People called us the United States of Electronica a lot, and it’s just State,” statesman Derek Chen contests. “No ‘S’, we’re a unified state.”

This four-strong group of unified mates have built a fierce reputation for their lives shows, and whether the reviews are good or bad, they are always passionate. The response does lean heavily towards the positive, but regardless the band knows that they will be having a good time on stage. In fact, they enjoy themselves so much they don’t even get mad if the crowd isn’t filling the floor.

“[We’re] not really [bothered because] there’s always a party on stage,” Chen explains of their ambivalence towards any non-partiers. “It took us a little while in Seattle and it took a couple of shows before the crowd realized they just had to have a good time. After a couple of years or so there’s a lot of people dancing. We haven’t had to deal with many dead crowds so far.”

It’s the group’s ability to have a good time together that resulted in the formation of USE to begin with. Electronic music has been with the four fellows for years, and after realising how much fun they had partying together, it seemed logical to take that into a professional sphere. Don’t they say that the essence of happiness is making your hobby your career- It would certainly seem that the mantra rang true for the group.

“I guess it came quite naturally,” he says. “We’ve all been friends for a long time and we party together and play music together. So it was pretty natural progression to start a party band. We love this music, we love doing this.”

USE are so happy doing what they’re doing that they’ve even made the potentially pretentious claim that their music is the soundtrack to the best moment’s of their fans lives. This is somewhat tempered by the fact these boys are keen to admit that being part of the United State of Electronica has led them to their own best memories.

“A lot of the best moments of our lives have occurred while playing these songs,” Chen admits. “We’ve been really lucky and we’ve had some really unforgettable moments doing this.”

WHAT: United State of Electronica through Original Recording E/Inertia
WHEN: Out now