September 18, 2013

B-sides

Highly toxic

Electronic synth-punk rap legends Ultra Pulverize have returned with a new EP, Toxic Vacation, and play Zanzabar Friday. Humans who buy a disc there will also receive a free UP slap-wrap bracelet. LEO caught up with Ultra.

LEO: It’s been years since your last record. How “toxic” was your vacation?

Ultra: Hypersleep is critical for a long and healthy life, so we feel full of energy. Our vacation was toxic mostly for our fans who have been starved of new material. But the important thing is we’re back, and we are very pleased with the work (engineer) Kevin Ratterman did on this EP that helped us realize our new sound. We already can’t wait to get back into La La Land to record the follow-up.

LEO: What inspired you to come back with this EP? Is there a theme?

Ultra: Another release was always part of the plan. It just took longer than we expected, due partly to our obsession with the (recent live score) “Robocop” project and the work involved with getting that ready. An EP felt right. Returning from a long period of silence with a strong concentrated dose was the way to go. This record has loads of replay value, and it gives a good picture of where our sound is heading. In terms of tone, it’s a different record than we’ve ever recorded. Less goofy, but still fun. Sometimes it sounds like poking an angry possum in a cage, and other times you could almost hula-hoop to it. Kevin Ratterman helped us birth a very aggressive baby. 

LEO: Any new costume upgrades planned for this show?

Ultra: We are not a band, we are a musical outfit with outfits. Version 3.0 uniforms have already debuted and include some tweaks and ergonomic refinements added since the last album. It’s always good to keep up with the latest fashion, and it still feels appropriate to protect ourselves from the evils of the world with metal helmets and masks and body armor. They’re slimmer and more militarized in a way. 

Read more about UP’s film and video work at bluecat.leoweekly.com.