By Victoria Banner
BeatRoute is proud to premiere the new EP Forty Knives by Ultrviolence. Read our interview below and buy Forty Knives when it comes out on Friday, May 12.
CALGARY – “I like living in Calgary because of the solitude.”
So begins Nate Jespersen of Calgary’s Ultrviolence. The multi-talented creative force behind the skittish post-punk band embodies the strange transience of the genre in every sense it’s known. Ultrviolence’s immersive sound is constructed with a dark wave foundation that pulls listeners into its gloomy depths to languish. With new EP Forty Knives coming out in May, fans of bands like Interpol and Joy Division will be instantly drawn to something new, yet oddly familiar, to stomp around in the rain to.
As for an album release party?
“Shit, that would have been a good idea…” says Jespersen, trailing off. He is currently caught up between the production of Ultrviolence in his studio outside Calgary, and rehearsing in Vancouver with the band ACTORS.
The interview is paused briefly to motion the PRLR bartender over to discuss Nite Owl stage time in a gloriously on-brand exchange of nonchalant disinterest between all three parties. So who knows if later this month we’ll be dancing [or pointedly not dancing] live to the fast drums, distant guitar, and heavy vocals of Ultrviolence.
Up until a very short time ago, Ultrviolence consisted of only Jespersen, who had a hard time retaining members. It now also includes guitarist Ali Abbas, and drummer Kirk Power.
“I don’t think I’m difficult to work with,” he says, elaborating that he’s been burned by many bands he’s worked in over the last decade by a working class aversion to artistic success. After hitting his late 20’s, an overwhelming drive to “do something” kicked in and thus Ultrviolence was born. Consequently, Forty Knives is everything that Jespersen has wanted to do himself as he spent a decade in other bands.
Particularly proud that three of his songs are also getting music videos (including “Guillotine,” “Dead Bedrooms,” and “Let You Down Slowly’”), Jespersen worked with his visually creative peers to have an incredibly productive year.
On the topic of the year, post-punk has long been the soundtrack to existential depression and 2016 saw sadness as a running punchline. When asked about staying fresh in the times, Jespersen outlined where he goes for inspiration.
“Go back to the classics, the philosophers,” he says. “Plato, Aristotle… See what they were up in arms about, and it will probably still ring true.”
Perhaps this reverence to the classics is what gives Ultrviolence’s sound such an authentic dose of post-punk existentialism. There’s a strong attention to detail induced by an obsession with Canadian prairie solitude.
“I think you’re called to make that post-punk sound,” acknowledges Jespersen.
On Forty Knives that call rings true.
Forty Knives, Ultrviolence