By far, one of the most talented bands in our scene today. Meet San Francisco Bay’s own Ultra Sect.
Interview by Keith Bradford
Could you start off by telling us about the band and what everyone does?
The original idea for the band began with long time friends Bryan (Guitar / Vocals) and Ian (Bass / Vocals) writing and playing music together for the first time in about 15 years. Essentially, the goal was to write and record four songs for fun and if anything came of it, it would be a bonus. Our friend Jason, who also played in the latest line up of Those Unknown was originally on drums. However, after he moved out of state, we asked Eric of Suede Razors to help us out and play drums on the recordings.
When Mike Longshot (Longshot Music) heard the recordings, he wanted it to be his first release on his new label LSM Vinyl. These four recordings became the ‘War of the Roses’ EP 7” which was also released in Europe on Contra Records.
We were humbled by the positive feedback that the record got and it helped fuel our inspiration to write our follow up EP 7” ‘Final Conquest’ which was also released by LSM Vinyl and Contra Records.
I see you guys used to be in some pretty great bands like Suede Razors and Those Unknown. What’s the same and different between the bands, and what was it like playing in them?
Bryan: Eric and myself are still in Suede Razors. The biggest difference is that in Suede Razors I’m only responsible for playing guitar. In Ultra Sect I have double duty playing guitar and singing. When I’m only playing guitar it’s something I can do with ease, but when I also have to sing, I have more things to concentrate on and lyrics to remember!
As for similarities, I’m playing music with great friends of mine whom are also great musicians. I can write anything and know that Eric and Ian will execute it perfectly.
Ian: I was a big fan before joining Those Unknown in 2010, so it was an amazing experience! Particularly because it was the most active the band had been since reforming in Northern California. Some highlights for me were playing with the Templars in Los Angeles, Midwest Live N Loud in Chicago, a run of east coast shows with Niblick Henbane and Blanks 77, and of course writing and recording the ‘Contribution’ 7” which was released on Contra Records in 2014.
The biggest difference between the two bands is that I actually switched from bass to rhythm guitar in Those Unknown. I did enjoy the challenge and picked up a few tips and tricks from William Owens. In Ultra Sect, I’m happy to be back on bass!
All of you guys have been in other bands and played out a lot. What are some of your accomplishments in the band so far?
Bryan: The fact that we’ve now put out two EP 7”s and started playing live are accomplishments for us. We have already exceeded our initial expectations haha. We are excited to keep writing, recording, and playing shows.
What’s the scene like now compared to when you first started?
Bryan: In the short existence of Ultra Sect there has not been much change. However, the Bay Area has had a history of a strong Oi! / street punk music scene especially in the 90’s and then a resurgence around 2010 – 2013. With the high cost of living here people continue to be forced out of the Bay Area and that has an impact on the scene. However, there are still enough diehards that support the scene, some of the the best reggae / soul DJ nights, and even some newer bands playing Oi! music!
What are some the places at home and abroad you like to play live?
Bryan: Ultra Sect has not yet had the opportunity to travel like Eric and I have with Suede Razors. One of the great things about the internet is that it has helped unite the international scene. Not only is it great to be able to see other places in the world, but to also experience the other scenes and meet like minded people. I’m looking forward to playing out of state and abroad with Ultra Sect.
What are some of your favorite tracks playing live, and way?
Ian: We actually just played our first show last May in San Francisco with Lions Law and had such a blast. “Class Hate” and “Power Through Victory” were fun to play because we really locked in during the instrumental sections. Our drummer Eric is a machine and provides such a solid foundation!
Bryan: It’s a little hard to say after only playing one show, but two of my favorites were “Violent Acquisition” and “Turn Up the Oi!”
What tracks would you start our readers off with if they haven’t heard you yet?
“Set Sail” and “Built to Last” off of the ‘War of the Roses’ release. “Violent Acquisition” off the ‘Final Conquest’ release. All of these songs are available on YouTube.
Where can our readers get merch and listen to your tracks at?
In the USA you can purchase merch from our webstore at ultrasect.bigcartel.com or in Europe through Contra Records. ‘Final Conquest’ vinyl can be purchased at our webstore, Pirates Press Records, Contra Records, or digitally on iTunes, Amazon, etc. ‘War of the Roses’ is sold out on vinyl, but I have seen some copies on Discogs. You can purchase it digitally from iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, etc.
Is there anything else you would like to share about the band?
Thanks to everyone that has picked up our record or bought a shirt. We really appreciate the support and that people are enjoying what we’re doing! We hope to play out more in 2020 so get in touch and maybe we can work something out email@example.com. Thanks Smash the Discos for the interview!