Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers (USS) will make the unconventional mainstream

USS Live at Edgefest By: Sheena Lyonnais
July 23, 2008

Mark my words; Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers are going to be huge. Not only does this duo create intelligent, catchy drum and bass songs, but they also put on an unmatched stellar live performance.  Perhaps this is because their influences derive from atypical sources, including a shared love of knowledge and science that stems from early encounters with the unconventional.


“When I was five turning six, Pope John Paul was coming to the Orthodox Church in Markham where I grew up,” said vocalist/guitarist Ashley Boo-Schultz.  “There were thousands and thousands of people and the Pope’s helicopter had some kind of hydraulic problem so he was really, really late, and so my dad decided to take us to see Revenge of the Nerds and then we missed the Pope.  Now we are playing Edgefest.  [That moment] was the break free from secular insecurity into infinite and possible.”

Toronto Band USSAs a child Schulz was diagnosed with chromes disease, forcing him to quit hockey and instead pursue theatre, which transcended into singing and subsequently music.  He met the hip hop and punk influenced Jason Parsons, better known as hype man and DJ Human Kebob, years later while working at a golf course, and together they eventually formed what is now known as USS.

“I wouldn’t really necessarily call us a band, we’re more like Buddy Holly at a rave at the science centre and Bob Marley is in a lab coat and then DJ Premier from Gang Starr walks in and we all high five and sit around a camp fire after hours,” Parsons said.

Currently their second single “2 and 15 16ths” sits at number 28 on the Edge top 30 countdown.  Their first single “Hollow Point Sniper” rose to number two twice, a huge feat considering drum and bass music has possibly never been in a mainstream Toronto countdown before. 

Yet it is these unique attributes that keep them fresh, exciting and more importantly interesting.  Their set at Edgefest last weekend was possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen and included everything from choreographed 80s dancers, headstands, crafting a smoothie on stage and a life-sized cut out of Albert Einstein.

“Einstein of course is one of the greatest mastermind geniuses in history, especially in the 20th century, and he had a massive influence on Ash,” Parsons said.  “A lot of the lyrics he writes, especially when you get deep into it, when he’s using the word alchemy and stuff like that is more or less because he aspires to be a scientist, be it a scientist of pop or whatever we do.”

Ubiquitous Synergy SeekerDorky as it may seem, their self-proclaimed “nerdcore” is in itself inspiring.  When was the last time you heard someone successfully incorporate osmosis and elements like iodine into a song?

“You want to mix in all these inspirational pieces of whatever it is you love or whatever you look forward to and you read about and research and you plug it into the music.  We use certain samples and try to convey a certain imagery so its not that you’re just watching a show, there’s more to it, there’s more of a story,” Parsons said.

“Our second single has very profound imagery that could never be captured in video with humans and physical objects, so we just got a VIDEOFACT grant to do a fully animated video, which is going to be really out of this area code,” Boo-Schultz added.

USS is one of these bands music critics everywhere are going to fall in love with because they have things to say and they have opinions and they do it in a fashion that is classy, honest and intellectual.  They also double as a duo that is entirely down to earth and value their friendship, the kind of relationship that translates beautifully into music.

They’re also incredibly unpredictable and continuously sharing new things.  For example, Boo-Schultz is actually the third cousin of David Hasselhoff (though they have never met) and Parsons has a dream of bringing their music to war-torn Israel.

“With all my studies in the past and in university I became fascinated with Middle Eastern politics and Israel and its right to exist,” Parsons said.  “Bands go there and actually play shows and as much as it is volatile it is still a beautiful country and there’s so much turmoil, but it’s inspirational.  I spin it positive, but I know it can also be taken as negative.”

If you haven’t seen them already, you NEED to see USS at one of their upcoming dates:

USS Plays Edgefest in TorontoJuly 25 – the Groove Lounge, Oshawa
August 2 – Cutting Edge Music Festival, Grand Bend
August 6 – the Casbah, Hamilton
August 9 – Rock the Mill, Cambridge
September 19 – Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto

Check out their songs at:  www.myspace.com/ubiquitoussynergyseeker.

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