Interview: Christopher George
Dean Ross and Iggy Jay came together as UNO, with revolving singers, giving the band a wider scope to produce their music without the limitations of a permanent vocalists.
Their first joint collaboration band split after the singer became involved in another project. The duo stuck to their guns and moved quickly forward. While trying to find another appropriate singer, the difficulties became apparent in finding the correct voice. At this point a new project and direction was conceived between Ross and Jay.
The bands direction of synth and modern pop is strongly influenced by 1980s electro, such as Depeche Mode, and more recent groups such as Disclosure and Chain Smokers style of producing. A merge of electro, raw rock and classical instrumental are all thrown into the UNO cocktail of sound
The groups accomplishment with instruments are impressive. Iggy plays drums, guitar, trombone as well as sings; “A bunch of very useless instruments” as he puts it, “mostly classical brass”. Heralding from a position as a classical conductor at an early stage of his profession, he at the same time played in a heavy metal band while also producing pop music. A true contrast and collision of sounds and genres.
Dean is fundamentally a pianist and song writer, with huge experience in the digital format of sound. He gives the group a concrete base of knowledge to draw from when writing music. Songs often start from the keyboard, with Iggy bringing in a beat and then working forward as the duo.
After realising that the songs they were writing would not suit just the one singing style, the decision was made to work fluidly with different vocalists to obtain the best for each song and avoid getting stuck in a narrow scope with one sound or genre.
Working and producing material as UNO, they are open to interpretation from vocalists and aim to keep an open agenda when writing, and not be dictatorish. This allows a looser scope with the band to progress creatively.
They use the website Starnow as an audition and casting forum, this has become a successful way to connect with vocalists. The ability to cast singers online with material they are sent to audition with, UNO can them edit down vocalist for each project creating a perfect union. Doing this via the internet saves a huge among of time, money, resources and has been a positive way in recent months for the band to collaborate and progress. A kind of Tinder for singing!
Knowing what you want, and knowing what you don’t want is the trick in sourcing talent. Where you source talent from is an endless and time consuming challenge. The bands vision is to sign a producing deal with a label, then allow the label to provide vocalists as part of the process, saving time and allowing UNO to concentrate on the music.
With a list of talents UNO have an aim to work with, they are not shying away from the challenge of pushing forward to a different level.
Often creatives get stuck at a position where the idea of moving forward is either too worrying or just not where they want to venture. UNO are definitely pushing boundaries down.
UNO are preforming a number of live energetic sets where they remix their original songs and vocals, stripping back the 3 minute pop format and becoming more of a live DJ set, with Iggy playing drums and guitar live.
Check out their website for updated event and shows.