USER's multifaceted sound can't be confined to a single genre

It always makes for an interesting listen when a band refers to their own music as undefinable, especially in an era where electronic music and experimentalism go hand in hand.

Generally, what this means is that nothing like it has been made before, which is easily understood when one half of USER Andrew Nunns speaks candidly of the band’s sound and musical process.

“Some people have described our music as downtempo gloom, goth rave shoegaze, or a ‘90s grunge epic soundtrack,” he explains. “We even had one person call us adult contemporary smack music, honestly we don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

“We go into improvisation, to different parts of the world. We like to take people on a trip with our music, both with visuals and sounds, sometimes it can be an absolute cacophony of noise and other times it can be this whole comedown, relaxed, floatation tank vibe.”

Nunns is a staple of the Melbourne music scene, having drummed for a variety of local bands in the last 15 to 20 years including Autohaze, Lime Spiders, Underground Lovers and currently The Black Heart Death Cult. His counterpart in USER, Frank Galgano is exactly as committed, having rocked out in bands such as Cactus Cat, Euphoric Amoeba and One. Sensing that they needed to keep things fresh in recent years, as most great musicians do, the two decided to team up.

“About two to three years ago me and Frank were at a party and we were both in a bit of a musical limbo and so we decided to hook up on a Monday night at Frank’s home studio. I had all these beats and bass lines going around my head so we decided to start putting it down and that eventuated into USER.”

Moving on from Australian garage-rock and adding an ‘80s inspired electronic element to their music, USER’s main influences include bands like The Scientists and composers such as Angelo Badalamenti, the guy who wrote the soundtrack for a number of David Lynch’s films, as well as the ‘80s underground electro scene and in Nunns’ words, “the whole of ‘70s punk.”

These influences are easily identifiable in Nunns’ laid-back attitude. He has the air of someone who grew up in an era of rebellion and dirty grunge music, but who works hard and is passionate about keeping the Melbourne music scene alive. “Melbourne’s got a huge driving music scene. We’re really inspired by a lot of the amazing bands here, we think they’re absolutely amazing,” he says. “Melbourne is the music capital of Australia and we’re proud to be apart of it.”

Alongside his uncanny loyalty to the Melbourne music scene, one that has kept him and Galgano in the area for the past 20 years, Nunns possesses a driving work ethic, one that undoubtedly stems from his love of Melbourne music. “We just want to keep pushing ourselves...If plans go well we will release two albums in the one year,” he says of the upcoming releases, Dimensions, Prisms and Waves set to be released sometime in March of 2019, and the roughly titled Remake, Rehash, Remodel planned for November.

USER’s debut album Dimensions, Prisms and Waves is set to be their most exciting release yet and when listening to the enthusiasm and anticipation in Nunns’ voice, it’s easy to see why. “We want it to be special so we’re doing 100 different vinyl designs with 100 different cover designs and I’m enlisting printmakers, photographers, painters, sketch artists to submit all the artwork. We’ve put a lot of work in to USER in the last few months and we just want everyone to enjoy what we’re created.”

By Julia Fenwick

You can catch USER playing their final shows for 2018 at Old Bar on Sunday December 16, and Red Betty on Saturday December 22. More details via USER’s Facebook page.