Pere Ubu

Bio

Fronted by singer Davis Thomas, the band Pere Ubu emerged from Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975 to become one of the most influential groups in the American underground scene. their repertoire draws inspiration from the Seventies rock and from the industrial setting of the Mid-western United States.

Pere Ubu (then composed by Thompson, guitarists Peter Laughner and Tom Herman, bassist Tim Wright, keyboardist Aleen Ravenstine, and drummer Scott Krauss) were first noticed by the record imprint Blank Records in 1976 thanks to the single “30 Seconds over Tokyo” published a year before.

In 1978 their debut album The Modern Dance was distributed which, thanks to its intensity and its dark themes, became deeply influential on the national and international post-punk scene.

In 1979, following the release of New Picnic Time, the band decided to break up to then reform a few months later but without Herman who was substituted by Mayo Thompson, the creative mind behind Red Krayola.

But the problems in the band did not stop and in 1982, after having published The Art of Walking (1980) and Song of the Bailing Man (1982), the band once again decided to go their separate way.

It was only in 1988 and after a number of solo projects, that Pere Ubu came back on the music scene with The Tenement Year. The album, more than any other project released until then, moved them closer to pop music. This hybrid style experimentation between industrial music and pop continued with Cloudland in 1989.

Pere Ubu once again took a break from the stage as a group but came back to play together for the 1998 record Pennsylvania and for 2002’s St. Arkansas. This record with its dark theatrical sound was acclaimed by the critics as the band’s best album since their reunion in the Eighties.

In 2009 they published Long Live Pere Ubu!, a musical adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi, which inspired the name to the band from Cleveland. The following album, Lady from Shanghai (2003) was released to celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of The Modern Dance. That same year, they curated the underscore for the horror cult Carnival of Souls, which became the foundation for their 2014 album Carnival of Souls.

After an international tour in 2017, they went back to the recording studio and released The Long Goodbye in 2019. the album was titled after the homonymous play by Raymond Chandler and the writer himself introduced the record as «a summary of every story and song proposed in a different way by Pere Ubu in the course of more than forty years, (…), delivering them to what I believe is their final destination».

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