During our last get together with the guys from ULYSSE, they already gave us a heads up about their upcoming EP. The previous singles ‘Acid’ (feat. Romeo Elvis) and ‘Manana’ showed their gained experience already resulted in a full-grown sound, boasting their formula of sharp electronic grooves and glowing synths, merged with guitar licks and vocals. Now, they present their new EP, ‘SURF’, which consists of aforementioned tracks supplemented with four fresh ones. Furthermore, the gents have some exquisite shows lined up for this summer, so we thought it was an excellent occasion to meet up and talk shop.
You recently released your ‘SURF’, your fresh EP. What’s the bigger picture behind the project?
"The idea was basically to encompass a multitude of concepts (that are part of the tracks) in one simple word: ‘Surf’. Surfing is a discipline where balance is key, where you find yourself trying to tame or ride a wave - something bigger than the surfer himself. We were charmed by the idea of using it as a metaphor for living in Brussels as a twenty-something year old in 2018. And, of course, the artwork consists of a rough visual of buildings accompanying the word ‘Surf’, which encapsulate the idea perfectly: You’re surfing the city and trying to tame it. As intimidating as it may seem, you try to find your place inside this urban jungle. Surfing actually is a pretty lonely discipline. As if every day you have to pick a wave and hope that it's the right one. You just put yourself out there for a few seconds of pleasure/satisfaction. It takes a lot of pain to enjoy that moment and in that sense, it does resembles music."
It seems the capital is undoubtedly a big part of your DNA.
"ULYSSE was created and developed here, so it’s obvious that our environment influences our music. Brussels has that interesting mix of cultures, which is finding its way into the music scene. The language blend also is a central part of our new EP. It’s significant that there’s a lot of collaboration between artists: people are constantly helping each other out, mixing up genres and trying new things. That’s why we collaborated with Roméo Elvis for Acid for example."
You’ve got some exquisite shows lined up this summer at Les Nuits Botanique, Les Ardentes and Dour. What should we expect from your new live shows?
"We want our next live shows to go beyond music. We’re currently working on visual ideas that could bring the show to a whole new level. We’ll also translate our songs to a live environment, bringing a new meaning to them in comparison to their digital form. Basically, we’d like you to cry and clap your hands at the same time. The show at Botanique will be a very special one for us, as it’s a big headline show in Brussels, and it’s the first time that we’ll play our new EP live! We’re also very glad to share the bill with our brothers from Yellowstraps."
We’ve been spoiled by your videos for ‘Acid' and ‘Mañana’. Should we expect a new visual output anytime soon?
"Definitely! Visuals have always been a key element in ULYSSE, and translating our music into a visual experience can be a challenge, but is of massive importance to us. There’s an obvious visual connection between ‘Acid’ and ‘Mañana’ - which is centered around architecture and surrealistic atmospheres. For our next music videos, we want to come up with new concepts. Let’s keep it fresh."
What are the plans for autumn this year?
"We’re planning a bunch of new shows for autumn, and there’s a lot of studio time coming our way. All of this should result in a debut album, which would be released somewhere in 2019. We can’t wait to share our new tracks with everyone."
‘SURF’ is out now. Like to see it all live? ULYSSE will play Les Nuits Botanique on Thursday May 3. For the full lineup, tickets and more information, head over to the interwebz. Oh, and don't forget to give the lads a follow on Facebook!