Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tobias Rochman's NEW BAND FEATURE NO. 2 - NÜ SENSAE (Vancouver, British Columbia)

NÜ SENSAE are among Vancouver, British Columbia's cream of the crop in terms of what's happening in the DIY underground scene. I was first introduced to them through their contribution to the "East Vs. West" cassette put out by Divorce Records a few years ago. The two-piece pioneer "Voodoo Punk" which (regurgitating myspace profile influences a bit here) sounds kind of like The GERMS + L7 stripped down to just distorted bass and drums. It's usually pretty catchy and then sometimes they go feral and start losing it. Which all adds up to tons of exciting fun. I was pleased to be able to speak to both members.


* Nu Sensae split cassette with N.213 - Thankless Records
* Nu Sensae track on "I ate your arms" Thankless Compilation
* Nu Sensae "East vs. West" split cassette with Mutators, Shearing Pinx, Modern Creatures, Hamborghinni, Be Bad and Attack Mode - Divorce Records
* Nu Sensae track on "I ate your legs" - Thankless Compilation
* 3 Nu Sensae tracks on Emergency Room compilation - Nominal Records/Grotesque Modern
* Nu Sensae Self Titled 12" Album - Isolated Now Waves


* "Three Dreams" 7inch - Critiscum Int.
* Nu Sensae track on Hockey Dad Records Compilation
* Nu Sensae "Live in Portland" cassette - Oms-b
(Photo by Nic)


It seemed like the Vancouver underground scene had expanded really fast and was riding high last year. But when I was visiting a few weeks ago I was told most of the illegal venues (like The Emergency Room etc) had been shut down and other staples like Pub 340 had "changed format" and now the city is trying to also trying to shut down another pillar The Cobalt due to the 2010 Olympics & new condo dwelling neighbours? What's the score as you see it?

Andrea: Vancouver is getting more and more prudish. It seems like every time something gets banned people just comply and act like those rights they had prior never even existed. .

Daniel: It is a bit of a bummer but I don't think it's anything really serious. Venues always come and go, especially in a city like Vancouver which is totally unsupportive of the arts in general. This venue scarcity happens every few years here, and I think it can be kind of constructive. It builds up tons of resentment and gets people creating more illegal venues. Vancouver has produced some amazing bands in the past few years that are now getting a lot of recognition all around the world. And certain venues are definitely associated with that success but definitely not attributed to it. So I don't think these shut-downs will have any affect on the music. We have all worked really hard at building a decent music scene here and I think the venues have the least to do with it.

I remember there was a big Exlcaim! article heralding the new Vancouver "Weird Punk" scene where a musician who didn't want to be named was quoted as saying “stick to covering Factor grant bands.” What contribution (positive or negative) did this type of media attention make - if any?

Daniel: I can't speak for any of the other bands or people involved but I personally never had any issues with that article. It has only given us positive attention.

Andrea: I can't relate to that attitude.

Of course playing outside of Vancouver seems to be no problem as you have a MASSIVE tour planned from May-August. Are their any places you are excited to visit? Any bands you're excited to play with?

Daniel: This is our third time going to the States but we have never been further than Los Angeles. So I am super excited to see the rest of the country.
We mapped out our tour so that we have to spend two days in Death Valley. I'm stoked on that. We love touring.

Andrea: I'm excited for new places and new people.

(Photo by Mish)

Do you think the 1% of kids that are using the Internet to become extremely well informed could potentially make art that is more potent or unique based on it's circumstances? Now that you can hear anything you want and see any band play live through uploaded and streamed video bootlegs, do you think taste is more developed and inspiration more abundant? Do the smart get smarter and the dumb get dumber? Or does it close the gap if only slightly? (or something else completely?)

Andrea: I like accessibility, I feel like I deserve everything the Internet has made free. I don't know what the consequences will be..

Daniel: I'm a bit on the fence about it. I mean it's great for bands because the new generation of music junkies have a crazy resource to find out about "10th wave feminist Japanese psycho-ska bands" or whatever. Myspace, music blogs and online radio shows have spawned Nu Sensae fans in countries we've never been to and will probably never play in, so it's awesome for that. But something about it is a little detached for my liking although I'm not at all opposed to its possibilities. Either way I think that more than 99% of people using the Internet are jerking off in their bedrooms.

Does the recent introduction of online Social networking affect show/event attendance?

Daniel: I think it helps with getting the word our for sure. But if your band sucks it's probably still gonna be empty.

How did you guys manage to get a 1sided 12" out in an edition of 200 and still be able to sell them for $10?

Daniel: Well we paid for the record from show money that we had saved up. So we never had to put any of our personal money into the record so everything we made back was profit. We wanted people to be able to afford it and I think 10 dollars for an LP is pretty decent.

We actually are about to repress the LP because it sold out.


  1. I love this band. Caught them in Portland, presumably at the show that would be on that OMS-B tape, though it's already out and was a split with Syrup. (I got a copy from Syrup when they played here).

    Nu Sensae is honestly just great, that 12' is perfect.

  2. i haven't gotten to see them yet, but the album rips and their songs on the emergency room comp are on point. i can't wait until they are down.

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  4. OK- fair enough that lots of people use the net for inspiration, but totally elitist to say at 1% (or whatever) are smarter about it and take more away from it than others. That's not exactly what the internet is about - in fact it's the opposite. I think a more interesting idea is the endless permutations of artistic expression created through constant exchange of symbols and concepts and WTV. Saying that some people "surf the internet better" than others implies that maybe they should just get their own internet with only stuff that they think is cool.

  5. I was setting parameters using language only as an entry point for speaking about something that is clearly and obviously undefinable. My percentage was not meant to be taken as an official census. I do not believe that people can surf the internet "properly". I do not believe people can surf the internet "better". I don't know how much explanation I am supposed to give you here. But the question was inquiring about a small amount of people (whoever that might be punk kids etc) and their strong appetite for information then being confronted with the the relatively new 24hr limitless stimulus the internet provides, and then asking how that may or may not alter the outcome of that person or person's art. Whether I could have been more clear or not is one thing, but I think you missed the point.

  6. Oh PS- wait this is Walter Scott? JESUS can't you just write this on my facebook wall or bring it up casually at Black Jack's. Rather than calling me an elitist in a comment for something I actually put some time and effort into. ha ha.