March 15, 2022

Roots to Grooves – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Welcome to our weekly podcast “Roots to Grooves”.
Each episode explores the music, life and careers of musical artists from their earliest beginnings through to their most recent releases.

On this episode Jay and Jesse discuss the career and creative approaches of New Zealand psychedelic rock band “Unknown Mortal Orchestra“.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra” is the musical project from singer, guitarist and songwriter Ruban Nielson.

Ruban was born in Darwin Australia, but moved to New Zealand when he was a child. His first artistic inclinations were towards illustration, being influenced by comic books ranging from Spiderman to Spawn. Despite having parents that were heavily into music, it wasn’t until Ruban turned 19 that he finally decided to learn the guitar. He formed a band with his brother called “The Mint Chicks” and eventually went on tour, supporting well known artists, such as The White Stripes.

It would be a decade later, after moving with his family to Portland Oregon, that Ruban would eventually create the “Unknown Mortal Orchestra” moniker. A project spawned from working away in his basement home recording studio, and leading to a surprising turn of events that would land him a record deal.

This is a fascinating story, and probably one of our longest episodes so far. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

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