Ursa Major | Singularity

Ura Major 75Ursa Major was born of strange circumstances.




Ura Major 500

Members (left to right): Kyle Cooper (drums), Dylan Dust (keyboard/synthesizer/vocals), Daniel Bradbury (guitar/vocals)Calvin Tiger (writer/rapper), Derek Read (bass), and Jack Catalanotto (guitar)

I recently got the chance to sit down with one of St. Louis’s up-and-coming bands, Ursa Major. With the release of their first album L’appel Du Vide on Aug. 29, these friends have turned their passion for music into a career.

How did Ursa Major originate?

DB: Ursa Major was born of strange circumstances. Things started rolling about two years ago when my last major relationship ended and I started hanging out with my ex-girlfriend’s roommate’s boyfriend, Kyle Cooper. We had a great deal in common. One day it came up in conversation that he played the drums and that I was looking to start a band, and so we decided to try something.

How did you get your name?

KC: Dan came up with it independently, but we realized later that it kind of had more significance than we thought it did. At that moment in time, I was kind of in a transitional period. I had just moved here [St. Louis] and I was sort of getting in a band with Dan. He brought to my attention that was the first thing he thought of calling the band. I don’t know if I really believe in signs, but I did see it as one.

DB: I picked it because at the time, I was taking an astronomy course and we were learning about constellations and, I mean, bears are super cool. So learning about Ursa Major, I was like, “That wouldn’t be a bad idea for this band thing.”

In the year between the embryonic stage and the time you began performing, what did you do?

DB: We were just kind of like, sort of a band, not really a band for a while. Then Calvin came along and, in typical fashion, kicked all of our asses into gear, and now we’re here. 

Where do you get your inspiration for your lyrics?

CT: I try to find inspiration anywhere. One track on the EP, “Singularity,” a lot of inspiration for those lyrics came from a movie I saw, Interstellar. I tried to write from the main character’s perspective.

What was your first show like?

CT: It was Sept. 28, 2014. Our first show we played in Columbia, Mo. at Roxy’s. That one was interesting because we were an out-of-town band playing in a college town just after school started on a weeknight. There was not a lot of people there, but the bartenders loved us and we went home very happy with some t-shirt sales and a relatively cleanly performed show.

What did you take away from that show?

DB: It was a very motivating show because for us to be able to come from having done literally nothing outside of my parent’s basement to playing a show where we saw some people who were kind of into what we were doing was very motivating for us. It pushed us to tighten up our sound even further, and to think in a really forward way about what we were doing, which I think has continued even into now.

What was your experience like between your first show and where you are now?

DB: The shows that we have done around St. Louis have really taught us how we want to interact with the music scene in St. Louis and where we want to take ourselves as a band.

How do you feel now that the album is out?

CT: It’s definitely a relief. That time between when we finished recording and when we sent it off to get mastered, it was a really stressful time. It definitely feels good to be like, “It doesn’t matter even if there is something I don’t like about it; I’m not going to worry about it because this is it.” That coupled with, “Holy shit, I’m in a band and we just put out an EP and we’re making moves.”

We were all together the night before at midnight when it came out on iTunes and Spotify, and it was just a surreal moment. I can speak for the six of us when I say that music has been such an important part of our lives prior to this band, and to see ourselves where we’ve been sticking our noses for our entire life is incredible. | Livie Hall

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