By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
"We're into songwriting," Butcher says. "The Beatles still sound awesome today. Songs that are good last for a long time. There are a lot of good bands in Dallas, but not many good songwriters."
Butcher is prepared to go on about the subject, but Brandon Curtis interrupts him, fearing it will begin to seem like the backstabbing for which overly competitive local musicians are known. In fact, Brandon says, for a band that's been in Dallas for so short a time, they received a surprising amount of help and goodwill from some of the locals. "Bands like Hagfish and Tripping Daisy helped us a lot by telling people about us," he says. At the very least, the bandmates figure, it's easier to garner some attention in Dallas than in New York, where hundreds of bands fill hundreds of clubs scattered throughout the city every single night.
So far, they have had little problem getting gigs; one of the earliest came last January as one of the opening bands at the crushing Tripping Daisy-Course of Empire show at the Bomb Factory, sharing the bill with Vibrolux and Adam's Farm. And UFOFU has spent much of the past two months on the road traveling throughout the region, from Oklahoma to New Mexico to Louisiana.
Their recently completed cassette has proved to be a good selling tool for them: it's a rough demo they're selling at gigs for three bucks, but one that captures a big portion of their vigorous live sound, one that's conducive to moshing, pogoing, slamdancing, or simply gazing. The band is currently recording at the Last Beat studios for an upcoming seven-inch single, but they're unclear of when it will be released--and if it will be released on the Last Beat label or by the band itself. Butcher and Brandon Curtis share the songwriting credits down the middle, and theirs is a partnership cemented not only by their love for music, but by their wide ranges in age (Brandon Curtis is 22--five years younger than Butcher, six years older than Ben) and the life experiences that come with such differences.
"Joe introduced me to a lot of different kinds of music," Brandon says.
"And," Butcher adds, "they got me into stuff like cartoons.