Jason Parsons and Ash Buchholz were stocking beer at a golf course when they started chatting about music and made an instant connection.
“We artistically hit it off right away because he respected my ambitions for trying to do something in entertainment and more specifically music,” Parsons told the News Bulletin.
Buchholz and Parsons both came from musical backgrounds and had known about each other long before their first encounter back in the early 2000s.
“We had both been made aware of each others presence through mutual friends and co-workers,” Parsons said.
It wasn’t long after their initial meeting that the two Toronto-area residents teamed up and formed the alternative-electronic-rock duo, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, better known as USS.
“We were both willing to put everything on the line to see if we could have a shot at travelling the world,” Parsons said.
On Monday (Dec. 8) USS will open for Mother Mother at the Port Theatre. The show is part of a lengthy North American tour that began in Halifax and will conclude in Royal Oak, Mich.
“We haven’t played in Nanaimo in quite sometime, so it will be really good to get back. We’ve had some great experiences and memories over the years,” Parsons said. “We feel like when you’re on the Island you have to keep coming back.”
The Toronto-based duo are fresh off their newest record, Advanced Basics, which they released back in February.
“We’ve pretty much come to think of it as a marriage between our three previous records and what we have been striving for for years, which is more or less, our take on rock put through the filter of electronic music and hip-hop or anything dance oriented,” Parsons said about the record.
The album includes their single, Yin Yang, which has charted in the top five on the Canadian alternative charts. The song was written in a very short time frame, something that isn’t normal for USS.
“It was one of the first songs that we really ever truly wrote on the spot,” Parsons said. “That’s something that, moving forward into our next record and next set of songs, we should probably try that again because we’ve never done anything like that before.”
Since forming in 2004, USS has performed in countries around the world including Austria, France, Germany, India and Singapore. Parsons said playing in India was a unique experience for him.
“That was a big eye opener,” he said. “Going to Mumbai and Bangalore and just the people we met and how warm they are.”
Regardless of what country they are performing in, USS takes the same approach to their live shows each night.
“We have a good idea of what works and we have just seen how things have played out for us live,” he said.
USS’ music has been featured in video games and television shows, including the NHL Network, Degrassi and Major League Baseball 2K11.
“It puts a smile on your face to think that you’ve worked so hard for something for so long and now you’re hearing it, just like the bands before you,” Parsons said.
Over the years, USS has been involved with the Kids Help Phone organization. Starting in early 2015, the duo will launch a new t-shirt, with a portion of the sales going towards to the organization.
“I can’t imagine if you’re 15 and your home life is destroyed and you don’t know who to talk to,” Parsons said. “A lot of those kids, they look to music for the hope that they cant get out of their family life and Kids Help Phone is where they turn in a time of need. We want to encourage young people to never forget that you can pick up the phone and dialup this organization.”