Unknown Mortal Orchestra on Drugs, Monkeys and Courtney Love Tweets

FUSE TV - Unknown Mortal Orchestra on Drugs, Monkeys and Courtney Love Tweets

It's been a weird 18 months for Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the psych-pop trio that anonymously released tracks from their 2011 eponymous debut before widespread critical acclaim thrust them in the indie spotlight. Portland, OR-via-New Zealand frontman Ruban Nielson had already released three albums with the shambolic noise-rock group the Mint Chicks. But with UMO, Nielson traded in abrasiveness for pop trippiness, absorbing the Beatles and early Pink Floyd and refracting them through his own lo-fi lens.

We've already gushed over UMO's SXSW set. Now, Nielson speaks to Fuse about monkey obsessions, celebrity Twitter endorsements and why he's done fighting with "drunken idiots."

It says in your bio that you wrote the new album while “fearing for both your sanity and health.” How hyperbolic is your publicist?

[Laughs] I just wore myself out.  Me and [UMO member] Jakob [Portrait] have been in the band since the beginning and we went into it with this thing like, “Everybody likes these songs. Let’s start a band and go out on the road and say ‘Yes’ to everything and see what happens.” So we did that and it was really fun and then it got too much fun and then it got just too heavy.

Can you define “too much fun”?

We’d take three days off and then go out for another two months and then come home for four days and go back out. We never got off the thing. There’s a thing that happens to you on tour; your metabolism changes. Your thinking changes. Really weird stuff starts to seem really normal. People think that with musicians, the whole sex and drugs thing is something like, “Oh, let’s get this going!” But it’s something that becomes normal; it’s something you need to do to make it all make sense. Otherwise, you’re like, “I’m just playing music out here and sitting in a van. None of this makes sense." It’s a weird lifestyle.

Is Everyone on Drugs?

20m

Is Everyone on Drugs?

Feat. Courtney Black

22m

Feat. Courtney Black

Mario & Courtney Lopez

20m

Mario & Courtney Lopez

Drug Laws

24m

Drug Laws

Cody Spells Out Love On The Field

1m

Cody Spells Out Love On The Field

Love & Salsa

Love & Salsa

Animal Love

20m

Animal Love

Love Stakes

20m

Love Stakes

Animal Love

20m

Animal Love

Enrique: Latin Love

59m

Enrique: Latin Love

Love & Salsa - Trailer

25s

Love & Salsa - Trailer

Everybody Loves Chris Rock

40m

Everybody Loves Chris Rock

Love at First Sight

24m

Love at First Sight

No Glove, No Love

46m

No Glove, No Love

Everybody Loves A Party

20m

Everybody Loves A Party

Lil Jon and Nude DM's on Tour

3m

Lil Jon and Nude DM's on Tour

Beyoncé & Jay-Z: Power Love

49m

Beyoncé & Jay-Z: Power Love

Love It or Leave It

20m

Love It or Leave It

Love In The Time Of Pandademic

20m

Love In The Time Of Pandademic

Is Everything Love At The Carters?

39s

Is Everything Love At The Carters?

Mario Lopez: One On One

Mario Lopez: One On One

Gabriel Iglesias Proudly Announces Love for Mayo: Ask Fluffy

3m

Gabriel Iglesias Proudly Announces Love for Mayo: Ask Fluffy

I Played One on TV

46m

I Played One on TV

Sake One

10m

Sake One

Game On!

20m

Game On!

Coheed and Cambria

19m

Coheed and Cambria

Blackbear and Krewella

20m

Blackbear and Krewella

Cuffed and Stuffed

44m

Cuffed and Stuffed

Wet and Wild

22m

Wet and Wild

Daters and Haters

22m

Daters and Haters

Mike and Gabe

40m

Mike and Gabe

Casino and UBIQ

9m

Casino and UBIQ

Divide And Conquer

20m

Divide And Conquer

Grace and Hannah

40m

Grace and Hannah

Divide and Conquer

44m

Divide and Conquer

Cheech and Chong

18m

Cheech and Chong

Levi and Troy

40m

Levi and Troy

Sugar and Toys

Sugar and Toys

Ellie and Abbie

1h 17m

Ellie and Abbie

Health and Wellness

21m

Health and Wellness

Drama and Trauma

46m

Drama and Trauma

Listen and Learn

46m

Listen and Learn

Sex and Society

24m

Sex and Society

Bisexuals and Strippers

41m

Bisexuals and Strippers

Young M.A. and Ayo and Teo - Long Cut

20m

Young M.A. and Ayo and Teo - Long Cut

Leaning On Lena

20m

Leaning On Lena

Chew On This

44m

Chew On This

On Call NYC

44m

On Call NYC

One Take Jake

20m

One Take Jake

On Call LA

43m

On Call LA

Who's On Top?

1h 13m

Who's On Top?

One Busy Queen

21m

One Busy Queen

On Call Miami

44m

On Call Miami

Gloria and Emilio Estefan

22m

Gloria and Emilio Estefan

Black, Brown and Red

24m

Black, Brown and Red

Mike, Gabe and Troy

40m

Mike, Gabe and Troy

Beauty and the Bleach

56m

Beauty and the Bleach

Analise, Matthew and Daley

40m

Analise, Matthew and Daley

Elle and Tito Live

23m

Elle and Tito Live

King Push and FILA

10m

King Push and FILA

DaniLeigh and Saweetie

20m

DaniLeigh and Saweetie

Ice-T and Coco

22m

Ice-T and Coco

Sugar and Toys - Trailer

30s

Sugar and Toys - Trailer

Che and HSM3 Premieres

22m

Che and HSM3 Premieres

Analise, Daley and Hunter

40m

Analise, Daley and Hunter

Matthew, Analise and Hunter

40m

Matthew, Analise and Hunter

Flesh and the City

45m

Flesh and the City

Mr. Throwback and Greats

9m

Mr. Throwback and Greats

Rapper Rich Quick Performs "Nice Guy" On 'Dancin' On Air'

3m

Rapper Rich Quick Performs "Nice Guy" On 'Dancin' On Air'

Bougie On A Budget

2m

Bougie On A Budget

Eye On The Prize

44m

Eye On The Prize

Freedia's Twerk On Washington

21m

Freedia's Twerk On Washington

Gym Shorts on Runway

41m

Gym Shorts on Runway

Battle on the Catwalk

45m

Battle on the Catwalk

Fire On The Floor

22m

Fire On The Floor

Clean Up Aisle One

46m

Clean Up Aisle One

Putting It On Wax

23m

Putting It On Wax

Freaky On The Floor

22m

Freaky On The Floor

Eyes On The Prize

22m

Eyes On The Prize

Knuckles and Success: G-Thing

1m

Knuckles and Success: G-Thing

And Then There Were Five

45m

And Then There Were Five

Wilmer Valderrama and Terry Crews

20m

Wilmer Valderrama and Terry Crews

Leave the Duckies and Go

21m

Leave the Duckies and Go

Up NYC and Reebok Freebanz

11m

Up NYC and Reebok Freebanz

Cam'ron, Stance, and Nike

9m

Cam'ron, Stance, and Nike

LA and Xristina Talk Transitioning

1m

LA and Xristina Talk Transitioning

Nice Kicks and Jason Markk

11m

Nice Kicks and Jason Markk

And Then There Were Six

46m

And Then There Were Six

Prince Royce and J Balvin

20m

Prince Royce and J Balvin

The River and the Wall

1h 45m

The River and the Wall

T-Pain and Jhene Aiko

20m

T-Pain and Jhene Aiko

Teyana Taylor and Jhené Aiko

20m

Teyana Taylor and Jhené Aiko

Marlon Wayans and Bow Wow

20m

Marlon Wayans and Bow Wow

Gina Rodriguez and Steve Aoki

20m

Gina Rodriguez and Steve Aoki

Elle and Tito: Just Married

Elle and Tito: Just Married

Melii Make Rice and Beans

20m

Melii Make Rice and Beans

Lil Jon and Amber Rose

20m

Lil Jon and Amber Rose

Nick Cannon and Lilly Singh

20m

Nick Cannon and Lilly Singh

Jill Scott and Marc Anthony

22m

Jill Scott and Marc Anthony

Beauty and the Bleach - Trailer

30s

Beauty and the Bleach - Trailer