David Thomas. Photo: Simon Fowler


  • Don't ever audition.
  • Don't look for someone.
  • Don't seek success.
  • Choose the first person you hear about.
  • Take the first idea you get.
  • Put unique people together. Unique people will play uniquely whether or not they know how to play.
  • Delay Centrifugal Destruct Factors for as long as possible then push the button.

Pere Ubu's music is a disorienting mix of midwestern groove rock, "found" sound, analog synthesizers, falling-apart song structures and careening vocals.

Singer David Thomas named the band after the protagonist of Ubu Roi, a play by Frenchman Alfred Jarry. In the early to mid-70s Pere Ubu was part of a fertile rock scene, and the single, "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" b/w "Heart of Darkness", released in 1975, signaled the beginning of the New Wave.

Though the groups first album, The Modern Dance, sold only 15,000 copies initially, it was a startling work that influenced an entire generation of bands, e.g. REM, Husker Du, Joy Division, etc. Its follow-up, Dub Housing, was the masterpiece, "an incomparable work of American genius."

The highly acclaimed Pennsylvania album was nominated as the best of 1998 by America's preeminent rock critic Greil Marcus.

"Pere Ubu boards a train that passes through a modern nation as if it were an ancient land, all ruin and portent, prophecy and decay. Thus the terrain makes the familiar terrain strange, unseen--new."

Greil Marcus "Mystery Train" 2000.

"Pere Ubu was either ahead of its time or out of step altogether; the band's earliest music sounds as if it could have been recorded yesterday, and is likely to keep sounding that way for some time. "

Robert Palmer, New York Times

Formed 1975, Cleveland Ohio.
David Thomas (b.1953), voc; Tom Herman (b.1949), gtr; Peter Laughner (d. 1977), gtr; Mayo Thompson (b. 1944), gtr; Jim Jones (b.1950), gtr; Allen Ravenstine (b.1950), synth; Dave Taylor, synth; Eric Drew Feldman, synth; Tim Wright, bass; Tony Maimone (b.1952), bass; Scott Krauss (b.1950), drums; Anton Fier, drums; Chris Cutler (b. 1947), drums; Garo Yellin, cello; Michele Temple (b. 1959), bass; Robert Wheeler (b.1957), EML synthesizers & theremin; Scott Benedict, drums; Steve Mehlman (b.1971), drums; Wayne Kramer, gtr; Andy Diagram (b. 1959), trumpet.

For "It Came From Outer Space" UK Tour November 2004. The PERE UBU band line up for these shows is David Thomas, Keith Moline, Michele Temple, Robert Wheeler & Chris Cutler

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