UV Protection (1.15.05)

Posted on July 27, 2008



I certainly don’t think the greatest postmodern pop musicians really would have envisioned the world we find ourselves in today. It’s the same 9 to 5 in-and-out assembly line world in lots of ways–but this world is now inhabited by totally underachieving kids who generally have no idea how they got there. You know who you are…you’re probably reading this at your job right now, shame on you. Combine this with computers, the Internet, and people smart enough to obfuscate efficiently, and you have the current secret world of temps and low-level office employees living 8 hours a day of their lives in a kind of futuristic limbo world of emails, message boards, online zines and other high-minded forms of procrastination they honed in college as the first generation of high-speed network connections.

These people may be the ideal customer of UV Protection, a Boston band and Guerrilla Corporation.

Picking up where Devo left off twenty years ago, UV Protection leapfrogs the miss-steps of fakers left in their wake and updates their herky jerky rhythms with sometimes more laid back beats and atmospherics, and a touch of Italian operatic vocals here and there. UV are a three-piece of drums and two robotic vocalists who stand facing each other at keyboard/electronic workstations that are the synthesized lockstep counterpart to credit card swipers, laser scanners, and Internet popup ads.

The band comes to every show with different costumes, ranging from chemical lab workers to space-age Olympic athletes to victims of a sci-fi shark attack. Their two dancers move in cyborg tandem and take the front of the stage silently like smiling company spokesmodels. Behind the stage fly obscure video collages edited into a kind of futuristic corporate pep-rally for kids that would fit pretty well between Saturday morning cartoons (oh wait…they already have those kinds of things).

The following recounts an electronic questionnaire sent to the group’s headquarters and has been approved by their quality control engineers:

Sociological Theory

DNS ISP, Who is it that you see?

UV is a reflective shield protecting all against the faceless, odorless, sometimes soundless but intentionally insidious forces in the universe today. We are here to protect you, yet we too are vulnerable…




Thrift store guerrillas combat billboard dictators.

Band history:

Karen Tsiakals – Vocals, Keys, Sounds
Joanna Muehleisen – Vocals, Keys, Sounds
Deborah Bernard – Drums, Sounds
Sue Murad – Droid Movement
Sasha Hodges – Droid Movement
Nathan Muehleisen – Video Editing/Projection
Nathan Tyburczy – Effects
Darron Burke – Sound Engineer/Producer
Karen’s brother told her you couldn’t rock out on the piano-She set out to prove him wrong. High operatic voices were lacking in the colony-Joanna faces the void. The beats call operatives to action-Deborah complies.

UV replicants provide visual representation of our protective services: Live Animation Effects by Droid’s Sue & Sasha. Particles in motion edited and projected by Nate M. Cause and effect affected by Nate T. Sound control by Darron Burke, Aquanaut.

Did you all get together with the intention of doing a crazy futuristic musical farce on modern times, or was it more like “let’s screw around for awhile and see what happens,” resulting in the songs you’re playing now?

While UV’s intent is to have fun and let our geeky weirdo personalities fly, the concept and subject material are also very deliberate, micro processed, and lab tested.

Was your overall concept predetermined?

The UV agency’s initial business plan targeted corporate culture, but we discovered our services were also sorely needed in other realms, i.e., science and technology.

Now–are you working under a unified kind of set of beliefs (for lack of better term) about the human race/industry/etc…or does every song kind of just take form in its own little space?

Unification requires unification. Organization requires organization. We are in it together.

I can not understand the words all the time. I like the part when it goes “Where are you going?” “To my mailbox.”

“…all the little sneaky things you do throughout your day. When you are a worker and you’re getting paid…”

Are you really deep into this kind of social critique stuff, or is it just a fun context to put your robot dance music into?

Left to its own devices society will self destruct. Flat screen monitors and wireless internet keep us connected yet disconnected.

Is this the quintessential MassArt band?

MassArt is a friendly organism, but our protective services are available to all who request them.

How you do go about deciding on artistic/fashion/dance-type things?

Kind or quality prescribed by the official regulations.

Is it all a group effort? Does every single show have a different theme?

Requests for U.V. Protection’s services are carefully evaluated and dissected until the most effective protective strategy is devised.

Who tells the dancers what to do?

Why don’t we pass the time by playing a little solitaire…

[Originally Appeared in SOMEOTHERMAGAZINE.COM January 2005]