The frontman of Uniform reveals the horror movies that inform the duo’s dark, visceral sound.
If you spend more than a few minutes with either member of Uniform—Ben Greenberg or Michael Berdan—you’ll realize you’re talking to someone deeply empathetic and kind, willing to discuss either personal topics or consider which pie shop in Williamsburg is the best. But under their openness is a lashing restlessness, a quiet discomfort with being human and being slave to biological routines that becomes very loud when the two take a stage.
Perfect World, their band’s debut LP, saw Berdan’s scathing, analytical lyrics dwell on the significance of identity loss, being done wrong, consumption, and the fight against your own chemistry. Ghosthouse, the band’s upcoming 12” on Sacred Bones condenses all the viscera of Perfect World and kicks up both the throb-o-meter and the personal darkness. The title track, easily one of the band’s best songs, sees Berdan considering his lifelong battles with insomnia and depression, detailing dark hours as “the ghosts come out at night.” But there’s a big difference between giving into the ghosts, though, and shining a light on them—Berdan’s lyrics being clearly an instance of the latter, exposing his personalized dread, and moving past it.
When he’s not submerging himself in his own anxiety, Berdan’s watching someone else’s, kicking back with a horror movie. I’ve gotten some amazing recommendations from him—mind-melting shit like The Visitor, Bone Tomahawk, Wake in Fright, and Found. But what would you expect? Pairing Berdan’s knowledge and love of horror movies with his output in Uniform makes sense—after all, in a lot of ways, Uniform is a meditation on fear. We talked to Berdan about horror movies, and you can read his thoughts after the jump.