Indie rockers USS talk Ale House show

Kingston one of bands 16-tour stops

USS brings humour to their music.
Credit: 
Photo supplied by Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

Everything about vocalist Ashley Buchholz is summed up in his band’s name: Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS). 

Preparing for his upcoming show at the Ale House on Oct. 24, Buchholz said USS is a reminder to find harmony and positivity everywhere. 

Bucholz embodies this philosophy. He was even excited to perform a new song, “Medicine,” that was inspired by his girlfriend “ghosting” him.  

“It felt like getting stabbed with a billion butter knives at the same time in the heart,” Buchholz told The Journal over the phone.

After that experience, he told his friends, “Guys, I just got a f—king taste of my own medicine.”

Despite the drama, Buchholz was unshakable. Every topic—his depression and anxiety included—appeared as a chance to share his optimism. It was clearest when he discussed reconnecting with his father after 30 years. 

While the two were apart for decades, forging a new relationship was a source of inspiration for Buchholz. He decided to only pursue positive experiences with his father, weaving him into his life. It was a means of repairing the relationship. 

He wasn’t religious but began taking his father to church. It grew into an opportunity to perform music that helped him build his relationship with his father. 

“I started taking him to this little gospel church where we were the only white people, then I actually asked the reverend one day after church, ‘Do you need anyone to play music? You don’t have any musicians,’” Buchholz said. 

“[The reverend] said, ‘My husband and I were praying last night that musicians would come and sing here,’” Buchholz said. He sang at the church the very next week, and said it was “exhilarating.” 

“It fundamentally changed me as a writer and a creator and a singer,” Buchholz said. 

Compared to his first performance in a school talent show, where he was kicked off stage mid-song, he’s come a long way. 

Years later, his irreverent performance style onstage has hardly changed. However, now it’s more “like a combination of a spin class, a rave, and a motivational seminar.”

“We got something for your heart, we got something for your mind, and we got something for your body,” he said. 

Buchholz always keeps these early inspirations close at hand—one of his first songs written as a student, “I Like Dogs,” reads almost like a preview for his career. Years later, his titles have kept their original pomp. 

 “Porno Star Trek,” for example, is one of USS’s more romantic songs—all with trademark standout lyrics.

Despite it being an unconventional love song, Tim Millar, guitarist of metal band Protest the Hero, requested USS play the tune at his wedding for the first dance with his wife. 

In the song’s music video, an introduction from a deep, radio-personality-styled voice, says, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, from the lightning clouds of Venus with a bullet, mystery and romance proudly present live and direct from the ether, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker!”

This inter-galactic, larger-than-life image is more than just a quirky ploy. It supports Buchholz’s reasoning behind naming the band Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker. 

“I pulled out the dictionary and I just flipped it open to a word and the first word was ‘ubiquitous’ and I never heard that word before and it means ‘everywhere simultaneously.’ And it was like exactly the kind of synaptic earthquake that needed to happen to shake me out of this kind of doldrums of stagnant being,” Buchholtz said. 

“I want to seek harmony everywhere all the time, seek joyfulness, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, all those characteristics of champions.”

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