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Local Spotlight: Cog Nomen

June 29th, 2012 -

Cog Nomen Miami

Cog Nomen is music goth ice skaters would skate to. So powerful and sublime with doses of magnetized vocal hymns and echoed guitars. We asked drummer Ulysses Perez, and guitarist Buffalo Brown a few questions to delve deeper into this duo that’s constantly pressing through the south Florida scene.

Cog Nomen as a name has latin roots, latin seems to be on its way out these days. So how did you become familiar with the latin language and ultimately use it as your band name? Were there other options before you decided on Cog Nomen?

Ullysses Perez: Searching for a word that meant a word that someone or something is called (name) I stumbled on cognomen. I liked the “meta” properties of our name being “name” – that on first exposure it really does not reveal what the music might sound like so invites the listener to look into it further and in one way frees us to bring in musical elements or influences we find interesting without any particular band image limitations. Imagine a dance-pop band popular with “tweens” called The Happy Rabbits that dress in pastel seersucker suits when they perform suddenly bringing in odd-time death metal riffs and backwards masked vocals over straight house beats for its third album.

I also like that it’s not English so for the most part, the music sort of defines the name for us. After some weeks of pondering Buffalo suggested splitting the name into Cog and Nomen as two words which in my mind made it even more abstract and removed from meaning and more open for us to define Cog Nomen with the music we make.

How did you two meet and develop this ‘indietronic psychedelic’ sound? Inspiration?

Buffalo Brown: We met about 10 years ago, playing in the more alternative side of the Miami music scene. Over the years Ulysses and I would meet and write very left field scenic vignettes- Some of which was released under: Out Of The Anonymous. We eventually discovered that the music we write as a duo was best performed by us instead of having to explain or simplify it for another musician. Ulysses has the division of attention to sing, play bass lines on his drum triggers and of course play kick ass drums. Ive been assembling some alternates guitar sounds over the years and I run it through the same green looper pedal sometimes used by Reggie Watts.

Inspirations for us range from  Floating Points and Raime to Black Moth Super Rainbow.

Your music is mostly beautifully melded instrumentals. Have you ever entertained the idea of having more prominent lyrics?

Yes,our next CD has singing on almost every track. This just happened, and is not really the result of deciding there should be more singing.

Your music is mostly beautifully melded instrumentals. Have you ever entertained the idea of having more prominent lyrics?

UP: To me, the lyrics come after I find I am hearing a melody come to me that I cannot play with my limbs while we’re composing/jamming.  All that is left is my mouth so I vocode the melody and match up words. I don’t gravitate towards doing the traditional verse/bridge/chorus combos – On one song (Starlight) on this next CD I sing the same verses twice but with different melody in two places within the song. Another (Thus Spoke The Insect) features singing for verses and a sample of myself reading a poem I wrote, played back twice at different pitches and speeds, later in different parts of the song. We play these live. They work for me.

Is there anything you see changing in the future for Cog Nomen?

UP: Future of Cog Nomen: More writing and recording. We are mostly limited by scheduling and seem to write more music than we have time to arrange, mold into something we can record and enjoy doing live. Also more gigs. For me, beyond composing, the essence of a musician is to perform music live, to be behind that instrument and commit to the fullest level to what is unfolding on stage or studio. It’s something that I find easy and gratifying to do with Buffalo. He has that same commitment to being right on the edge of of what is happening in the moment.

Just playing “parts” in songs as someone solos on top or sings convenient things that mean nothing to me has proven itself over the years in other bands to be bore me. I need to have a “conversation” with music. Buffalo and I interact across levels at every moment when we play together.

Throughout your time in the scene, have you felt a change in the South Florida music scene?

BB: The local music scene has evolved in that there is a bigger population to attend more music events in a wider variety of genres; also more people means more talent. Miami has some fierce artists and bands…. cyclically its always been that way. Now there are more venues and better networking technology.

Why is it so important to support the local music scene?

BB: Supporting the live music scene will not increase your paycheck- It will increase your soul,health and quality of life…  by at least six inches – or your money back!


Upcoming Shows
Sunday 7/1 @ Moksha Family Artist Collective 228 NE 59 ST Miami 7pm
Wednesday 8/1 @ Bardot (album release party)

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