When Los Angeles-based electronic duo Ultra Violent Rays plays the Northern Pacific Coffee Co. on Friday (July 3), it will be a homecoming for half of the group.
Cooper Gillespie grew up in Tacoma and is another of Stadium High School’s talented musical alumni.
“The first instrument I ever picked up was a flute in the after-school music program at Washington-Hoyt (Elementary School),” Gillespie said.
After studying theater at Smith College in Massachusetts, she moved back to Tacoma for a year and then to Los Angeles.
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“As soon as I got to L.A., I discovered rock ’n’ roll and I said, ‘This is way more fun,’ ” she said.
Her first band, punk rockers Bang Sugar Bang, was, “a wild ride,” Gillespie said. The band made an appearance in the 2012 L.A. music scene documentary, “In Heaven There Is No Beer.”
After she left that band in 2007, Gillespie switched to electronic music group Mad Planet.
She formed Ultra Violent Rays with husband Greg Gordon in 2013-14 to create what they describe as “spaced-out, shimmering, hypnotic sonic landscapes.”
The music is influenced by gothic science fiction and the movie “Blade Runner,” among other sources, Gillespie said. They’ve released a couple of singles and music videos.
“It takes so long to incubate, write and record and get to a point where you can show your band to the world,” she said.
Like Gillespie, Gordon was in a punk band prior to going electronic.
The couple’s day job, so to speak, is managing a Hollywood night club. But they manage to make a West Coast tour twice a year.
“It’s a lot easier to be in a band when you’re married and there’s only two of you,” she said.
The duo will also play Olympia’s Le Voyeur Cafe and Lounge on Monday at 10 p.m.