Formed in early 1996 by three friends on a working and surfing holiday in Byron Bay, USER were a band. Scott Collins, Henry Brister and Scott Enderby bonded over surfboards and snags at the Byron Bay Arts & Music Festival, before moving to Sydney’s inner west and finding a new bass player in Chris Newton (ex-Psyclone Smyle).
Honing their sound, which encompassed everything from post-punk, pop, progressive freeform, funk & metal, they stepped out into the creative hotbed of Sydney’s inner city indie scene in late 1996, releasing a “Live Demo” EP on cassette in early 1997.
Playing only 30 shows in their four year lifespan, they racked up a fairly impressive list of supports for some of the best bands of the day – Flyspeak, Front End Loader, Phloem (An Empty Flight), Frenzal Rhomb, Def FX, Grinspoon, Peabody & Finiscad, to name but a few – as well as their career highlight of opening the main stage for the inaugural Glenworth Valley Music Festival in 1998 (now known as Peats Ridge Music Festival).
A debut EP “King of the Driveway” was recorded and released to some critical acclaim in late 1997, and an eventful tour of Melbourne followed, as well arguably the most successful sticker promo campaign ever seen in Sydney.
Unfortunately, as a followup CD single (“Nullify/Something On My Mind”) was being planned, founding drummer Scott Enderby (who had started a skateboard company “Futura Skateboards”) left to pursue other interests. A new drummer in the legendary Louis Burdett was sourced, but proved to be a misguided choice, and in 1999 drummer Ben Ellingworth (from Many Machines on 9) was recruited. By then, however, USER had lost the momentum they had built up so effectively, and after several attempts to revitalise their sound and career, they finally disbanded in early 2000.
In 2004, Chris released a retrospective CD of a live set at Sydney’s Iron Duke Hotel, titled “The Band That Launched 1000 Stickers”, on his own Portable Hole Recordings label.
Members of User
- Scott Collins – guitars & vocals
- Henry Brister – vocals & kazoo
- Chris Newton – bass & vocals
- Scott Enderby – drums (1996-1998)
- Louis Burdett – drums (1998)
- Ben Ellingworth – drums (1999-2000)
- 1997 – “Live Demo” EP, cassette only, limited edition, Crony Records.
- 1997 – “King of the Driveway” EP, CD only, Crony Records. Re-released as download in 2012, by Portable Hole Recordings.
- 2004 – “The Band That Launched 1000 Stickers” LP CD only, limited edition, Portable Hole Recordings.
- “Live Demo 1997” & “The Band That Launched 1000 Stickers – Redux” soon to be re-released as a download, along with the complete unreleased studio recordings, through Portable Hole Recordings.