Originally from New Zealand, singer, guitarist and songwriter Ruban Nielson is the leader of experimental garage-rock band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, with bassist Jake Portrait and drummer Riley Geare joining him.
The trio released its second album, "II" in February on the respected Jagjaguwar label, home of Bon Iver and Dinosaur Jr.
Portland is now home, and in an e-mail interview Nielson said New Zealand and the States are much different. "It's very small and isolated," he said of New Zealand. "The States is like a big open space to me. One thing that people don't really know about Americans is how warm they are. Warmer than New Zealanders in a lot of ways ... I just love [Portland]. Portland is such a comfortable place for me. The pace, climate and natural beauty remind me of New Zealand in some ways but there's a whole other element of music, bars, restaurants and strip clubs that isn't really found anywhere else."