Rock The Summer – The Upset Victory
The Upset Victory have proved that they have no intentions of disappearing from the indie music scene thanks to a constant flow of new music ever since their debut EP, The Upset Victory, in 2007. Add to that a schedule full of touring the country to promote their sound which has had them sharing the stage with successful bands like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Story of the Year, and you get an equally successful indie rock band who clearly needs to be heard by as many people as possible.
Though their most recent EP, Wall Street, only contains three tracks, The Upset Victory guarantees the listener three explosive, energetic, well produced songs that show off their continuous hard work and passion for the music they create. Lead singer, Jason Dill, performs with a wide range of vocal abilities and the entire band joins Dill in expressing the emotion-charged lyrics behind the music.
It was a no brainer that The Upset Victory needed to be apart of Wordkrapht’s Rock The Summer contest, and we were honored to interview the band to find out more about their career so far and any knowledge they had to share for other musicians in the business.
The Upset Victory has been together since 2006. How did you all meet and what inspired you to make music together?
We all met through the local scene, so to speak, and we’re all similarly cut from the same “rock cloth”. Bands that Eric, Frank, and Stephen were in, prior to The Upset Victory, all played shows together. Aaron and Jason are also veterans of the local music scene, here in our hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. We all have crossed paths over the years and it spawned from that. Frank and Stephen initially spoke on the phone about starting The Upset Victory and the inspiration there was to strive and do something different than their previous musical endeavors.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Our music has evolved drastically over the years. Each of the seven releases is different and unique in and of itself. From production and instrumentation to the songwriting process and even the journey to record said release. We’ve traveled across the country to record several times and each time it’s taken us down an interesting and new path. Our most recent release had us recording in Orlando, Florida with Brock Berryhill and Evan Coffman of Starlight Studios. This release would in turn become Wall Street, our most ambitious and best work to date. Our approach to songwriting was minimalistic but once the foundation was laid, we really opened the songs up in the studio and experimented with instruments and equipment we’ve never used before as well as recording techniques we’ve never implemented on any other release.
The track, “Fake This,” from your latest EP, Wall Street, sounds like it was written based on a personal experience with a particular individual. Is there a story behind this song?
Jason wrote the lyrics to this song and it’s certainly become a fan favorite. The songwriting story behind this track is pretty cut and dry. One day Frank was tooling around with the opening riff on an acoustic and Jason started conjuring up melodies over top. We tend to leave songs up to the listener’s interpretation, but the theme is fairly universal and can be applied to relationships or anything in one’s daily life.
How did the band come up with the title for the Wall Street EP?
Wall Street is an actual street in downtown Orlando, Florida where we spent a lot of our off time from the studio. It’s also a direct reference to a lyric from the song “In Our Hands,” track three off of the Wall Street EP.
Being together as an independent band for eight years, were there any important lessons you’ve learned that could be used as advice to new artists entering the music scene?
Do not get discouraged and give up easily. You have to fight for what you want. We’re still fighting. I think that’s applicable to anything in life. As cliche as it might sound, not giving up or giving in is what’s kept this going for as along as it has. We’ve been through a lot of lows and a lot of highs, but keeping your goals in sight has been key.
What has been the biggest challenge for the band? What has been the band’s greatest accomplishment?
The biggest challenge has been to continually challenge ourselves creatively. I think that’s a good challenge and a great thing to embrace – accepting change and wanting to evolve, as well as striving to push yourself to be the best version of yourself creatively. We’re in the midst of writing our most important release to date, and with 60+ ideas already in the books, we’re still writing and are now in phase two of the process. We really want to push our boundaries and come out with a release that people will be pleasantly surprised with on multiple levels. The greatest accomplishment is an ongoing one. Enjoying all the fruits of our labor from great shows and releases, to great fans and great friends and all sorts of relationships that have spawned from simply writing music with our friends. We’re blessed.
If The Upset Victory could tour with any artist/band, past or present, who would it be and why?
Touring with any of those classic rock gods from the 70’s arena rock era would be pretty cool – Zeppelin, Boston, Lizzy, Aerosmith, etc. Seems like those guys certainly had a good time to say the least.
Do you think fan/supporter involvement, like attending shows, purchasing merch and music has declined with the introduction of so many social media sites and online streaming sites?
That’s hard to say. I think it’s made it easier but at the same time even more difficult for bands to find their “target market” and for fans to find new bands they love. There’s so many bands out today and some many different platforms to experience them that sometimes it can be overwhelming and music lovers don’t know where to begin. I think Spotify and Beats Music have done a good job at crafting a great music algorithm to base your musical preferences on finding new and emerging acts, so that has certainly helped. Show attendance should remain steady – nothing will replace the actual physical act of seeing a band/musician in concert. The live experience is truly a unique one. The fact remains that music lovers have to keep supporting musicians on a local level and not just support big acts that come through their town. The simple act of buying a CD or t-shirt or even posting about a new emerging artist on social media could make all the difference.
What’s the music scene like in Cincinnati?
It’s great. We just performed at the third annual Bunbury Music Festival. Acts like Fall Out Boy, Paramore, and The Flaming Lips were on this year’s bill. It’s awesome to see a music festival on a such grand scale come through Cincinnati.
What is the ultimate direction for the band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
The ultimate goal is to reach as many passionate music fans as possible with our music.
What’s next for The Upset Victory?
To continue writing new music and travel again in the fall to record!
Artist Name: The Upset Victory
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Members: Frank Hammonds (guitar/vocals), Stephen Campbell (guitar), Jason Dill (lead vocals), Aaron Roy (drums), and Eric Vice (bass)