Indie-Funded: The Upset Victory
The Upset Victory were last seen as a part of Wordkrapht’s Rock The Summer contest in the summer of 2014. We introduced our readers to this hardworking, dedicated rock band out of Cincinnati, Ohio who had been consistently releasing EPs since their first release in 2007. The Upset Victory never disappoint with music that has an explosive, energetic, well-produced vibe on every track they’ve released in between a full schedule of touring.
We had the opportunity to catch up with The Upset Victory to talk about their new Kickstarter campaign, which they are hoping will help create their debut full-length album. The band had a lot of great insight on the use of fan-funding websites and the process behind their campaign.
To help support The Upset Victory in making their goal, click HERE!!!
You’ve experienced a lot of success since 2006 with the release of seven EPs. What made you decide to create this debut LP?
We naturally arrived at the conclusion. Having recorded only EP’s in the track range of three to eight songs, we decided as a band it was time to offer a few more songs for our supporters. It’s a lot more fun for us, too. There’s something special about listening to an album from start to finish the day it’s released. That sentiment may not be as popular as it once was, with the digital age of “singles” and what not, but we’ve always loved the ability to listen to a cohesive album from start to finish. We’ve also shifted gears a bit sonically and a full-length provides the listener with the opportunity to delve fully into our “musical world” more and see what we’ve been up to and where we’re going. I don’t think three to four songs would do this chapter in our lives justice.
How do you think fan-funding websites have changed the music industry?
There’s a whole new dynamic and shift. Music fans don’t want to be told how to consume music and in what fashion to do so and we’re all for it. Maybe someone doesn’t want to buy your album but they want that exclusive merchandise bundle that happens to come with a download of the new album. Or maybe they want a VIP package to your CD release show. There’s an apparent shift with how people want to support the musicians they care about and we think it’s great. There’s no right or wrong way anymore. The old system of solely buying an album, t-shirt, and concert ticket are gone. That’s still an important fabric to the system, but the system has expanded, thus allowing for musicians and fans to connect on a whole new level. As long as there’s a music community out there supporting one another, we don’t think it really matters how or where the support comes from.
There are a few different fan-funding websites out there for musicians to use. Why did you choose Kickstarter for your campaign?
We believe in urgency and immediacy and Kickstarter provides that. We have 30 days to reach our goal. It’s a lot of pressure, but in a good way. It’s sort of a now or never type of situation. We didn’t want to sit on these songs we wrote last year any longer and decided that we needed to kick off 2015 with a bang. There’s a lot of great platforms out there, but after weighing our options and timeline, Kickstarter was the best option for us.
How did you go about deciding what incentives to offer your fans in return for funding your project?
It was a collaborative effort among the band. We also drew some inspiration from some of our fellow musician friends and did some research. It was a fun and creative process. We thought long and hard about every reward and take them very seriously. We want to provide value to our supporters because we truly value them. We also wanted to be able to give our fans an opportunity to get to know us better on a personal basis through incentives like the VIP CD release show package and offering an acoustic set.
Are there any negative or difficult aspects that go along with participating in a fan-funded website?
The overall experience has been challenging. We drafted our own press release, designed our page, edited and shot our own videos, wrote our own copy/content, and have been promoting the campaign ourselves, too. We’re essentially our own marketing company. Often times musicians outsource all of that, but we kept it internally. It’s been a new challenge, but certainly a good learning experience. Making sure that we reach as many people as possible has also been on the forefront.
Nothing too negative comes to mind. My only thought would be that people may think we’re just begging for money – which we are most certainly not. The $16,500 we’re raising covers the bare bones of the recording process. The band still has to cover lodging, transportation, food, marketing costs, album artwork design, etc. once we get to the recording and releasing stage of the album process. We’ll be raising those funds by way of shows and merchandise sales.
What can fans expect from this debut LP? Have you already written all of the songs that will appear on the LP?
We’ve written almost 70% of the album thus far and have another 10 or so ideas in the works. We’re planning on doing a 10 song album. We wanted to write a lot prior to getting to the studio and have a basic skeleton of each song, but this time around it’s all about creating a “vibe” in the studio and letting our creative juices flow, so to speak. In the past we’ve recorded all the drums and bass over a couple days, then laid down the guitars, and then finally vocals etc. However, this time our approach is different. We’ll be recording a song a day for 10 days straight. While the actual planning of the recording process has been methodically thought out, the creative process is going to be more off the cuff. This will be a new challenge for us, but it’ll really push the songs in a creative direction that they might not have gone in had the recording process been so “assembly-lined”.
Fans can expect the same big hooky choruses from TUV that we love to write, however, we’re implementing a lot more instrumentation that may be atypical of a five piece rock band. There’s going to be experimentation with all types of instruments, programming, samples, pads, percussion, etc. We want to get out of our comfort zone – in a good way. At the heart of this recording are great songs and we just want to expand on them sonically in a way we’ve never done before.
Is there one backer reward that the band is really looking forward to giving away to fans more than the others?
We think it’d be great if our supporters wanted to come and hang out at the studio with us. There’s a reward tier where listeners can come to the studio and perform gang vocals with the band on select tracks. It’d be great to meet and hang out with our supporters!
If you’re able to collect the funding needed for the album, what’s the next step after creating the LP?
We’ll immediately go into the studio at the end February into early March. Then we’ll come home and start the mixing, mastering, and review/revision process. All the while we’ll be planning our marketing strategy for the album – i.e. artwork, branding, release date, etc. and then planning our CD release show. Then we’ll start fulfilling our rewards to all of our wonderful Kickstarter supporters. That should put us at the beginning of the summer. Then from there the sky is the limit. We don’t plan on taking a break or a deep breathe anytime soon. We’ll be hitting the ground running and promoting the new release by way of shows and other means. Listeners can expect some new videos as well.
Any final thoughts for the readers at Wordkrapht?
Thank you for taking the time to read our interview and continuing to support your music scene! We all rely on another so keep supporting and staying passionate about music.
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)