We caught up with Michael from Up ahead of them performing at our next gig This friday night.
-Ok so I have to ask how you came up with the name “Up”
We wanted something simple and memorable that could take on different meanings to different people, so just sat down and worked through a few different names. It was pretty quick.
-What artists and genres have you taken influence or inspiration from to create your sound?
There's a lot of pop in there, but good pop, the kind of thing we grew up with our parents playing to us, so classic stuff like Bowie, Prince, a lot of Motown. Then there's three of us spending our teens listening to early 2000s band music, so it's got a band feel, which puts it more in the direction of the Killers, with a big, american-y sound sometimes.
-What is your favourite venue to play in and attend?
You pretty much want the same things in a venue to play in or attend; good sound, a good atmosphere, and we've had some excellent experiences playing further up North, especially in Liverpool at the Academy 2 (sorry London...)
-Do you have any pre gig rituals or any processes before a gig to prepare or help shake off the nerves
There's not normally time to do anything much, at this level we've still got stage managers telling us we're four minutes late onstage and we might have to cut our set time. So we just have to take any nerves we might have without drinking tea from a rare Mongolian plant while being massaged by a team of eunuchs.
-So what are you most looking forward to during your forthcoming tour of the UK?
Gigs are the best of it, for the short time onstage and the way it makes you feel afterwards. Plus, there's the possibility of seeing what Greggs has to offer outside London, which is normally a treat.
-Can we expect any new material in the near future?
Definitely. We're never without a couple of songs in the pipeline, there's normally a demo in the later stages (being mixed by our drummer) while a new idea has been put forward by another one of us. At the time of writing this it's December, so maybe a Christmas song...
-Are you aware of any other avenues that new and emerging artists could use to generate revenue from their music
The short answer is that we're aware there are these avenues, but only in theory. If our music generated revenue at the moment this message then the heating would definitely be on in the flat where this is being written. Advertising seems to be a very good one, though. A lot of unknown bands have got a lot of exposure (and money) from putting themselves forward for adverts.
-What advice would you give new artists? (see below for some helpful topics)
Work out what you want to be and do it really well. If you know what you are then people will get it very quickly, especially if you're do something new. As for doing it well, that just comes from writing a lot of songs to get better at it, and playing live as much as you can.
· Are you aware of any organisations that can offer help and support?
· How to get gigs
We mostly do this ourselves since at an emerging level it's good to built up a relationship with venues and promoters.
This is the same, building up a relationship with engineers and producers is key to getting them to love your music and do a good job. Plus they might record you for free...
· Making videos
There are loads of places to meet people who make videos online, but again we've always done it ourselves or through friends. We're lucky enough to live in a city with a ton of arts colleges and universities, and film students love to test out what they can do on bands.
-It will soon be the new year and with it brings all the “Ones to Watch” lists for the coming year. Can you let us know 3 up and coming artists that we should be checking out?
An excellent London band called Kites are doing something similar to us, and being very well dressed when they do it www.facebook.com/wearekites
We met Molly's Lipps playing a tiny gig in the Shoreditch on Shoreditch High Street and they invited us to play some gigs with them. They are a kind of 80s synthey, grungey band who usually have a least two female keyboard players. What's not to like? www.facebook.com/mollyslipps
Our friends the Fearless Vampire Killers don't really need any more love (they are getting massive coverage from Kerrang) but since we were some of the first people they met when they moved to London, it's always nice to see good people about to make it very big. It's metally, punky stuff, but with a touch of Queen. Michael went up on stage with them at a recent gig at put their bass player on his shoulders. Sorry... www.facebook.com/wearefearlessvampirekillers
-Can you let us know something quirky about your band (This will go on your FSS profile page)
Barnaby, our singer, never wears a matching pair of socks. He also once wrestled an alligator, there's a video online somewhere to prove it.
-This is the part where I ask you to provide a nonsensical response to a question that i hadn't even thought of yet,
Nope, they are fake. We get that question a lot, but take it as a compliment since we collectively spent a lot of money and time getting them augmented to look as good as they do.