On a hot Sunday afternoon in August, Acentric Magazine met with New York City rock n’ roll tro Upright Man for an interview and photo shoot on Roosevelt Island. Written and photographed by Rick Perez.
Who is Upright Man and what is your music all about?
Max: Going to college for music and realizing, coming out of college, there is more music outside of it. We’re just trying to make rock n roll
What is your favorite 90’s jam?
Max:Do you know what popped into my head right now? ‘Wish you would step back from that ledge my friend…” Jumper by Third Eye Blind
Acentric: Oh yea Third Eye Blind!
Nick: Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine, that’s mine
Aidan: Blackhole Sun (Soundgarden)
Favorite Disney Princess?
Nick: Mulan, just because of the Szechuan Sauce
Max: I’ll take Bell
Aidan: Snow White motha fuckaaa
Your self-titled album is coming out on the 18th, how are you going to celebrate this release?
Nick: We have a show at the Bowery Electric on the 23rd. Other than that, smoke a spliff about it
Aidan: We might have another release show in fall as well as a video coming out.
Acentric: Which song?
Aidan: Ecstasy. We built a spaceship!
Max: Shot it on location in space
Do you have a favorite song off the new album?
Max: I like all of it
Nick: Ya I’m pretty pleased with it. I like ‘Animals’ a lot though
Max: That’s my favorite to play live
Aidan: Ecstasy. It has an unusual form, takes you on a journey.
What was the greatest obstacle in making the album?
Max: Getting tortilla chips
Nick: We got Avatar Studios banned from ordering from a Mexican restaurant a couple blocks away over some tortilla chips.
Max: They didn’t send them and they made some guff about it
Nick: So now no one from Avatar can order from there
Aidan: Hmmm biggest challenge….I guess it’s when you sit down and go, “Uhh, what am I doing?”
Nick: I think when you are finally done with the record and you think, What do I do with this now?
Aidan: We love making music, we can record another album if someone wanted us to. It’s taking it to the next level that’s the hardest. We have to get ourselves out there, make a brand, and do things that are necessary but not what we’re passionate about.
Which band/artist would you want to share the stage with?
Nick: I think Dr. Dog would be really good band for us to play with. Musically there’s a kinship, influences from the 60’s and early 70’s. Personally I think they’re awesome.
Max: I think it would be fun to have a band bring us up and play with them. Maybe Dead+Co? They seem to have their openers play with them afterwards. It would be a fun experience.
Aidan: Any of the great bands that have influenced us: Radiohead, Tame Impala
What is it a typical Friday night like for Upright Man?
Max: Same thing we do every night, Pinky.
Nick: I think it varies for me. It depends if I worked or not. Sometimes I just don’t wanna do anything. When I’m out doing gigs, that’s my socializing time. When I have down time I’m usually exhausted. I save it for the nights we are actually playing.
Aidan: Definitely depends. We wil check out local shows together or our friends who are playing. Not much of a bar hopper, I’m more of a morning person. Except when I’m traveling or on tour. In that case, I just take advantage of every situation. It’s part of the fun.
Max: Most of what I do is top secret.
As a child, who was your greatest inspiration? Musically or otherwise.
Max: Yoko Kanno. She’s a composer for a lot of 90’s show like Cowboy Bepbop. She was a really good creator of incidental music.
Nick: I really liked Paul McCartney as a kid.
Aidan: I didn’t really think about music as a kid until I was about 12. I would just listen to what was on the radio. I watched the Beatles anthology and then I became obsessed with them. It changed my life and the direction I was heading.
What’s next for Upright Man?
Aidan: We got the record and music video coming out. We’re talking about a tour in early 2018. We might make our way across the country to the West Coast. Until then, play as many shows as possible.