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10 Quick Ones with UPRIGHT MAN – June 2017

According to a recent press release: “New York City-based rock band Upright Man – Aidan Dolan (guitar/vocals), Nick Katz (bass/vocals), Max Yassky (drums/percussion/background vocals) – is set to release their dynamic self-titled debut album on August 18th.  The album’s ten shimmering tracks were produced by Marc Copely (Roseanne Cash, B.B. King, Billy Squire) and Zev Katz (Jeff Beck, Hall & Oates, Aretha Franklin) and engineered by Bruce Sugar (Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh) at Avatar Studios and Sear Sound in NYC and at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.” We get the band to answer our 10 Quick Ones about the new release, their influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your self-titled debut album due out August 18th.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Max: If by diehard fans you mean our mothers, no, we did not hide any nuggets for our mothers to find.

Aidan: A friend of ours, Byron House, a well known Nashville bassist, played his modular synth setup on a couple of the tunes. You might only catch some of that stuff with a pair of good speakers or headphones. The frequencies were so low they almost broke my speakers before we mastered it (don’t worry you’re good).

Nick: Paul is dead.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Max: I played pots and pans when I was a toddler. It took me 13 years to figure out that meant I should try playing the drums.

Aidan: I started when I was 12, sort of following the footsteps of my older brother who is a bassist. My dad had built a home studio for his band as well, so I always wanted to join in. A healthy Beatles obsession lead me to lots of other great older music. When I decided to go to college for music, I became more intellectual and studious about it, first going into jazz and then into the classical program once I got to NYU.

Nick: When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I’d tell them I wanted to drive a subway train for morning rush hour, fight fires during the day cause that’s when it was hot out so therefore more fires, and be a musician at night. So, always?

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Max: Maroon 1 through 5.

Aidan: Pink Floyd, Crowded House, Los Lobos, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin. Spending a few years diving into classical music at school had an influence on our use of odd time signatures.

Nick: Colin Moulding, Nick Seymour, Duck Dunn, Kenny Gradney, Jerry Jemmott, and of course Entwistle, Rainey, McCartney, and Jamerson, oh, and Chris Squire, Mike Rutherford, Roger Waters, and Ray Shulman.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Max: We did work with Daniel Mintseris, the keyboardist and music director for St. Vincent on a few tracks, which was a huge boon for those tracks.

Aidan:  My dog Winston. I know he’s got some sweet ideas.

Nick: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Beethoven would have loved a good riff.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Max: That’s sort of an unanswerable question. We only make the music, if you want to know what it sounds like, the best way is just to listen to it.

Aidan: Something, something, outer space, rock and roll? I look forward to seeing how other people would describe it. I’m way too involved to have any perspective.

Nick: Yeah, ya know all those other bands that are popular right now? Not like them.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Aidan: Playing music.

Max: You can eat whatever you want.

Nick: Music: come for the food, stay for the ambiance.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Max: Nick and I cook, Aidan gets the seltzer, and Camp Counselor Barry is usually in charge of the singalongs.

Aidan: Last time i remember us cooking together, we threw some cake mix in a pan and started making literal pan cakes. It’s a rare occasion. If there are three guitars in the room, chances are we are all playing them.

Nick: We’re not really much for alcohol. We prefer intoxicants with smaller death tolls, on the whole.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Aidan: Ninja.

Max: Forensic Detective.

Nick: Forest Fire Prevention Representative.

9. Looking back over your career so far, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Aidan: I don’t think we’ve screwed up too badly yet. We take everything as an opportunity to learn.

Max: Nope.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Max: Anything that Al Jackson drummed on. I’d just want to play plunky piano parts on a guitar-heavy Booker T. & The MG’s tune.

Aidan: I don’t think they really need me to play anything, but damn, I’d like to be a fly on the wall during The Who’s Tommy recording sessions. Keith Moon was a madman.

Nick: That’s a tough question. Sgt. Peppers? Axis: Bold As Love? Mothership Connection? Any of the Staples Singers recordings at Jackson Hwy. Shit. “When The Levee Breaks”? The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway? Close To The Edge? Animals? If I had a time machine I would just use it to visit recording sessions between 1966 and 1976 exclusively.

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10 Quick Ones with UPRIGHT MAN - June 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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