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Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Gentlemanly Conversation With Up the Chain

It’s awesome getting to use this blog to talk to bands.  For guys who discuss, listen to, and think about music as much as we do the people we interview are all awesome no matter where they are on the charts.  One of my favorite concerts ever was going to see the Spring Standards.  It was just a little free concert in a park, but they played a great set, and their opening act, Reed Kendall, was great.  After my recent post on these guys I got in touch with Reed Kendall to asks him about his past, present, and future.

From what I understand you’re no stranger to music.  When was your first major music project?
My first project was in 1999. I was 13 and had won free studio time at an open mic, so I recorded a 3 song demo. My voice hadn't changed, so it's pretty funny to hear. One of those tracks is hidden on our debut record "Holy, Open, Drying Road".

When you started out was this the kind of music you thought you would be playing?
I knew I would write music that spoke for me and was sincere, so in that sense, yes. As for styles and techniques and such, that has all developed over time and is a product of what I take in. There's no way to see that coming.

What got you into music?
I've been drawn towards instruments, melodies and the stage for as long as I can remember. Michael Jackson songs were the ones I remember singing first. When I was 5 I listened to a cassette version of George Harrison's "I Got My Mind Set on You" on repeat three times/night before going to bed.

Who would you say are some of your major influences?
Recently I'd say Taylor Goldsmith, Hezekiah Jones and Chris Kasper. Before hearing those guys I was really into the writing of Bright Eyes and the live energy of Dave Matthews. Big fan of Jack Johnson's film "The September Sessions", too.

What is the most difficult part of the creative process for you?
Getting out of a slump. I'm streaky.

A lot of your lyrics are about the road, and traveling.  Are these lyrics mostly inspired by your own travels?
Without a doubt. "en zed" is the only song on our record about staying put and taking it all in, but it was written while I was traveling overseas. Each of the other songs on the record, as well as the new ones, has something to do with restlessness. I guess that's the phase I'm going through right now.

Is music your only artistic pursuit at the moment?
             Pretty much. I have a lot of ideas for a music video for "Here I Haven Meet" that I'm currently putting together with a friend. other than that I've been working on a new fade-away slam dunk.

Are you more comfortable in the studio or on stage?
             I'm comfortable in both places, but I enjoy making the connection to an audience during the live show best. That's how it all started and it can never be taken away. 

What’s the next release we can expect from you guys?
             I'm not entirely sure. We're still touring to get our first record out there, but I do have an album + of songs I'm eager to share. I'm sure we will start recording again very soon. Before that, the video for "Here I Haven Meet" should be ready in a couple months.

If you could go back to when you were starting up would you have any advice to give yourself?
I'm a big believer in playing live as much as humanly possible.

            I wanted to thank Reed for taking the time to talk with us.  You can find all the Up the Chain you can handle on their website, and check out this song from their newest LP, Holy Open Drying Road.

We also got some other talks with CatnapsE-603 and a few others

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