December 13, 2011
I admit, I am no expert when it comes to the Cincinnati music scene. Bands like Over the Rhine, The National, and Walk the Moon pretty much cover the depth of my knowledge. Most recently, however, I met with the five piece rock band known as the The Upset Victory. Think 30 Seconds to Mars mixed with Taking Back Sunday and throw in a dash of the Motley Crew to get an idea, but, of course, these guys, comprised of Stephen Campbell – guitar, Jason Dill – vocals, Frank Hammonds – guitar/vocals, Aaron Roy – drums, and Eric Vice – bass, have developed their own unique sound.
In early 2006 Campbell and Hammonds, who had both recently broken up with their bands, discussed the possibility of joining forces. “It was an interweaving of other bands, basically a melting pot of Cincinnati’s local music groups,” said Campbell. Born out of the ashes came a new creation. Since that time they’ve added Dill, Roy, and Vice to the crew. Vice is the most recent member, just a month into the group and he has already mastered about 13 songs and been in the recording studio. Training wheels needed? I don’t think so.
When I asked the band how they got their name Hammonds was the first to speak up. “I’d been watching a lot of Bravehart at the time and I’ve always been thought of as an underdog so it just kind of stuck,” he said. And from the little I’ve known about them, I’d say the name is no coincidence. Being in a band is not as glamorous or “rock star” status as everyone assumes. It takes hustle.
The most common misconception about being in a rock band is the constant self-promotion. “Even something like picking out the format to save a picture file, just all those things you don’t think about, but they take time” added Roy. Especially for a band that hasn’t been signed by a major music label. Nevertheless, it hasn’t stopped The Upset Victory from churning out new songs, music videos, and booking tours.
“Our trip to Boston (about a year and a half ago) was really eye opening in helping us focus on what is it that we are trying to do,” said Dill. “Initially everyone was kind of trying to do their own thing, and now, on a whole, we have a much more put together sound.” This is obvious from listening to their latest track “Actions.”
And they show no signs of slowing down. They just released a Christmas song, “Slay Bells,” that can be found digitally on iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and the list goes on. Plus, they are currently in the studio working on a five song EP titled “Before the World Ends,” set for an early 2012 release, along with an upcoming music video, and then they’ll head to Orlando for another five song release.
During the interview I pleaded ignorance and just had to ask, what does EP stand for and how does that compare to just calling something an album? This launched into a ten minute discussion on the difference between a single, EP (extended play), which is comprised of 3-6 songs, and LP (long play), which is comprised of 8-12 songs. “We don’t have the luxury of fans anticipating our next album,” said Dill. “But I think even if we did, we prefer to keep pushing things out there, like the underground rap circuit.” The hope, with the continual production of fresh music, is that it will one day catch on, and with the amount of dedication and passion they pour into their work I’m confident it will. “An international tour on an actual tour bus, that would be making it,” they all unequivocally agreed, in response to my question about what is at the top of their professional bucket list.
They’ve played at Riverbend, the MidPoint Music Festival, and the Vans Warped Tour, along with a long list of other top venues, so catching their next local show should be top among your (yes you dear reader) YOUR musical bucket list. The hard work is in their court, but celebrating the talented local music scene is up to us. Do your part and show them some love.
*For more information please visit The Upset Victory’s website HERE.to top ↑