“We all met in a composition class at NYU and we wound up writing a couple of tunes together, and that’s where it all started,” says bassist Nick Katz of the New York-based band, Upright Man, as they prepare for their Nov. 19 show at The Stanhope House, opening for The House on Cliff.
A cornucopia of influences makes up the group and they credit various genres, musicians and family members for their development as a unit. “The Beatles are the reason that I started playing guitar,” said Aidan Dolan. “I had to play ‘Here Comes the Sun’ in the sixth grade talent show and from there I started playing more and more. I started getting into Pink Floyd, Radiohead and then mostly trying weird ways to work on different country tunes and see where that took me (laughs).”
“My dad is a bass player,” said Katz. “As a bass player I like McCartney, Roger Waters, some of the newer British guys and thanks to my father; Little Feat is my favorite rhythm section.”
“For me,” added drummer Max Yassky, “Ben Folds. I used to cut class and teach myself his songs on the piano but also bands like Radiohead and Wilco.”
The band, which takes its name from a line in the song of the same name, formed about three years ago and recently put out a 10-track self-titled debut CD. According to the band, it was rather easily accomplished.
“We had so many songs written that an EP wasn’t an option and that was even after we cut the ones that didn’t meet our final approval. We had like 20 songs written and a producer came to my home out on Long Island and we put it all together,” said Katz.
The band’s sound has been called “psychedelic,” and they’ve been compared to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the aforementioned Little Feat. They are not political in their music, “but as individuals we’re all opinionated,” said Yassky.
“We don’t want to be provocative but we are human beings and we’re not going to shy away from things going on around us,” added Katz.
Katz called the band “the only thing that matters to us though,” and Dolan said: “All I want to do is make my livelihood off of this band.”
“If we can generate interest, go outside our comfort zone and branch out into different areas and get people curious about our music, getting people we don’t know to like our music and want us to come back to their home towns … I think that’s successful,” said Yassky “We need to continue to grow our fanbase, and that’s how we’ll grow as a band.”
Regarding the Stanhope House show, Dolan said: “It’s gonna be a good one. We’re not using any acoustic guitar so it will be more electrified so more rock ‘n’ roll for sure!”
For more about Upright Man, visit uprightman.band.
That’s it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week….ROCK ON!