I had the opportunity to catch up with the guys of Philadelphia’s Undercast for an update interview on the band, since their previous feature here on AudioXposure. Here’s what they had to say:
AX: First of all, I just want to say I love the new tunes. Rough or not, I think you guys are moving up to a completely new level, and I can’t wait to see how the LP turns out! Speaking of which, making the rough cuts available is a complete tease. 😉 So when do you hope to have the LP released for those of us left drooling?
Undercast: Thank you, Jenn!! We plan to wrap up the sessions within the next two months. All of the drums are done and the bass is near finished. We need to finish up the guitars & vocals, and then the final mix. So ultimately we’re aiming for a summer release; maybe sooner if we really bust our collective behinds.
AX: For those who missed your first feature here on AudioXposure (and who are probably too lazy to go read it), give us a brief background on the band: Where do you call home? What makes you guys tick?
Undercast: To keep it simple, we just say we’re based out of Philadelphia. The four us are from all over (Ardmore, Philly, & South Jersey). What really makes us tick is to have fun with one another while working. We’re really a bunch of idiots who normally spend more time screwing around and cracking jokes while getting the job done, rather than taking ourselves too seriously with strict agendas and the like. Being able to tolerate one another on a personal level drives us creatively and prevents stupid conflicts, and we’ve managed to stay very productive with this approach. If you’re not having fun making music with your mates, you really shouldn’t bother. Jagermeister helps keeps us loose, too. J
AX: Your music is just as hot as it was the first time I had a chance to talk to you guys, but even with the rough samples for the LP, it’s obvious you’ve turned it up a notch. There’s a different maturity, and you’re just oozing professionalism. What changed?
Undercast: A lot has changed without really changing what we have always set out to accomplish, which is to make music that we would want to listen to. We did set out to write music that was a bit more aggressive, but without sacrificing the dark/melodic sound that we felt we’ve captured from the get-go. On the EP, we were still feeling each other out, since we had only been together for about 6 months. The main difference really has to be Bobby, our drummer. He didn’t have a hand in writing any of the material on the EP and he’s been pivotal in us getting to the next level creatively, which you’ll hopefully hear pretty soon on the LP. On the EP, he had only been in the band for roughly three weeks and literally recorded those songs while still learning them.
Nick’s role has changed slightly in that he’s focusing more on the vocals and leaving the guitar duties to me (Matt), which has also given Pat, our bassist, a chance to show his skills (he’s a lot better then he’ll ever give himself credit for). You’ll definitely hear more of a signature stamp on both the vocals and the guitars this time around. Nick’s melodies are a lot more in-your-face on the new material and he’s really grown as a writer at an alarming rate. It’s been a real treat to witness.
AX: What kind of plans do you guys have once the LP is released? Is it still predominantly about having fun and enjoying the music, or do you find yourselves a bit more on the serious side with your work now? Or do you guys think you’ve got a pretty good balance working for you now?
Undercast: We’ve seen a lot of things change over the past year for us, and we hope that the LP will put us on the map, so to speak. The sound will hopefully define us as a band, and national exposure on some level is ultimately what we’re after with this recording. We have found ourselves playing for larger crowds, and the new material seems to be getting a great response live. We do feel that we have a good balance of the business and the fun. All of us would love to be able to take this seriously in that wed all like to quit our day jobs, but we know the business side of music pretty well at this point, and we have to take what’s being fed to us with a grain of salt. And believe it or not, we do take this seriously in that were hell-bent on always giving it our best and never putting forth a half-assed effort. People can tell when you’re not sincere, and when you’re not having fun, you’re not putting on your best performance. We are very professional in the way we carry ourselves at shows and with bookings, etc., but were ultimately a bunch of clowns when the business has been handled.
AX: I have to say, I could kick myself for not getting out to see you guys live yet! It’s now officially on the neverending to-do list. (And looking at your tour page I see I missed you guys at one of Stillframe’s St. Mark’s shows in January – damn it! I was out there at a few of them, so you guys just played the wrong one – yeah, it’s your fault.). 😉 Anyway, for my benefit, and for any readers who haven’t had the privilege, how would you describe your live performances? Do you tend to perform well in certain types of venues, or can you pull off a great show anywhere?
Undercast: The St. Marks’ show was a blast! We definitely had a good night. Were sorry you couldn’t make it. The delivery of our live performances will vary depending on the crowd. For the most part, we do approach them all the same way, and just try to make the most of every situation were in. Even if there’s only a couple of people in the crowd, we want to make sure we do our best for those people to remember the name Undercast, and hopefully want to come out to see us again and maybe buy a CD. We’re not affected by the venue as much as we are the vibe of the audience, and we always try to give a spirited performance. Lets face it; who the hell really wants to watch a band that looks like its just going through the motions? Not us, and we like the crowd to be involved as much as possible, because it feeds us to see them having fun and enjoying the music.
AX: My new kick (and since I run the damn site, I can amuse myself however I want), I’m asking all bands to ‘spread the love’ a little bit. So tell me … if you guys got to choose the next three indie acts we cover on the site, who would they be? Be a bit of a promo-whore for your friends, and if I agree with you, I’ll contact them and set up an interview. 🙂
Undercast: Definitely check out our friends from Bumrunner! They’re the most original band in the area and a damn talented group of musicians to boot. From the Ashes and Noosphere kick a ton of ass as well! All three bands have something unique to offer and all put on great live performances!
Be sure to check out Undercast by visiting them at www.Undercast.org, and keep a lookout for their new LP.