POZ Showcase: The Upset Victory

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 7, 2012

The Upset Victory might as well be considered veterans of the music industry at this point. Forming a millennium ago (okay, it was back in 2005, but hey, Fall Out Boy was still a band then…seems forever ago), the Cincinnati quintet have seven releases and countless shows under their collective belts. Yet, that does not mean they are planning on toning down their fast-paced pop-rock attack any time soon. No, The Upset Victory are too busy planning their world takeover and everything they have experienced so far only aids them in their quest. 

For Fans Of: The Cab, The Academy Is…, All Time Low
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Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Frank Hammonds - Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Campbell – Guitar
Jason Dill - Lead Vocals
Aaron Roy - Drums/Percussion
Eric Vice - Bass

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Cincinnati, Ohio 

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
The band came together in late December/early January of 2005. Frank and I started the band and are the original two members/guitarists. It was formed out of the ashes of previous bands in the music scene. It started with a simple phone call and spiraled into writing sessions, rehearsals, shows, and recording sessions.

How have you grown since you started?
TUV has a knack for never putting out the same record twice. I think there’s a common thread in all the songs in that they’re earnest and sincere as well being extremely emotive and heartfelt. Aside from that, sonically all seventh studio releases have had their own vibe and feel. Each one encompassed that moment in time for us. Our most recent batch of songs we did in Orlando are a lot more organic than previous releases. We used vintage amps and guitars and got a little more stripped down. I think this helped us zero in on the song more and let go of any outside or unnecessary frills.

What sets you apart from other bands in the scene?
TUV’s worth ethic has been a staple element in the band and something we swear by. It’s helped us get as far as we have thus far. We’ve averaged at least a release every year since we’ve been in a band and have funded, and for the most part, produced everything we’ve done.  From writing our own music video treatments or to booking our own dates; hard work is something we believe in.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
The creative and controlled environment of the studio is a wonderful thing; being able to bring a song to life. From a song’s early inception on an acoustic guitar to a full-fledged rock song is pretty incredible. Adding the harmonies, overdubs, strings, keys, synths and other production elements is my favorite part. Adding that extra icing on an already great tune is really cool. 

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Everyone listens to such a diverse and electric batch of music, it’s pretty crazy. Everything from The Beatles, U2, Iron Maiden to punk, pop, folk, country…you name it it’s probably blasting on our speakers. That’s what’s so great about us coming together to make music. You never know what type of song idea someone is going to bring to the table. It makes for an exciting and refreshing take on rock n’ roll.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
We’ve accomplished quite a lot in the short time we’ve been together; everything from seven recordings, playing Warped Tour, playing with some of our favorite national acts, seeing the country, and the list goes on. I feel we’ve only gotten started and there’s always more ground and milestones to conquer. Our next piece on the agenda is to film our third music video, keep writing and releasing songs, and playing shows; it’s business as usual for us.

Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
Our first night recording in Orlando we stumbled onto a Cinco de Mayo block party in downtown Orlando. We literally had been there for maybe a few hours and we’re walking around trying to grab a bite to eat, next thing we know we have loaded Coronas, margaritas, and shots being offered to us by little people wearing lays and sombreros. Needless to say it was a good welcoming party and a hell of a way to start the trip. 

If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I’ve said this many times but pirating music has completely changed the landscape of the industry. It’s shifted the attention to the “single”, taken away independent artists’ livelihood, taken away the whole idea behind listening to a record in its entirety, and as a result has affected the integrity of the industry as a whole. I think the Napster era craze has thankfully died and even though people still pirate, the advent of Spotify and a few other services have started to make pirating obsolete and at least musicians are getting paid for song streams now.

What is your favorite song to play live? 
"The Worst In Me" is a great opener and has a good vibe and feel. It’s a rocker and I think the crowd responds well to it. It’s also a good warm-up song for the rest of the set.

What bands that are your contemporaries have you begun playing with or forming a relationship with that you recommend to your fans?
We opened for The Red Jump Suit Apparatus and that was a great show. I think from a crowd standpoint we gelled well with their fans. We made a lot of new fans and met a lot of cool people that night. They’re good dudes. Playing with Strung Out this summer was very cool as well. I grew up listening to them, and all those great skate punk bands, so it was a real honor sharing the stage with them. 

Anyone of note that you’ve had the chance to play with or work with?
Brock Berryhill and Evan Coffman with Starlight Studios in Orlando, Florida. That was a great experience and was eye opening from many standpoints. It was a really great trip all around and as a result we walked away with some great new songs for our fans. Working with Frank Hulefeld at The Madison Theater in our hometown is always awesome. With Frank at the helm of that venue every show goes off without a hitch and is always extremely professional and fun. Chris Schmidt and Matt Parmenter are two great producers we’ve done a lot of recording/releases with.  Those two work well together and the end result is always a great new recording addition to the TUV catalogue. You should also check out Matt’s band Quite Company from Austin, TX -good stuff.

What’s the biggest mistake someone’s made while playing? 
Frankie was getting into a song early into the set, somewhat scaled the drum riser, tripped a little bit and almost went head first into the crowd. Luckily the crowd was already warmed up and getting into the show so he had a mini crowd surf moment. It actually worked out pretty brilliantly. 

Any pre-performance rituals? 
Nothing too crazy… whiskey and pushups. 

Is there anything else you would like to add? Head over to our newly revamped website  (www.theupsetvictory.com) for exclusive new songs and all kinds of updates. We’ll be filming our third music in the coming weeks and you can follow us on www.youtube.com/upsetvictory.  

*If you would like your band to be featured on a POZ Showcase, email us.

*This Showcase was compiled, written, and edited by Michael Meeze

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