We recently has the opportunity to speak to Dan Fullam from the New York band The Upsides.
There is Matt Fullam (brother) lead vocals and guitar, myself on drums, Matt DaSilva bass guitar and lead guitarist Hart Mechlin.
OSM: The band is from Brooklyn – how did you come together and what challenges did you face starting out?
So that's where we are now, but the Fullam brothers and Matt DaSilva have actually been playing music together for decades! We grew up close by in New Jersey. Certainly didn't always sound good (maybe some people would say it still doesn't, but it's definitely better!). Hart was the final piece -- he went to school with me in Vermont and we all kind of converged as a band a few years ago. I think our biggest challenge initially was just finding the time to get together to rehearse and start finding a sound we really enjoyed. The pandemic afforded us an opportunity to really do so, and we're excited to start releasing what came from that otherwise pretty terrible time period.
OSM: Where did the name ‘The Upsides’ come from?
We really just wanted to capture the mood of the songs we had been writing over the pandemic, which were upbeat and uptempo. We wanted a name that rolled off the tongue and also had a bit of a retro feel, like all those 70s bands that start with 'the'.
OSM: We absolutely love your new single. ‘Undercover Retro.’ What was the songwriting process and are there any interesting stories around the recording?
Thanks, we're excited about it! That one came about after we had been listening to a lot of Rolling Stones on vinyl that our parents had sent up for Christmas. The record 'Miss You' has such a great carefree feel that probably seeped into that track. We knew the bassline would be huge, and we kept asking ourselves what would Ken do (The Upsides record at Grand Street Recording, owned by world-renowned bassist Ken Rich)? Eventually we just asked him to play on it, which he was gracious enough to do. Now the challenge will be for Matt to replicate that bass sauciness live, which I think he will be up to the task last I heard in rehearsal!
OSM: What are the band’s plans for the year ahead?
We've got a bunch of shows planned over the next few months, and will be releasing a third EP in the fall! We're also pumped to play our first shows outside of NYC too.
OSM: If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
How quickly new releases die. It seems as soon as you put something out, there better be something behind it to back it up. We're in a good spot to take advantage of that environment now with how much material we have on the back burner, but it seems like decades ago you could really savor new releases as opposed to just hitting the next button.
OSM: If you could share the stage with another band or performer who would it be?
We've really been digging this band Night Moves from Minneapolis, particularly their 2019 record 'Can You Really Find Me' which they worked on with Jim Eno from Spoon. We're going to catch them live in July in New York for the first time. They have such a cool timeless sound, and should be way bigger than they are. But maybe they don't really want to be.
OSM: What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Being able to collaborate with and make songs with your best friends. We love impressing each other with ideas and demos or just little riffs, and there's no better feeling than putting our heads and ears together to create something we're super proud of.
OSM: What songs are on your playlist right now, which songs are you into at the moment?
Here's a bunch of new ones I'm digging:
My Echo - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Sunburn - Spill Tab
The Devil & Mister Jones - Spoon
Bittersweet, TN - Kevin Morby
Vulnerable Hours - Night Moves
OSM: Do you have any shows coming up, where people can see you perform live?
Yes our next show will be our second EP's release show at Chelsea Music Hall in NYC on Thursday, June 9th.
'Undercover Retro' is out now on all major streaming platforms.