By Devon Motz
VANCOUVER — “The best songs are awful liars, baring their souls about how utterly worthless they are,” reflects Uptights guitarist and vocalist Jason Stevenson, though he admits, “it’s hard to write a song about being a total piece of shit when you’re happily married.” As we sit at Jesse Gander’s (vocals and keys) home base at Rain City Recorders on a unanimously hung-over Sunday, local power-pop quartet Uptights share some rock and roll wisdom and several large glasses of water.
To say that Uptights is not the bandmates’ first rodeo would be a gross understatement. Sporting an impressive résumé of previous projects from 1990s local punk heroes d.b.s., to more recent offerings such as Lesser Negatives and Previous Tenants, the guys in Uptights have plenty of experience to draw from. Still, if you were to ask Gander what he’s taken from this storied musical career, he would tell you: “The most important thing I’ve learned is to not play in too many bands.”
Uptights have an undeniably fun sound, and write songs riddled with hooks sure to put a bounce in your step with their driving organ riffs and anthemic choruses. But Gander insists, “There should always be a little bit of struggle and a little bit of heartache in good rock and roll.” As a self-described “negative creep,” he can’t help but squeeze a little darkness into even the most uplifting songs, and finds love songs – true love songs, that is – “one of the most difficult things to write.” Regardless of their origins, the Uptights craft catchy, fun as hell songs and as Stevenson modestly puts it, “That’s the dream: that one day you are playing to a room full of people, and they’re all getting down.” After putting out a series of singles that were recently self-released as one fantastic EP, Uptights will be heading back into the studio this July to record their first full-length album before hitting the road on a quick Western Canadian tour.
Uptights performs at Anti-Social Skate Shop in Vancouver on July 9th,
Broken City in Calgary on July 21st, The Almanac in Edmonton on July 22nd, and The ‘Cutter in Hinton on July 23rd.
UPDATE: According to the band via Facebook post, due to Uptights’ organ handler recovering from an injury, the band will not be playing the above mentioned Alberta dates and “will be out to see you just as soon as” he’s healed up. The band tells us Alberta shows will happen sometime in October with more info to come.AB, Alberta, Anti-Social Skate Shop, BC< British Columbia, Broken City, The 'Cutter, The Almanac, Uptights