upcdowncleftcrightcabc+start :5 became 4 - and rawer

Upcdownc are a peculiar band not only because of its name."Embers", the band's 2008 release is probably one of the greatest instrumental rock albums of all time.So,why the recent sudden change to a rawer,heavier sound? That's what the Bearded Russian tried to find out.

First of all, please introduce yourself and explain to us what upcdowncleftcrightcabc+start is all about.

Chris : We've been going now for 10 years and have just released our new album "Firewolf". It's our first album as a four piece and kind of explores new territories for us as it's a lot more darker and heavier than our previous recordings.

You guys released the "Firewolf" EP some months ago. Can you tell us about the recording process of the album?

Chris: We recorded the album in a weekend pretty much live except for some vocals. We try and keep our recordings as live sounding as possible.

Your first two records, "And the Battle is Won" and "Embers" were critically acclaimed. How is "Firewolf" doing in the press so far?

Chris: We've again had good reviews all round for "Firewolf" which is great for us as it was our first independent release and sales have been good too.

What about the fans? How was the reaction to the new songs?

Chris: We've been around for a while now so our fans have evolved along with us but we are also attracting new fans too which is always good.

The biggest changes between your previous work and "Firewolf" are the inclusion of vocals and a shift towards a more direct,raw sound.
Did you guys felt that the new songs needed vocals and a less epic approach, was it your way to distance yourselves from the current instrumental rock scene

Chris: We had a member leave so a change was really on the cards. It wasn't something we deliberately gravitated too, it just seemed to happen within rehearsals. A lot of anger was pent up around the time to for various reasons, so that helped.

One of your tracks,"Black Lodge", will be used on the soundtrack of a videogame.How did that happen ?

Chris: We were sent a contact email about it and just followed it up not really expecting much to come of it. Sheer dumb luck I guess.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are you already working on a follow up to "Firewolf"?

Chris: We have already recorded a new album and are just waiting to get it mastered etc. We are not really sure about a release date yet. It's something we'll be concentrating on more after the UK tour.

What do you guys do,besides the band?
Is it easy for a rock band to survive nowadays in the UK ?

Chris: We all work regular jobs. It's only as easy as you make it for yourself really. You can still release music and play without being signed. Getting label interest is at an all time low now due to the internet so you just have to go it alone and hope for the best. We do it because we enjoy it.

In the last couple of years, the instrumental rock scene became bigger and bigger, and, like in every scene, dozens of generic unoriginal bands started to appear.
Being an experienced band with 3 Eps and 2 LPs released,what do you think of this?

Chris: We try not to pay attention to scenes. I think that the instrumental blue print has become stale as of late and quite a lot of the big guns are miss firing but it's just what happens. We're all striving for the next thing, the next sound. We feel that if you sat and listened to our 3 albums, you would notice a change between each one.

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