One Up

Anthony did this interview for the never released Fuck Rock Fanzine in 2002.
1. Who is in the band?  How did you guys start out?

One Up is Greg Polard on vocals, Jude Miller on guitar, Donny Mutt on guitar (that’s me), Ryan Rayburn on drums and Brian Cavanaugh on bass. The band started one day when Greg Polard realized that GO TIME was pretty much all but broken up. They just got a new drummer and after playing about 3 shows into a 7 day tour he decided he didn’t want to do the band anymore. A month or so later is when I got the IM from Greg asking if I wanted to start a band with him. We both have pretty similar tastes when it comes to the “core” so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to make starting a band with Greg. The only problem I could think of was I don’t know ANY drummers. He said don’t worry about it he has someone in mind but he had to talk to him. The next day I got an IM from Greg saying “yo dude, practice this Thursday.”  Apparently, in one day he managed to get a drummer, 2nd guitarist and a bassist for the band. We jammed one night and played To Lose by Turning Point and wrote one original song. We have been going strong ever since that first practice and the lineup has been solid also.  

2. How important is crowd reaction to you guys? Honestly, it is a real toss if you ask me.

On one side of the coin, of course I would want people going off for our music. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing people you don’t even know yelling the words to your songs, moshing and stage diving all to music you write. Now, the other side of the coin, we play a good amount of shows where people seem to have their feet nailed to the floor but that does not discourage me at all. Hardcore is very tame nowadays and at shows like that it doesn’t matter much as long as we are playing tight and are giving the show 110% then I am fine with no one moshing or diving.  

3. What is the worst show you guys have played and the best show you’ve played?

Well, in my opinion NO SHOW is a bad show. As long as we are playing a show to kids that care then it will never be a bad show. My favorite thing in the world is to be playing in a band, so as long as ONE UP is together and having fun playing, NO SHOW will ever be a bad show to us. As far as my favorite show goes, I would also have to say that every show is my favorite show. Playing with friends bands and meeting new people is one of the best parts of hardcore so every show we play we either see our friends or meet new friends.

4. What does your name mean / where does it come from?

ONE UP comes from the Spanish word Uno Up meaning ONE UP. There is no real meaning behind the name. Greg and this guy Pat thought it would be funny as a joke to name the band ONE UP because of Super Mario Brothers for Nintendo since they both know I LOVE old school Nintendo so much. Then, Greg wrote the lyrics to the song ONE UP which is about being Straight Edge. If you want to get technical this is the line from the song. “We’ve got the ONE UP on them, for having the courage to turn our backs (*on societies poisons).” The *on societies poisons part was taken out because it didn’t fit into the song cause the music wasn’t long enough. Just a hardcore fun fact for ya.

5. Since Philadelphia seems to be making a comeback lately, what do you guys think of all the other Philly bands?

I don’t know about Philadelphia making a come back because there are NO venues for shows really aside from the bar/club type venues that hardcore shows don’t usually get booked at. There is definitely a bunch of bands popping up which is rad. Some of these bands are Damage II, Risk, At Fault, No Rights, Go! For The Throat, Ice Age & Frostbite. All the bands are friends so it is like one big family really which is my favorite part.

6. If you guys could relocate to anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I wouldn’t move anywhere. I would stay in Philadelphia because this is home. Sure, I would love to go somewhere for a couple months or a year just to get away but this is the place I love. Now, if you ask almost any hardcore kid this exact question I am 98% positive they would say Boston, which I think, is funny. I think Sheryl Crow said it best “It’s not getting what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got!”

7. What are your future plans with One Up?

As far as my future plans for ONE UP I would say we are recording December 6th to the 8th at Atomic Recording Company in Brooklyn, NY for our brand new eight song CD out on Dead By 23 Records. After that, we are going to try and play lots of weekends till summer then attempt to do a half assed U.S. Tour. I am really bummed that we can’t go to California this winter so we are making up for it and hitting the West Coast this summer.

8. What happened with the tour to CaliforniaWhy was it cancelled?

In a nutshell, we all decided that it would be in our own best interest as a band to go to California in the summer. One of the main reasons we decided not to tour in January is because our new record won’t be out. It just makes more sense to have your music out first, then conquer the world ya know. Really, how often to you go see a band that you have never heard of especially if they are from the other side of the country? Another big reason was a couple of the members couldn’t afford to record and tour since we have to pay for both out of our pockets.

9. What songs do you cover live?

We seriously cover a laundry list of covers. I will probably forget a few but here is an attempt at listing them. Turning Point “To Lose,” Judge “Fed Up,” Uniform Choice “My Own Mind,” Insted “We’ll Make The Difference,” Chain of Strength “Never Understand” and Youth Of Today “Make a Change” we have played on a regular basis pretty much. Here are a few that were one show covers. Carry On “Off My Chest” & “Roll With The Punches,” In My Eyes “My Reply,” and Floorpunch “Clear.” 

10. How was the benefit show?

Pretty sweet. We got to play with our friends Risk, The Survivors and A New Enemy. At the end of the night, after we paid the bands we raised $200 towards recording and 50 kids paid for the show. It was a small show in a basement and we were very happy with the turn out. We played almost all of our new songs at that show to give everyone a taste of what’s in store.  

11. When are you going into the studio to record at Atomic?

We head up to Brooklyn on Friday, December 6th and we are scheduled to record till Sunday, December 8th with Dean. It should be an amazing time and hopefully the record will turn out amazing also.

12. Where do you guys practice? How often?

We practice at Jude’s house every Thursday except for holidays that fall on Thursdays like Thanksgiving this year.

13. In terms of money, hardcore kids often revolve around a “Fake economy” – would you say One Up has made money or lost money in the past 6 months?

Haha, I would definitely say that ONE UP has made money ever since the band started. Now, granted it is not a lot of money but we have never left a show in the negative dollars so far. Part of that is the fact that I am a merch nazi. NOTHING is given away for free or with out who ever wants to give it away for free to someone paying for it. We use band money to get us to and from shows, record, finance our merchandise which I print up and things like that.

14. What is the weirdest thing someone has said to you guys after playing a show?

This is not necessarily about a show. The weirdest thing I have ever heard about ONE UP was this girl I know told me she let a friend hear the demo and her friend said “damn, this band is a blatant rip off of The Misfits.”  Now, that is funny because we sound NOTHING like The Misfits at all and to be honest I am not even that big of a Misfits fan. I write 96% of the music for ONE UP and when I write the music The Misfits are the last thing I would think of to inspire me in writing a song on guitar.