Up the Chain was once the long-time solo project of lead singer/songwriter Reed Kendall. As a newly formed trio, completed by Noah Skaroff on bass and Kirby Sybert on drums, the guys will be releasing their first full-length, The Prison Break, on March 11. Up the crafts crisp, quirky rock songs that have them being to Delta Rae, Brandi Carlile, Ryan Adams, Beck and more and earning fans in Baeble, Diffuser, Earmilk, and Culture Collide.
They wrote the majority of the new album and filmed the official video for “Sidecar” while on the road. The visual is a unique city-to-city montage, recapping the band’s 100+ live shows from New Orleans to Bern, Switzerland and everywhere in between.
The guys took time out of their day to chat with me about their new record, fans and their personal studio.
Kristina Haney: Do you feel like the road directly influenced your new record?
Reed Kendall: “Sidecar” definitely feels like the road to me, but not too many of the songs are explicitly about touring. That said, I find my writing is often just a product of whatever is happening around and to me, so in that sense, because we do a lot of touring, I’m sure that it’s in there a lot more than I may even realize.
KH: What is something you hope to achieve with your music this year?
Kirby Sybert: We hope to continue the collaborative process with our friends, who are also making great music. We’re talking to Jordan Hull from Nashville about collaborating this summer, and The Dawn Drapes from Harrisonburg, VA., as well. We plan on continuing to tour throughout the states and go back to Europe in the fall, and we’re planning to throw some more awesome parties with our friends. We just recently presented a Variety Nite in a former church-turned-art space with our buds Satellite Hearts, Ali Wadsworth & Kalob Griffin, and comedian Mikey Garcia. It’s been an awesome year so far and we’re gonna keep this train rollin’!
KH: You have your own studio where you record and also host local talent. How do you think this has helped you with your music career?
RK: I’ve certainly learned a lot from each act I’ve recorded and worked closely with. The more people I create with the more well-rounded I feel. I’m constantly learning from the people I record.
KH: If you weren’t in the music industry, what do you think you would be doing?
RK: Training/rehabilitating dogs.
KS: I’d continue making films and working in the entertainment industry in some capacity, that or the guy on a professional baseball team that refills the water coolers.
Noah Skaroff: As of right now you could say I have an extensive collection of name-tags and hairnets, but if I wasn’t in the music industry I’d probably be in a classroom somewhere bloviating about pop culture.
KH: What is the strangest town you traveled to on your Europe tour?
KS: We stayed in this awesome, off the grid commune in Switzerland with a buddy of ours, Marco, who lives there. We met Marco through Philly’s own traveling wonder, Ryan Tennis. We ended up staying up all night talking to Marco and his friends, who lived on the commune, about traveling, eating, drinking, the enjoyment of life. One of those moments that you never forget as you share bread, cheese, and coffee at 7am after not sleeping all night.
KH: Having a loyal fan-base is important for any band or musician. How do you think your interactions with your fans affect your successes?
RK: We wouldn’t be able to tour without the friends we’ve made through our music. I can’t remember the last time we had to buy a hotel room.
KS: People helping people. It’s always cool to hear that people like our music and we’re interested in peoples’ interpretations of what we write. And being appreciative and kind is the key to success in any relationship.