Whatuppers Party Peeps,
So, all of my East Coasters in the Philly/DE area should check this out. There’s a new band in town called The Lift Up. It comprises of 3 members who were in the Indie Rock outfit The Situation. If you remember The Situation (classic indie pop) then you will definitely want to peep their debut show tomorrow (Friday May 11th) at Mojo Main in Newark, Delaware. That’s on Main Street, in the University of Delaware town. If you are old school, you know the location. It was the East End Cafe. SwitchFlip was lucky enough to catch up w/ the frontman Joe Castro. Castro is well known in Philadelphia as a fine painter/artist who owns Red Attic Studios. We know him as a guitar slingin’ musician who has a penchant for heavy chords as much as pretty Johnny Marr-esque (of The Smiths) fret runs. However, if you are feeling nostalgic and think they are gonna play old tunes from The Situation days, don’t hold your breath. The lads in The Lift Up have a brand new bag of tricks and songs to unleash. Let’s not blab anymore, let the man speak for himself and his band. Here’s the official 10-question SwitchFlip interview w/ Joe Castro of The Lift Up.
THE LIFT UP
SFM: Who are The Lift Up and what’s this band about?
TLU: The Lift Up is a three piece modern rock garage band. John Paul Travis on drums, Larry Zappaterrini (LAZ) plays bass, Joe Castro plays guitar and sings. Some might remember us from our former band, The Situation. Going for energetic literary pop songs yet we still firmly believe in rock-n-roll. I don’t know what else to say – just trying to be the most sincere pumpkin in the patch.
SMF: What type of genre (if able to categorize)?
TLU: That’s always a tough question. Is “high school mix tape” a genre? I think we subliminally draw influence from our past groups as well as other three piece bands – Dino Jr., The Jam, early Cure, Husker Du, fIREHOSE, The Crickets. You can throw a little Ramones, The Smiths, Stone Roses, Tom Waits, The Clash and Dylan in there too. “Genre” is really just a record company marketing term anyway. Music is music. People listen to songs, not genres.
SFM: How does this differ from your former band(s)?
TLU: Well, the biggest difference is that I’m singing and writing the songs this time around, which has been a satisfying challenge. If nothing else, I’m most proud of the lyrics. Singing has limited my guitar playing slightly, but we still have moments where I get to break out. And since we have less to work with, it really gives Larry and John Paul room to shine – they’ve stepped up for sure and I’m excited for people to see that.
SFM: We know you as a painter/artist. However our head honcho knows you as a musician and friend. What’s your relation to SwitchFlip?
TLU: I met D-How through Delaware’s small and incestuous music scene. I was playing guitar in a band called Nero, and he was the drummer/co-founder of The Verge, which was fronted by Christopher Tucker, who I would later form The Situation with. I think we bonded over a mutual love of the Manchester music scene and classic hip-hop. Damon’s a good dude, just a fun loving cat with a heart of gold. Much respect.
SFM: You are a multitalented artist. Which do you prefer? writing/performing music or painting? and why?
TLU: I enjoy both so why be limited? Honestly, I think they feed off each other. If I get burned out making music, then I’ll work on a collage or a painting, and vice versa. For me, playing music is much more of a physical release, especially live, where you’re feeding off the energy of an audience. Generally, making art is completely solitary and much more meditative, which I also enjoy, so a balance between the two is key for me. And the devil makes work for idle hands, as they say.
SFM: Where’s this debut performance being held? Will you have more shows lined up in the Philly area?
TLU: Our debut show is Friday May 11th at Mojo Main (formerly the East End) in Newark, De. All three of us grew up in Delaware, and the East End/Newark has been a second home, so it felt like the proper starting point. We’re definitely hoping to line up some Philly gigs as well as NYC sometime soon. Would love to get back to Cali at some point so get your couches ready.
SFM: All members have been signed in some capacity before. What’s the mission of The Lift Up?
TLU: The mission is to just try and write the best material we can, put it out there and hope people connect with it. No plans for a reality TV show or anything. A guest spot on Letterman would be pretty sweet though.
SFM: What’s Philadephia’s music scene like these days and how will The Lift Up fit into it?
TLU: We’ve been out of the mix for a while so I don’t know what our place will be. In previous bands, I never really felt connected to any particular scene or anything (classic loner). I really don’t know – I hope Philly digs it. I’d hate to have to move.
SFM: Are you putting together any recordings and will it come out on Red Attic, your website and business outlet for your other art mediums?
TLU: The plan right now is to play a few shows, write a few more tunes and then hopefully get to recording this fall, with the goal of putting out some vinyl for early 2013. Whether we release it ourselves or a label puts it out remains to be seen. Only Kreskin knows for sure.
SFM: What to you want to tell the world in 3 sentences?
TLU: “All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with ‘winning or losing this game of chess.” -Marcel Duchamp
Check out The Lift Up on Friday May 11th, 2012 at Mojo Main.