Ugly Side Up is an LA-based group that creates a blend of 90s punk, surf, and alternative nostalgia with lyrics about life's glory and downfall. Since the groups' formation, they have released an album and a single. Ugly Side Up recently released their second single "She Don't Need Me No More" and it is full of fun feel-good vibes.
"She Don't Need Me No More" features retro-sounding guitars with chorus and phaser effects, classic 90s synth sounds, energetic drums that seem to be dancing in your ears, and a high energy vocal performance that is reminiscent of punk but without any of the attitude. The musicality in "She Don't Need Me No More" really shines what Ugly Side Up can do. Every element can shine on its own for a small section but still feel cohesive as one. The guitar solo introduces a sparkly guitar that howls above the drums, where the bass solo growls in a way as if it was answering back to the guitars. The dynamic between the main riff as going to a chugging along chord perfectly allows room for the vocal to shine and give attention to the lyrics. There is a lot of positive upbeat energy radiating off this release and we can't wait to hear what else Ugly side Up will be bringing to the table.
Listen to "She Don't Need Me No More" here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Ugly Side Up! There is a lot of positive high energy in "She Don't Need Me No More" but the lyrics could almost be interpreted as being melancholic. What was the original intention and emotion behind the lyrics?
It originally began a bit slower and solely acoustic, but the more I toyed with the drums and the synth, an entirely new song was born. I wrote this song in college, during a time when the change was inevitable so I wanted the song to reflect that. I knew many people that were planning to leave and chase their dreams, people I loved, so this song was me confronting this fear and that it's okay to be sad and afraid, but ultimately happy for them and how brave they are.
The tones of this release have quite an interesting fusion of sounds that fuse together perfectly! How did you come to the sounds being used in the record? What was the recording process like?
I recorded this song all on my laptop using GarageBand. I started with the guitars because that's my main instrument, and then I added the drums. While trying a few different beats, I came around to trying a dance beat and fell in love with the way it sounded and meshed with my guitars. As soon as I knew I was going to go this route, I recorded the synth line to reflect the guitar melody and it sounded exactly how I wanted it to. From there, I added a jumpy bass groove, recorded my vocals and the song was complete.
It's quite exciting to be putting out your second single! How do you think you have grown as a band from your very first song together? Are there any goals in mind that you'd like to achieve?
My first recordings were mediocre at best. I've become a much better musician and songwriter since my first album in 2016. Forming the band in Austin and recording the album Jellyfish (Remixed & Remastered) and single "House Party" with my good friends Finn Rafferty and Brandon Beason helped flesh out what I wanted out of a band so big thanks to those guys. This new single is the first one recorded here in Los Angeles and introduces the kind of music I want to play, and I think it's a perfect example of the diverse songs I can't wait to record and play. Goals I want to achieve are just to play music, that's why I moved here a year and a half ago. I've finally formed the band here and can't wait to get back out there and play after this coronavirus crisis is over. Until then, I'll be recording demos and songs, and most likely releasing a few very soon.
With having such an interesting fusion of styles, do different members of the band have different influences for the music? Or is there a collective agreement on what the music should be in the end?
The songwriting process begins with me. I write the song, record a demo with all the parts, show it to the band, and then each member adds their own personality to their respective parts. I like to think I have a diverse palette but I definitely lean toward particular genres, but I like to add little riffs here and there not expected. Lyrically, I just write about my life and just try to be honest with myself and the listeners too. In the end, I think everyone in the band knows it's going to be a rock and roll song, but along the way, there might be some jazz chords, some piano, and synth added in the mix, some drum beats that stray away from the classic 4/4 beat.