Interviews: Uphill Struggle

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Melodic Hardcore/Skate Punk band, Uphill Struggle from Denmark. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. How would you introduce yourselves?

Uphill Struggle is a Danish skate punk band rehearsing in Rødovre, a suburb of Copenhagen. Uphill Struggle consists of four middle aged men with rebellious teenagers inside – three fathers and a chemistry teacher. We are: Denis on guitar and vocal, and the odd measured weird riff maker. Henrik the boss and drummer makes sure everything happens at a fast pace. Kåre the detail orientated bass player that takes the tempo out of everything. Micky the nice guy, guitar player and our social media responsible (probably the most important job in a band these days.)

2. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

The band name is the title of an Adhesive song. So it`s our way to pay homage to one our favorite bands. The name mirrors the themes of our lyrics, as well. Combining this with the Sisyphus Myth adds more weight to it all. 

3. Why did you want to play this genre?

Skate punk has been part of our lives for 25 years, and most of us have never played anything else. What drew us into the genre was the contrast between the fast and chaotic instruments against the easy recognizeable catchy melodies. It was fascinating that a rock song could be played in 2-3 minutes. And, the dynamics with drum fills all over was an appealing alternative to the more conventional less-is-more mentality.

4. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Henrik & Denis have known each other since childhood, and have played together for many years first in The Jerkoffing Jerks and later on Losing Must, where Micky also joined, after he was done with Racing Decays & Horn of Plenty. Henrik and Denis met Kåre at Nørreport Station back in 2002, and they play together for a while. When Losing Must’s bassist left the band, Kåre was asked to rejoin in 2015, and Uphill Struggle was born.

5. Each band member favourite band?

That's a very difficult question to answer.... But if we can only pick one; Hønse: Good Riddance Kåre: Undeclinable Ambuscade Micky: NOFX Denis: Satanic Surfers

6. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

Of course we are inspired by our everyday life, but podcasts like This American Life, and Danish podcasts serve as an inspiration for our lyrics as well. For example the lyrics for “Product of the Industry” was inspired by the Danish podcast “Super tanker” (super thoughts/tanker) that regards the fitness culture as an industry that produces bodies to fit cultural demands so that the aesthetic prevails over the functionality.

7. Where was your last gig?

Last time we played was at Underwerket in Copenhagen a show called Punks Undead vol 90. Punks Undead is a concept run by two locals, Sisse and Emil that always ensures audience and good ambiance. This time we were surprised to play along with another danish skate punk Too Close to Call. Great band - check them out. It feels like a very long time ago since there has been corona-restrictions for so long.

8. Where would you like to play?

We have played most of places in Denmark that suits our music like Ungdomshuset and Tusind Fryd in Aalborg. We are still missing the festival jobs (please book us, we are cheap). We would love to play in Sweden since it´s close or even go on European tour, but is hard to find the time. If there is a place where people like our music, we will play. Before all of this covid-19 shit, we were talking about driving around in our old van to different skateparks, turn on a generator, and plug in and play loud. We will do this one day!

9. Whom would you like to feature with?

We played with a lot of great bands throughout the years like Adhesive, Fabled Mind and Smash the Statues. We have asked to open for No Fun at All, Satanic Surfers and Lagwagon, but we still waiting for answer … The offer stands open ... 

10. Whom not?

Racist, homophobes and religious fanatics. We'll pass. Once we played together with a band that celebrates the North Corean regime (we believe they were serious!). An oppressive regime that starves its people, does not harmonize well with our values, so we doubt we will play with them again.

11. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

You may drink beers until it passes. Or, do like Niels Bohr. Look the audience in the eyes and ask yourself: “Can any one here do this better than me?” … then start the show and have fun..... and try not to fuck up!

12. What bands have inspired you the most?

Our favourite bands, or whatever we're listening to at that period of time.

Denis: At this given time, I've been listning to "Adrenalized" (full speed ahead Spanish punk!), and "The human project" (I enjoy the varriety in the vocals, and thier compositions), just to name a few.

Micky: At the moment I really dig Propagandhi`s technical approach to the music, Frank Turners simple but meaningful lyrics, and Rage Against the Machines rebellious mind.

Henrik: I mainly listen to the big old school skatepunk bands from Sweden and Cali (NFAA, Satanic Surfers, Millencolin, NOFX, Good Riddance, Lagwagon, Bad Religion, Pennywise, etc…), but I also enjoy the less famous bands like Skumdum, Happy Campers and of course our all time heroes: Adhesive. Kåre: When it comes to writing music Bad Religion, Pennywise, No Fun at All, old Millencolin and Satanic Surfers is the core inspiration, but also Propagandhi. I have bought the tab books for Failed State and Supporting cast. I used to write riffs out of just power cords, Propagandhi changed that. When it comes to lyrics I listen to a lot of different music. I am really inspired by Atmosphere (indie rap). The best of the lyrics are so rich with emotions and weird metaphors. Go get inspired yourself and listen to "Women With the Tattooed Hands". They really change the way I write lyrics. I also get inspired by Strung Out. They have a way of mixing shocking words into something beautiful. And last Amigo the Devil's(darkfolk) lyrics are both shocking and full of wordplay. The way he is writing is something I will carry into future lyrics.

13. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

We only have one fan. His name is Tobias, and he asks us to do all kind of weird things, and then we are all about the fans!!! Other than that, autographs are weird to do.... I am not a fan of that.

14. What do you think of your fans? 

Tobias is very stable. It would not be the same without him. Just kidding, anytime someone comes over after a show, and critisizes us in a good or bad way, makes it all worth it.

15. What do you think of our site? 

It’s a great platform for promoting underground artist like us. It's important to get the word out. We especially like the feature, where you can look up bands from specific countries. It serves as a nice travel guide.

16. Something add? 

Just a BIG FAT THANK YOU, and that we are planning to record a full album later this year, so keep an eye on that! Uphill Struggle

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