Brendan Finn, Joe Galarraga, Amar Lal, and Carlos Salguero Jr. met whilst learning about specifications of Cat 5 cables in NYC. Big Ups blend punk, post-punk, metal, and indie rock into a salty mash that gets stuck to the roof of your mouth. At their brightest, they have been likened to The Descendents, but at their sludgiest, they call to mind band s like Pissed Jeans and The Jesus Lizard, albeit with an Albini-esque metallic clang. Simply put, the Big Ups sound like they are enjoying themselves way too much for that nonsense. The well-earned melodic turns, the spastic energy, and the youthful spunk in the music all works together to force its wrinkled, grumpy face into a wry grin.
Big Ups first show was on the roof of Joe’s apartment building on October 16, 2010.
Joe has limited hearing in his right ear due to several reconstructive surgeries.
Amar is a Canadian citizen.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I think the thing that drives us the most is the enjoyment that we all get from playing, making records, etc. There are too many band s to list that we really admire. We started this band as something to do while we were all in college and have kept doing it because it’s a blast.
How and when did you get into making music?
All of us have been playing instruments since elementary school – piano, various wind instruments. Once we got into our teens, we picked up the traditional rock instruments and have been playing in band s since then.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
In no particular order…
Weezer – The Blue Album
Meat Puppets – Meat Puppets II
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me
Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Plus loads more… These are 5 that just popped into my head
What do you associate with Berlin?
What’s your favourite place in your town?
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
What was the last record you bought?
Lavender Country re-issue
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Washer & Flagland
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Seeing Double Dagger’s last show at the Ottobar in Baltimore, MD.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Except for our drums, all of our instruments require amplification. Electricity is essential.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
My sister is an urban farming teacher; we come from an understand ing family.
Dylan Johnson | whatisdojo.com
| Interview with Big Ups (Brendan Finn, Joe Galarraga, Amar Lal & Carlos Salguero) by Digital in Berlin