I recently had the pleasure of talking with Jsun Adams, the lead singer and guitarist for The Upsidedown. The Upsidedown's music has been featured on television shows on NBC and ABC. They've contributed to The Vampire Diaries, as well as FX's Damages and Sons of Anarchy. The Upsidedown's "Wolf Blood Honey" was featured just last month on the HBO series True Blood.
The up-coming Upsidedown album, The Town with Bad Wiring, due for release September 28th on Reverb Records, features the band working with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, as well as Brian Jonestown Massacre's Collin Hegna, Jeremy Sherrer and The Dandy Warhols.
Audio Interview: Jsun Adams The Upsidedown
Rich in post-punk brilliance, the album's retro feel harkens directly back to bands like The Gogos and The Pixies, but with a strong inclination towards the upbeat drumming sounds of The Jesus and Mary Chain, who The Upsidedown have had the coveted honor of playing with. They've also performed with The Psychedelic Furs, The Black Angels, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
The album's title was the first topic I wanted to tackle when I spoke with Jsun.
The Town with Bad Wiring... a very interesting title, what inspired it?
Our album was named after a channel-surfed phrase from public radio that describes a modern city: well fed, well plumbed, but not generally easy to navigate socially or psychologically due to technical difficulties.
Is that how you guys feel? Like you're a bit of a town that's difficult to navigate? Or is it the world around you that's difficult to navigate?
(Laughing) A little bit of both! I definitely felt like the album was the town, in itself. We sort of interweave between nature and electricity throughout the album. There are lots of segues that create sort of a feel on the album — between what is reality, and what's surreal. A lot of the recording that I did for those segues, I did in Morocco, in different areas. We did recordings in the Smokey Mountains, just recording bug sounds. We tried to find old circuit bending sounds and then weave that into the song... sort of going into pieces of the song and using some of those as hooks within songs.
And the song "The Town With Bad Wiring" itself, has a lot of sounds that were 'found' sounds or sounds that we really pushed some of the amplification on, or really held back and used a clean tone. We tried to really just mesh [them] and make this wall of electronics and nature.