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A Dirty Dozen with ANNE AUTUMN ERICKSON from UPON WINGS – September 2022

| 22 September 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “UPON WINGS hail from Detroit, Michigan, and can be described as female-led rock and metal with a classical influence. The group’s new EP, Last Love, arrives September 23rd via Sword of the Spirit Records. UPON WINGS have received press in Revolver, Metal Hammer, Blabbermouth, BraveWords, Metal Express Radio, and more. The band has previously worked with Brett Hestla (Creed, Dark New Day), Corey Lowery (Seether, Saint Asonia) and more. UPON WINGS takes listeners down a path of heartfelt introspection, pain, joy and faith. Soli deo Gloria!” We get Anne to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Great question! I feel like listeners might not pick up on the major differences in style from one song to another until listening through a few times. There’s straight-ahead melodic metal (“Eternal Way”), hard rock (“Last Love”), pop (“Scars”) and I don’t even know how to characterize “The Dream!” Hopefully there is something for everyone on the EP.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I fell in love with music at age four. My parents took me to see Cats in Toronto, and I apparently would not stop singing “Memory” everywhere we went. From there, I saw Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables and memorized all of that music and sang along. I don’t know if there is a point when I knew I wanted to be a musician. It just kind of happened. It was inevitable. I loved music and singing so much, it was apparent early on that it would be a major part of my life.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

It’s a really big range. The first rock song I ever heard in my life was The Offspring with “Come Out and Play.” I really got into post-grunge, because that was the music that was popular when I was discovering rock music- and it’s still popular. Bands like Staind and Shinedown really sucked me in. Other bands that influenced my musical taste are AFI, Tool and A Perfect Circle. I didn’t think I could front a rock/metal band because of my opera training and operatic voice until I heard bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Those bands inspired me to start my own band, Upon Wings.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Wow. There are so many incredible musicians I would love to collaborate with. Maybe Maynard James Keenan, though. He’s so fantastic as a musician and unique as a person.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

So many of my activities involve music! I have my own podcast called “Anne Erickson on Audio Ink” where I interview musicians. But as for a favorite non-music activity, I have gotten back into painting a lot. I used to paint in college and got away from it for a few years. I’m back into it and loving it. I paint landscapes on coasters and just started painting album art on canvas. My first album art painting was Red Hot Chili Peppers, their Blood Sugar Sex Magik record, and I’m really proud of how it turned out.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe Upon Wing as female-led rock and metal with a classical influence in the vocals. All of the comparisons we’ve gotten have been meant to be compliments, so I do appreciate all of them. I can’t think of one that made me “cringe,” because they are all coming from a good place.

Upon Wings Last Love

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Haha, well, the people who make Upon Wings soar are all over the world, so we haven’t really “hung out” together. If we did, I would probably be the one to make everyone cookies or brownies, because I have a sweet tooth.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I got pretty starstuck interviewing Rob Halford when he released his memoir, because he’s such a legend and key musical influence for me.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is having an outlet to share your art, feelings and experiences. It’s amazing when someone hears Upon Wings’ music and says they can relate and that it somehow helps them. That’s the best. If I couldn’t do music or my current day job (radio), I guess my dream job would be acting. I have a Master’s in Theatre from Michigan State University, actually!

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I would love someone to ask what makes Upon Wings a spiritual band. We don’t get a ton of questions about that, because we are not overtly religious. But there is a spiritual element to our music, and a lot of our music has themes of faith and belief in a higher power: God. I’m actually not tired of answering any questions!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

We took a lot of time off after releasing the Afterlife EP in 2013. I needed it, because life got busy, and Afterlife was such a whirlwind experience that I got a little shy to follow it up. I wish we had released new material sooner, but I do think it’s all part of Upon Wings’ story.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Wow. Immediately, for whatever reason, my thoughts go to Nirvana’s Nevermind, which of course sounds nothing like Upon Wings. I think it’s because that is such an iconic album and resulted in such a cultural shift, so it would obviously be life-changing to be a part of it.







Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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