Although the members of Not One Is Upright are based out of a small town, the music the band unleashes is big, extreme, and highly spiritual. Fans of entities such as The Chariot and Botch are sure to enjoy the wondrously unpredictable listening experience these Kentuckian’s magnificently present. Their debut magnum opus for Red Cord Records is entitled God Is Not A Watchmaker And The World Is Not Ticking – a thought provoking title to be sure, but one filled with compelling meaning! Here is an interview we conducted with a member of Not One Is Upright to find out more about their blistering artistry…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Not One Is Upright, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Gerald Dyson, I play guitar in NOIU, and we started playing music together in September of 2008.
Where is your band from and what is the local music scene like there? Any bands in your area you could recommend?
We’re all from around Grayson, KY, a town of about 3,500 in the eastern part of the state. The music scene is small to non-existent, but we have been trying to change that by putting on shows in our town, and we’ve seen some fruition there. I’d recommend This City in Ashes from Grayson, KY and Patterns from Berea, KY.
How did you wind up being signed to Red Cord?
Our 2010 EP And They Were Likened Unto Dogs was reviewed on indievisionmusic.com and we were subsequently asked to be on a compilation put out by IVM. Joey Matthews from Red Cord Records heard us from that sampler, contacted us, and here we are about 6 months later.
Is there any story or concept behind God Is Not A Watchmaker And The World Is Not Ticking CD title? Such a terrific title!
We had actually decided on that title for the album before we started writing much. The title is both a refutation of Deism (the belief that God created the world but doesn’t interfere in its workings) and a message of hope for the future. Deists have often compared God to a watchmaker who wound up the watch and then left and we don’t believe that at all. We believe that God is continually present and wants to be a part of our daily lives. As for the second half of the album title, we wanted to say that the world is unlikely to end in 2012 or in the near future, though we certainly wouldn’t claim to know. That’s up to God.
Select any two songs from the new CD and what inspired you to write the lyrics?
Where There Is Shame, There Is Fear – Though Graham (Skaggs) wrote these lyrics, I think I can say a bit about them. They essentially pertain to the use of women both commercially and otherwise and our subsequent abandonment of them. We have this dichotomy of idolizing models, actresses, and beautiful women in general, but when they have been used and abused we discard them.
No, I’m Full of Joy – These lyrics were written while in the hotel at the studio. This song is essentially our manifesto. If you want to know what we believe, listen to those lyrics.
With your music being so intense, has there ever been any mishaps or accidents on the stage during a live set?
Oh yes. Haha. Many times. I once split off about a third of my thumbnail, Curt (Peffer) has broken the neck off his bass on stage at least once, and we’ve all sustained minor to moderate injuries on stage at one time or another. Frank (Shavers) constantly breaks drum sticks and we’re always getting hit with sharp fragments. I think he needs a stick endorsement. Haha. Our live performance is one of the most fun things we do, though.
Describe your music to an elderly church lady who has suddenly decided she just MUST see your band live?
“It’s very loud and heavy, but you’re more than welcome if you bring chocolate chip cookies.”
Would you consider Not One Is Upright to be a Christian band or ministry? Why or why not?
That’s a difficult question. We all love music and talk about it with each other constantly and we put a lot of time and effort into songwriting. However, our main goal is to get outside the church and let people know there are people out there who give a crap and that no matter what you’ve done, there’s room for adoption into God’s family.
Do you plan on being back in the Los Angeles/Orange County area anytime soon?
We’re going to be on tour quite a bit this summer, but I don’t have the route in front of me. It’s very possible.
Have you ever played Cornerstone and if so, what was the experience like?.
This summer will be our first time, actually. We’re very excited to play and for the festival in general.
Who produced and recorded the God Is Not A Watchmaker… CD and what did he contribute to the band’s overall sound?
Joey Matthews did the recording for us at Red Cord Studios. Joey’s a great guy and when he goes for a certain tone, he works until he gets that and we really respect that. We spent a lot of time getting the guitar tone on the album right, and he was a big part of that. And I love how the guitars sound, so he’s done a great job.
What would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
I want them to take our intensity and passion for life and God with them and maybe a bruise or two from a pit at a live show.
Any final words of wisdom?
Love people. Jesus said it was the second greatest commandment (behind loving God) and at the end of your life, very little else will matter.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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