In the shadowed realms of Colorado Springs, there emerges a haunting echo, a dirge that resonates with the pain of the world’s transgressions. This lamentation is none other than the debut full-length offering from Upon A Field’s Whisper, aptly titled “Sorry for Your Loss“. The band, a melting pot of raw aggression and poignant melodies, intertwines the gnarled roots of crust, the foreboding ambience of doom, the fervent rage of black metal, and the emotive screams of screamo, crafting a soundscape that’s as cryptic as it is compelling.
Led by the versatile Bryan Ostrow on vocals and guitar, the band’s lineup is completed by Steven Perret lending his guitar prowess and backing vocals, Bryan Webb bringing depth with his bass and backing vocals, and David Dempsey’s powerful drumming.
The members, each a master of their craft, seamlessly blend their musical backgrounds, echoing a sentiment shared by Bryan: “Whether it’s punk, metal, hardcore, grind, doom… we’re all venting our frustrations of the world.”
The album paints a harrowing tale, one that reflects man’s tumultuous relationship with nature.
Drawing inspiration from the desecration of a beloved mountainous haven, Bryan recounts the sorrowful tale of trees witnessing the rise and fall of generations, only to be betrayed by humanity’s insatiable greed.
This sorrow took a profound turn with the advent of COVID-19, leading the band to reimagine the album as a eulogy for a dying world.
Colorado Springs, despite its association with evangelical Christians and military establishments, has nurtured a counter-culture that thrives in resistance. This vibrant subculture, teeming with artists, musicians, and activists, has played a pivotal role in shaping the band’s unique sound. As Bryan passionately states, “Do it together” is the mantra that binds this resilient community.
The ethereal artwork, a somber depiction of humanity’s eventual fall, is the handiwork of Alex CF, famed for his association with Fall of Efrafa and Lightbearer. The visual narrative speaks of humanity being consumed by its own materialistic desires, as nature reclaims its rightful place.
The collaboration with Ceschi Ramos, a harmonious blend of folk punk and hip-hop, further accentuates the album’s eclectic nature.
With What’s Left Records, a venture close to Bryan’s heart, helming the album’s distribution, “Sorry for Your Loss” promises an unadulterated listening experience. The music, raw and untamed, is a testament to the band’s commitment to authenticity.
We sat down with the band to give you a comprehensive dialogue, where we explore the intricate tapestry of influences, collaborations, and the indomitable spirit that drives this intriguing and noteworthy band.
Bryan, “Sorry for Your Loss” is quite a unique blend of crust, black metal, doom, and even a touch of screamo. How did the band approach weaving these styles together for the debut album?
I feel like whether its punk, metal, hardcore, grind, doom, or etc we are all doing the same thing. We’re using aggressive, loud music to vent our frustrations and sadness of the world, society, and ourselves. We all love a wide variety of music, so why not combine it so we can accurately depict our message through music? Playing the same thing to me gets boring and feels stagnant, I like switching it up.
The record paints a dark picture of humanity’s relationship with nature. What experiences or observations led you to craft such a narrative?
There was a place in the mountains out here that i would go to with friends and hike all the time. Recently a big, rich hotel bought the space and changed it. So when i came up with the concept of the band for the first solo ep i thought of the trees watching people grow over the years only to find it’s demise by the very ones they watched grow, and how they would get their revenge.
The “Sorry For Your Loss” album was being written in late 2019 about personal losses that the band members had experienced, but then COVID happened and it completely shifted things. We thought that it could be a eulogy to the world we once knew and we took a bit from the original ep where these virusus, and natural disasters are happening as a result of humanity and its the earth taking it back.
With Colorado Springs being home to the band, how has the local scene influenced or shaped Upon A Field’s Whisper’s sound?
Colorado Springs is a town that is widely known for evangelical christians, as its the home of Focus on The Family and New Life Church. It is also widely known for being a military town as there are a few different bases down here. But with any oppressive culture, there’s a strong counter culture. We have an incredible scene down here of musicians, artists, and activists.
Being down here helps us work together as a community to make this a better place. We have a huge sense of community. As we like to say DIT. instead of Do it yourself, Do it together.
Alex CF, known for Fall of Efrafa and Lightbearer, was behind the artwork. How did that collaboration come about, and what was the vision for the album cover?
Fall of Efrafa is one of my favorite bands. I have always loved their music, concept, and artwork. I followed Alex CF’s artwork online and simply wrote to him to see if he could do some art for the album and he said yes!
We wanted the art to represent humanity dying and being buried with the “riches” that so many value, while animals and the earth take it back.
Ceschi Ramos – a fusion of folk punk and hip-hop – features on “We’re Still Here”. How did this surprising collaboration emerge?
Ceschi is also an absolute favorite of mine. Through booking shows I have been friends with him for over 10 years now. He really loved our band, and we all love his music, so we asked if he could be a part of it and he was stoked to. As strange as it seems, it’s really not too strange of a combination.
Ceschi grew up in the Connecticut hardcore scene and was even in a metal band called Dead by Wednesday, so it was a fun return to that side of his music. I truly believe that Ceschi is one of the best songwriters around at the moment.
His lyrics, and melodies convey so much passion and emotion and his lyrics cut so deep, so we were honored to have him on the song. He even recently played out here with his new group Codefendants and did the song live with us which was so fun.
Your record label, What’s Left Records, is also your own venture in Colorado Springs. How does running a label influence the band’s creative and distribution processes?
So What’s Left Records is a record shop I run with my brother. We make zines, sell records, and book shows. We don’t put out a million records but much like Dischord, SST, and Fake Four records, we started a label so we can release our bands and our friends’ bands. again with the DIT mindset. It allows us as a band to make what we want, and distribute how we want.
The band initially began as your solo project, Bryan. How has the dynamic changed and evolved since becoming a four-piece?
I originally started solo and about a year later, I wanted to try it live. So I talked to my friend David Dempsey about playing drums and my friend Josh Austin about playing bass. We played the show, loved it and continued with another friend Laddie Willette. We put out an EP and wrote some awesome stuff.
During the pandemic some personal issues, and some creative issues lead to Laddie and Josh leaving the band. After a few months of us being bummed, David and I continued on with some longtime friends. Steven Perret(Guitar) used to play with David in an incredible band called Recondite and Bryan Webb(Bass) played with me in a band called Blighter. It was such a natural, smooth change. Stevens melodies and guitar really complement the sound so much and Webby(Bryan Webb)’s bass carries it well. We left 2 songs that we had with josh and laddie for the album, reworked them and wrote the album together.
I absolutely love the group of people that I am lucky to play music with.
The review mentions a certain pattern to the drumming in the album. How do you respond to such feedback, and was there a conscious choice to maintain a specific drumming style?
All you need in any song is D-Beat and Blast Beats…. Change my mind
“Missed Opportunity” and “We’re Still Here” have been highlighted as standout tracks. Can you delve a bit deeper into the stories or inspirations behind them?
Both songs stemmed from the pandemic. “Missed Opportunity” is about how when everything with COVID happened and there were shutdowns, most of us were going through the same thing for once in our lives. It was a time where we could empathize with others, get through it together, stop relying on corporations, and change the way we think. But that’s not what happened is it? Instead it was Left vs Right, it was landlords and corporations making more money.
It was a missed Opportunity. “We’re Still Here” is about how much loss we’ve experienced, We’re the ones that made it out. We are still here while others arent, so while we are still here we need to do our best to give to the world and others instead of taking from it like humanity always has.
Given the themes of the album, what’s the band’s perspective on the current environmental crisis and humanity’s role in it?
We think things need to change, but notice that a lot of others feel the same way, so we try to be hopeful. We are completely aware of our roles and hypocrisy in it too. We play guitars made of wood, we drive vans on tour, we put out vinyl records. It’s about taking that little extra effort in other avenues of life to help and reduce the effect it can have.
Upon A Field’s Whisper seems to be exploring some unconventional boundaries in the punk and metal genres. Where do you see the band’s sound heading in the future?
We’re just going to continue to make music we love that is full of energy and passion. If that’s punk its punk, if it’s metal its metal. We’ve been writing some really awesome stuff lately that is about growth and change, so naturally the music will change and grow as well.
With the album serving as a eulogy to a world past, how do you envision the world we’re heading towards?
It’s easy to say the world is done and everything is doomed. We like to be hopeful and encourage positive growth. Though there’s a long long way to go, there’s a lot of people wanting change and working to get there and that is encouraging to know.
There seems to be a contrast in the album, from intense black metal influences to softer, introspective moments. How did the band strike that balance? Anger is often an emotion used in metal and punk. Though we understand that, we also want to emphasize sadness and we love songs that build and grow to convey an emotion.
Lastly, any upcoming projects or collaborations fans should be on the lookout for?
We are writing a new album now and should be doing a west coast tour in the spring. As far as What’s Left Records goes, we will be releasing an ambient album from Seance and an indie rock album from In The Teeth.