up·ris·ing: an act or instance of rising up; especially : an act of popular violence in defiance of an established government or authority
The Uprising is about a group of people who dare to defy conventional thinking; who charge screaming against those who would manipulate and control, fists in the air and caution to the wind. It's about thinking for yourself instead of going along with the general consensus. It's about the courage to fight for what you believe is right and the power that's found when we stand together. WE ARE THE UPRISING!!!
The Uprising's debut album, Faith Fire & Flight, is a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Starting with the first blistering rock/metal riffs of Madman, Faith Fire & Flight is raw, emotional, and powerful from front to back. The Uprising has set the bar high and delivered one of the most powerful and original albums of our time. Due for release in late June 2013, Faith Fire & Flight is a one-of-a-kind album destined for greatness.
The Uprising a hard rock/alternative metal band from Lubbock, Texas. Though the band is a relative newcomer to the scene, their story is one of dedication, perseverance, and the love of music.
When asked how the band started out, singer, Brandon Smitherman said, "Benji and I started working together in 2009, but The Uprising began long before that." Brandon began writing music and jamming with Benji's father, Robert Sherwood in 1999, when Benji was only 5 years old. Through Robert, Brandon met guitar players, Benji and Erik (Robert's Brother-in-law). "We have these huge generation gaps between us, but there's no doubt that in music, we are brothers. We all have this common thread that goes way back to our roots. We all came from the same place," says Brandon.
In 2009 Benji and Brandon began writing and recording songs together. "I remember we had this old 4-track digital recorder and I'd used it to demo a riff that I had in my head," says Benji, "I played it for Brandon, and it was sounding really good, but it was missing something. After hearing it, Brandon showed me a riff that he thought would fit with it and from there, we started throwing ideas around. Those ideas became the first song we ever wrote together, Up in Flames." A year later, the duo had written 16 songs and were in the process of recording them. "We started recording at Brandon's home studio, which was no more than a computer with ProTools and a set of speakers in one room of a 2-room apartment. We would record a good majority of a few songs, and Brandon would buy new gear to record with. Then we'd record something else with that new gear and it just made our other tracks sound like crap. This happened constantly over the years. I guarantee there's not a song on the album that hasn't been redone at least twice." By late 2012, Brandon and Benji had recorded the entire album and Brandon was in the process of mixing the songs. "That was another battle of redoing things over and over, but it had nothing to do with gear," Benji recalled, "There were a lot of issues going on at the time, plus Brandon would just keep improving his mixing skills so we'd have to redo our previous mixes to keep them to our standards."
The Uprising is powerful blend of rock, metal, and alternative. Their repertoire encompasses the entire rock spectrum from heavy hitting tunes like "Vengeance" and "Tragedy" to the power ballad, "Night to Day", and the lighter neoclassical acoustic guitars of "Rain". Benji said, "What I love about this band is that we can write whatever we want. We don't have the boundaries of being a metal band who can't write songs like "Waiting" or an alternative band who can't write songs like "Madman" because it would be too big of a stretch from what we are. Those kind of boundaries don't exist for The Uprising. I can't think of any two songs on Faith Fire & Flight that sound alike, but they all fit together so perfectly and I wouldn't have it any other way." Faith Fire & Flight is set for release in June 2013.
Building The Band
In mid 2012, while the final tracks of the album were being recorded, Brandon and Benji began looking for musicians to round out the band for live performances. Benji said, "I met Michael at a 5FDP concert in 2011 in passing. Michael was in a hardcore band at the time and around April of 2012, they asked me to stand in at guitar for practice. Sitting outside of that practice, I played Madman for Mikey on my iPod. He was so blown away by the tune that he really wanted to be a part of the project. I told him to come by the studio to check some of the other tracks, and the rest is history." Michael signed on as The Uprising's bass player in June of 2012.
The Uprising first approached Erik to play guitar in July of 2012. Erik sat in on a rehearsal and declined the offer to join the band. "When Erik declined we were devastated because we knew him and we knew he could play the parts to perfection," said Brandon, "but we held our heads up and started auditioning guitar players. After several failing auditions, we found Justin." Justin Garcia signed on as The Uprising's second guitar player in August of 2012. Justin's tenure with the band was shortlived, but through Justin, The Uprising met drummer, Alex Sanchez. "What can I say about Alex," said Brandon, "He's just one of the most talented people I've ever met. You guys know him as our drummer, but in reality, Alex is an accomplished singer, songwriter, guitar player, pianist, and any other instrument you hand the guy, he'll learn it in a matter of minutes. And you might think that would make a guy cocky or hard to get along with, but Alex has this totally positive attitude and he just brightens up your day when he's around."
With the full band in place, The Uprising began rehearsing and booked their first show. No sooner was the show planned than complications arose which led to Justin parting ways with the band. Brandon said, "When Erik heard that we were going to cancel our first show, he called me up and asked me if we could be ready for the show if he stood in on guitar. I told him that we definitely could and he started learning the songs." With only two weeks until the show, Erik started learning songs. "We had two rehearsals with Erik," said Brandon, "two rehearsals and we took the stage. That wasn't our best show, by any means, but we pulled through it, thanks to Erik. And while it could have been better, there were times that night when the potential of this band came through. I guess Erik felt that too because a few days after the show, he asked if we'd like for him to stick around permanently. There was no question. He was our first choice and we felt like he was meant to be a part of this band."
Behind the Name
When asked about the name of the band, Brandon had this to say: "When we were writing songs for this album, several recurring themes kept showing up in my lyrics. Those themes are the name of the album; Faith Fire & Flight. This band was a musical rebirth for me and I believe that Erik would say the same. We've both been through rough times with bands in the past and in many ways we had lost faith in people, music, and even in God. This band was an awakening, a new birth, new life for the music that is a part of us. The idea of rebirth and the themes of faith, fire, and flight all pointed me toward the idea of the phoenix. Early on Benji and I started trying to come up with a name for the band that would encompass all of those things. When we thought of The Uprising, we loved the double meaning that it had for us. It was the uprising of the phoenix but it also put across the idea of a group of people larger than one band who all stand for a common belief, usually against a powerful establishment. What could be more fitting? We are a band that loves heavy music - Benji cut his teeth on Pantera and Slipknot - but we stand strong in our beliefs and are determined to put forth a positive message. A positive metal band…what could be more rebellious that that? I'm really fond of saying that The Uprising isn't five guys in a band, it's something much bigger than that. We're a part of it, but in reality, The Uprising is every fan with their fists in the air standing up and screaming something positive in the face of a negative world."