The Greatest View Spotlight Series Interview
The Greatest View, from Houston, TX is David Upp's music project. The Greatest View combines elements of classic instrumentation and modern digital sounds to create a unique soundscape to back Upp's lyrics and vocals. Recently they took a trip to NYC to film a live video in Central Park for their song 'Paris'. During the trip The Latest Noise spent time with the band and this is the resulting interview:
Kuz: Hey David, first off it was great to meet you and Hannah (Cello) and hear your music live during your trip out to our area. Can you give us some background on your band The Greatest View?
David: Hi Mike, Thanks for asking us to be a part of The Latest Noise. The Greatest View started out when I was in college and it's taken on many forms but mainly we would play as an acoustic act and a rock band as well. Hannah and I met after High school and have been playing together for about 10 years now. The Greatest View is my project and I play with a lot of great musicians and friends when we go play out.
Kuz: You are based out of Houston, Texas. What can you tell us about the Houston Music scene, any cool venues that you’ve played there?
David: The Houston music scene is a great place to network and work on your music and gauge what you're doing right and what needs work. The city as a whole is a great place to come up doing music. I was born and raised in Houston, so I've had a great love for they city and the music here. The best venues i enjoyed are, Walters downtown, and House of Blues Foundation Room. There are a lot of good venues i still haven't played yet and we hope to as we start prepping for touring.
Kuz: Recently you and Hannah took a trip to NYC to film a special live music video for your song “Paris”. Tell us what your vision was for the music video and how that came about?
David: For me it was a way to do something different to celebrate the release and personally honor my Dad's life. It was the one year anniversary of losing my Dad when i was in NYC. My parents meet in the theater program at University of St. Thomas so for me it was being able to do something big and fun and theatrical but also ha meaning behind it for me. It turned out great and I was so grateful to work with everyone involved and all the volunteers that came out.
'Paris' Live Music Video filmed in Cerntal Park and Times Square by Non-Linear Knitting
Kuz: "You also released a short film for the song “Paris”, what was the inspiration behind that film and what is it about the song that made you want to create two distinct music videos?"
David: "The idea for "Paris" started really simple, a guy at a piano floats to his ex. They kiss and she stabs him. He dies and comes back as an angel and glides back to the piano to finish the song. From there it grew into this whole big project. I always loved Michael Jackson's music videos where there was a story built around the song. I wanted to do something like that. From the beginning I wanted it to be in french because I love french film. I really wanted to celebrate the release of "Paris" and do something fun and different. I loved the idea of doing a raw outdoors live version in NYC i think its good to show different sides of the music."
Short film for 'Paris'. Written and Directed by: David Upp, Filmed by: Blueprint Flim co.
Kuz: "Tell us a bit about the road trip out to NYC, playing a couple venues in the city and hanging in the Hoboken/JC area for a couple of days?"
David: "The drive up to NYC was really good for me. I drove up alone and it was nice to have time just to think and reflect on things. Coming from Nashville through Virginia was really beautiful. We really felt at home in Jersey City and we enjoyed walking around Hoboken, and NYC being a part of it on the trip."
The Greatest View live at Pianos, NYC. Video by Mike Kuzan.
Kuz: "What is your take on the music scene in and around this area?"
David: "I would say there is always something happening and there's something for everyone. The drive and the talent out there makes everyone work harder and be better. at least thats what i took away from the scene there."
Kuz: "Your studio recordings differ from the live acoustic versions with added programmed elements and production. It was cool to hear the songs live and then experience them a whole different way from the recordings. Do you create different versions of the songs to perform live or does that come from the circumstance of when and where you are playing?"
David: "I'm very A.D.D. in general so always having different versions just keeps things new and exciting. Mainly everything starts with either an acoustic guitar or on the piano. From there I'll rework the songs in logic and create different versions. I think you always have to feel the place out when you're playing. Having options is never a bad thing when it comes to performing live."
Kuz: "You stopped at Third Man Records in Nashville on the way back to Houston and recorded a song direct to vinyl, what was that experience like?"
David: "That was a great part of the trip. we made a point to stop there on the way back. The recording booth is the only working one in the world and to be able to record straight to vinyl was surreal. you only have 2 1/2 minutes so you have to be quick but it was well worth the stop in Nashville. I recorded a song I wrote for my dad and it meant a lot to have that. I'll be giving it to my sister for her birthday. She really loves that song for him. Overall I really wanna come back to Nashville and spend more time exploring the city."
Kuz: "Any bands from the Houston area that we should check out?"
David: "There are a great amount of musicians i could suggest but the ones that are on my mind at the moment are, Deep Cuts, The Suffers, and Sik Mule"
Kuz: "Anything else you’d like tell The Latest Noise audience?"
David: "There's a lot of good things happening in the band and in our lives personally. We're appreciative just to be able to tour, make music and make new friends out in the cities were in. Thanks Mike."