EMQ’s with UPON WINGS
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Detroit, Michigan based Operatic Metal/Rock band Upon Wings. Huge thanks to vocalist Anne Autumn Erickson for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Anne Autumn Erickson, and I sing in Upon Wings. We play rock/metal music with some symphonic accents, with female, operatic-leaning vocals. I grew up singing opera and musical theatre, but as soon as I heard rock and metal music, I fell in love with it. We have an EP out, the “Afterlife” EP, and have released some singles and Christmas songs in there, too.
How did you come up with your band name?
I had fun thinking of different band names. I wanted something that communicated the aura of the band. One day, I read a Bible verse, “They That Wait Upon the Lord, Shall Renew Their Strength, They Shall Mount Up with Wings of Eagles,” and the band name “Upon Wings” came to mind.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Michigan in the U.S., and Detroit is known for its great rock music. I think Michigan has so many great rock and metal bands, and the state is also packed with passionate music fans that support heavy music.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We just released a single and music video for the classic hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’. I never expected to record ‘Amazing Grace’, but after seeing how the song has been giving people hope amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I was inspired to have us record a version with Upon Wings. I’ve been really touched by the reception of the song. You can watch it at www.uponwings.com and you can also get a free download of the song there, and we encourage you to donate to a charity of your choice.
Who have been your greatest influences?
So many! I feel like every time I mention my greatest influences, they change, because so many fantastic artists have inspired me to make music. Early on, Colm Wilkinson, the famed Irish tenor, was a big influence. As a kid, I got to meet him in Toronto after seeing him in “Phantom of the Opera”, which was a thrill. Later on, Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle was a huge influence, as well as Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. Also, there are so many great women in music, such as Maria Brink of In This Moment, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Amy Lee of Evanescence and more.
What first got you into music?
Really, seeing blockbuster musicians when I was little got me into music. I saw “Cats” when I was 4 years old, and apparently, I could not stop singing “Memory” for the next several years!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
That is a great question. There are so many musicians I would love to collaborate with, but I think being on a track with Rob Halford of Judas Priest would take the cake.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I was always a big fan of Mayhem Festival, and if that festival ever comes back, I would absolutely love for Upon Wings to be on that tour. It always featured such a great mix of metal artists on different stages. I remember seeing everyone from King Diamond to Slayer to Five Finger Death Punch to Amon Amarth at Mayhem. Of the festivals that are still active, Louder than Life in Louisville, Kentucky, is one I would love to play.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A mouse – not a real mouse, thankfully, but a computer mouse. It was actually a really cool-looking mouse, though, which is why, I think, he sent it to me!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Keep the hope and faith. This year has been so crazy, and but know that we are all in this together, and we will all get through this together.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Kurt Cobain. He is a fascinating person, and his music is still so celebrated.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I think the answer to both those questions is actually the same thing. The thing I love most about being a musician, but also the thing that is most terrifying, is having a musical outlet to write and sing about things I’ve been through in life. It has helped me, in difficult situations, to be able to write a song about what I’m going through, but that can also be very scary, because then I’m sharing it with the world.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Gosh – that’s tough. It would be great for artists and musicians to be more compensated for their music because, these days, income comes mainly from merchandise sales and shows, not the actual music.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
AFI, “Sing The Sorrow”. That album is so gothic and beautiful.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Gosh, they all have benefits! I love classic vinyl, and being able to look at the artwork. I grew up on CD’s, and I had a few cassettes back in the day, too. Downloads are quick and easy. So, all of the above – music in any format!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Aside from being a musician, I’m a writer and radio host, so I guess I would be doing that! I also host a podcast called “Audio Ink,” where I talk about music. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts. Just search “Audio Ink.”
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Five people, heh? Well, if we’re talking about musicians… Rob Halford, Maynard James Keenan, Lzzy Hale, Colm Wilkinson and Kirk Hammett. Ask me tomorrow, and it would probably be five different people!
What’s next for the band?
We’re excited to be releasing new music this year. Our new rock single is on the way, and that plus ‘Amazing Grace’ will be on a new EP. The focus is the new single, so I’m very excited for people to hear it.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Okay, so I truly had to google Jaffa Cakes! I have never heard of them. From the looks of the photos I’m seeing they look more like small cakes. I dunno!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for the great interview! Please follow Upon Wings on our socials and keep in touch! Take care, everyone, and let’s get through this year together.
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