ROQUE ON! The Upper Crust

Lord Bendover holds court with our resident Whig, revealing his thoughts on formal stage attire, the allure of outlandish concert rider demands, and why the current King, er, we mean, President, is a bloody vulgarian. Following the interview, check out a must-see documentary, “Let Them Eat Rock,” on the band from a few years ago.

BY JOHN B. MOORE

While it has never been confirmed that the legendary aristocratic foppish hard rock band, The Upper Crust, dust their wigs with cocaine, based on the blazing licks that spark off their flying Vs, it’s definitely in the realm of possibility.

Although it’s been almost a decade since the Boston-based foursome – comprised of Lord Bendover, Count Bassie, The Duc D’istortion and Jackie Kickassis – last put out a full-length album, Delusions of Grandeur more than makes up for the wait. And it’s not like they didn’t want to record. Like most of the 1%, they simply haven’t been forced to adapt to things like work ethic or schedules.

Pinkies raised firmly in the air, the band, dressed in full 18th century finery have spent much of the spring interacting with the common folk touring the U.S. On a rare break, singer/guitarist Lord Bendover was kind enough to entertain few questions from BLURT and discuss their hiatus from the music world, Donald Trump and some of the finer points of their tour rider.

Rocque on!

BLURT: It’s been almost eight years since you last put out a studio album – why the delay? What has the band been up to? 

LORD BENDOVER: We are gentlemen of leisure, given to indolence, intemperance, and very occasionally, frivolity, but only if it doesn’t require any effort. So, we have been doing hardly anything at all to speak of, except for satisfying our baser appetites and rocquing and rolling in various places.

For a band composed of aristocrats, Hard Rock seems like an odd choice. Hard Rock always felt more like a genre for the underdogs.

We have always felt that it’s high time that an oeuvre as important, exacting and aesthetically challenging as hard rock – or better, “Rocque” – ought to be appropriated by the upper class. After all, we’ve appropriated everything else of value. (Ed. note: the video for “Little Castrato” is below, and yes, it does indeed sound like a cross between classic Motley Crue and, uh, the Beach Boys, with some Ramones thrown in for good measure.)

Obviously, you take the time to dress up for your shows. What do you usually see when you look out into the audience?

 Sometimes we are pleased to find that the audience has dressed themselves appropriately for a formal rocque concerto, but all too often we are crestfallen to see that they appear, to all intents and purposes, to be a bunch of stumblebums. Yet one can’t judge a book by its cover… perhaps they are merely slumming and failed to note the dress code.

Let’s move on to politics. With Trump in the White House, why is now the right time for more music from a band like The Upper Crust?

 We ourselves are hardly Trump supporters—he is not called a vulgarian without reason. And yet it is gratifying to know that he is all in favor of consolidating wealth at the very top of high society, at the expense of the poorer classes, whilst all the while proclaiming his affinity for the common man. But to address the substance of your question, it is always the right time for The Upper Crust.

I’d be interested to know what’s on your tour rider – any outlandish demands?

 Nothing too outlandish. Though if we are ever again presented with what purports to be “real Siamese twins” who on closer inspection have been conjoined with Krazy Glue we shall be quite put out.

It’s hard to find a band to compare you guys to. What are some of the oddest show bills you’ve ever been put on?

Bookers are forever pairing us with costume and comedy rock bands, as if there was anything funny or make-believe about The Upper Crust. The only truly great thematic band we’ve played with, and we’ve played with them enough to know, are San Francisco’s Grannies. Though we will always remember Aerosmith, whom we played with one New Year’s Eve in Boston, coming out onstage dressed more or less exactly like us. An homage.

What’s next for the band?

 Next, we intend to find a way to crack the inscrutable Orient. Whilst that develops, we also intend to return to the Continent. Any continent will do really.
Those are all the questions I have. Anything else you want to cover? 

 We are great lovers of the nude figure in Art. That is all.

Photos credit: Ben Stas

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