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Photo provided by Uncouth Band.

Uncouth blends skill, absurdity in high-energy performances

For most, “uncouth” is an adjective used to describe all things shameless, unrefined and indecent. For those following the Athens band scene, Uncouth is the new power pop outfit gracing popular venues with silliness and musical technicality. 

“(Uncouth) was just a term that came up and something about it captured what it feels like to be in this period of your life, and the rest is history,” said Scott Moore, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering and the band's bassist.

Along with Moore, Uncouth consists of guitarist/backing vocalist Evan Seurkamp, drummer Quinn Seurkamp and guitarist/lead vocalist Chason Anthony. 

The band began last summer as a solo project for Anthony when his time with another band came to a close. 

“Throughout the summer, I released a couple (of) songs on Bandcamp and got connected with Evan,” Anthony said. “Scott’s been one of my great friends for a few years, so it was just natural for him to come along and join us on this journey. Quinn got pulled into this…about a month ago, and has come in with flying colors.” 

The sound of Uncouth has fallen under many different categories. The group began by defining their music as “jangle-punk,” which Anthony described as “R.E.M. with a distortion pedal.” After spending some time honing their style, the group landed on a definitive genre. 

“The most recent term we’ve gone with is power pop, which maybe isn’t a super popular thing to be doing in Athens, but I think it’s a pretty unique sound,” Moore said. 

The band draws inspiration from a wide variety of influences, with each musician finding a muse in different areas. 

“I really like the drumming of Keith Moon from The Who, the drummer from Smashing Pumpkins and … I really like to draw stuff from R.E.M,” Quinn Seurkamp said. 

Moore has found his influences in modern rock icons like Greta Van Fleet, as well as classic groups like Pink Floyd. 

“My bass has a $2 bill pasted on the front of it, which is kind of a tribute because the first song I ever learned on bass was 'Money' by Pink Floyd,” he said. 

Evan Seurkamp, a sophomore studying music production and the recording industry, also cites R.E.M. as a major influence on the band, as well as The Cure for this particular project. Anthony agrees with these two, as well as bands like Tigers Jaw, Joyce Manor, Sunny Day Real Estate and other power pop artists as inspiration for lyrics and song structure. 

“Bigger albums for me that really pushed Uncouth to happen were 'Brave Faces Everyone' by Spanish Love Songs, then their newest record, 'No Joy',” he said. “Those two records have pushed a lot into the writing of the first Uncouth record.” 

So far, Uncouth has brought its specialized sound to Casa Nueva and The Union, as well as a studio recording at The Lemonade Stand. Anthony described the audience response to their shows as “positive” and “electric.” 

“People were moshing…(and) we got encored at our last show,” he said. 

The members of Uncouth seek to stand out in the vast Athens music scene by balancing technical proficiency with an ability to have ridiculous fun onstage. 

“We want to blend…really serious music and put time, effort and technicality into it, but also be dumba - - es,” Anthony said. 

Moore explained the other side of the band's performance style as a focus on perfecting structure and technique when rehearsing their songs. 

“I feel like we’re one of the tighter bands in the scene, and we hope to kind of bring that energy with us of focusing on more than pure emotion, but actually making something that a lot of skill and effort goes into,” he said.  

The collaboration process of the band often begins with the frontman. According to Evan Seurkamp, Anthony writes initial lyrics and progressions which the other members then learn and contribute to. 

“We have a song we’re pretty excited about that we wrote recently,” Evan Seurkamp said. “We all sat on the couch and (Anthony) played the chord progressions and the lyrics, and then we just added our individual parts in and jammed it out.” 

The band's long-term plans are to record their first album over the summer. They also plan on turning their house into a performance venue next year, which Quinn Seurkamp hopes will be more “musician-friendly” than the average house show. As for immediate plans, the band is performing again on March 9 at The Union, a show for which Anthony left a promising reminder: 

“Bring your boogie shoes,” Anthony said. 


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