Dragged Under and Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group have released the band’s new studio album UPRIGHT ANIMALS. Over the course of the past couple of years, the band has emerged with a formidable fan base yielding millions of streams. On a visual level, they are amongst the most creative visionaries when it comes to the medium of music videos, with each clip being more compelling than the last. Today, the band and label premiere a new tour video for “Never Enough” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-btk-bsBUM. Prior to the new album’s street date, Dragged Under band presented “Crooked Halos” (https://youtu.be/Ch11ukbOOy8) and “All Of Us” (https://youtu.be/uIBGie-JCbQ). But nothing is more poignant when it comes to Dragged Under than the unwavering commitment to articulate the personal perspective of front man Tony Cappocchi when it comes to humanity and The World as we know it circa 2022.
At the time of “All of Us” being revealed, he shared, “For me, ‘All of Us’ is meant to connect with anyone who listens to it. I want everyone to feel that despite their situation; be it relationship issues, social pressures, self perception, we’ve all had a weird few years, and a lot hasn’t gone as we planned. It’s important to zoom out from the microscope through which we view our problems, and realize that life and all of its frustrations are happening to all of us. We wanted to make a lighthearted video to contrast the tension of the song, but we liked the idea of using dolls to tell that story. It’s a bit of a commentary on the nature of feeling a bit out of control of the situations we’ve found ourselves in the last couple of years, and how we sometimes have to just pretend it’s all good. Dolls have an ability that I envy, they can smile through their problems and hide their emotions. I can’t relate.”
When you strip everything else away, we rely on our animal instincts to survive. In the face of danger, we either flee or fight without hesitation. No matter how many perceived differences exist between us, we breathe the same air, drink the same water, and eat the same way to subsist. Dragged Under naturally harness this primal power in their hard-hitting hybrid of punk, rock, metal, and hardcore. Choosing to progress, the Seattle quintet—Tony Cappocchi [vocals], Ryan Bruce [guitar], Sean Rosario [guitar], Hans Hessburg [bass], and Kalen Anderson [drums]—sharpen their claws, teeth, and style on their second full-length album, Upright Animals [Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group].
“There’s obviously a media divide, there’s a class divide, and there’s a racial divide in this country,” observes Tony. “In many ways, we use our animal instincts to think when it’s convenient for us instead of our evolutionary abilities. Trying to keep up with all of the information these days is like drinking from a firehose. So, our animal tendencies still shine through. A lot of enlightenment still needs to happen before we can consider ourselves anything other than animals walking around on their hindlegs. That’s what the album is about.”
In 2021, Dragged Under collaborated with Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain presenting “Brainwash Broadcast,” which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/ve1Zr688E_Q. At the time of release, the band shared, “’Brainwash Broadcast’ isn’t a hyper nuanced allegory, it’s a journal entry on the media sensationalism that we endure every day. You can hear the same story from 2 different outlets with competing ideologies, and think two completely different things. It can be hard to decipher satire from real life news some days because of how inundated we are with subjective opinion pieces and click bait headlines. We have a problem with division and fear, and our media and ‘journalists’ are at the center of it.” Still as relevant in 2022 as it ever has been.
As a bridge release, the band presented WE’LL DO IT LIVE via Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group. Timed to that title, Dragged Under presented “Hypochondria,” which can be heard and screened here: https://youtu.be/B3Ap8cw3XFE. Additionally, the band and label released a deluxe version of the band’s debut album titled The World Is In Your Way, with two bonus tracks added titled “Just Like Me” and “Feel It.’” At the time of that album’s independent release, the band charged out of the gate in 2020. Streams were in the tens of millions and they earned widespread critical acclaim. Beyond plugs from Loudwire, New Noise Magazine, and more, KERRANG! hailed it as “nine tracks of the edgiest, most in-your-face punk in recent memory – loaded with underdog appetite and energy,” and Alternative Press named it one of the “20 Debut Albums That Took Metalcore to the Next Level in 2020.” Along the way, they toured alongside everyone from The Used to Beartooth. During 2021, they recorded what would become Upright Animals with frequent collaborator Hiram Hernandez [Jared Dines, Craig Owens] in Los Angeles and Matt Good [Hollywood Undead, Asking Alexandria] in Phoenix.
“There was an element of thematic development,” Tony reflects. “The last record was a bunch of different phases of my life. I had 21 years to write it. I only had a year-and-a-half to write this one. It’s about a time, a place, events, and what I was a feeling in this window.”
In the end, Dragged Under evolve by eliciting emotion from the purest place possible. The complete track listing of Upright Animals features, “Upright Animals,” “All Of Us,” “Never Enough,” “Crooked Halos,” “Long Live The King,” “Suffer,” “See You Alive,” “Weather,” “No Place Like Home,” “Words For Hire,” “Brainwash Broadcast feat. Spencer Chamberlain,” and “This Is The End.”
“When you listen to this, I hope you experience moments of tension, anxiety, sadness, and happiness,” he leaves off. “At the same time, it’s nostalgic for us. We want it to remind you of being young and discovering the bands that changed your life. If you think, ‘This reminds me of what I grew up on,’ I’d be very satisfied. We spent a lot of time and energy on this. I’m excited about the future.”