Saigon punk rock outfit 7Uppercuts gave a stellar performance at Soma Art Lounge as part of "The Last Tango" gig on August 3rd, 2019. The crowd moshed and oi oi oi their way through each song. Listen to their live set below and check out our interview with Callum Rollo, the drummer in the band.
Hidden Saigon (HS): Can you please give a brief history of the band such as when you formed, who’s in the band, who plays what.
7 Uppercuts (7UP): Our band started when our friend Huy was starting his band District 105. He was looking for a drummer and asked me (Anh Lam) to join him. When I told him I was looking to play punk rather than hardcore, he introduced me to Aki (bass + vox) and A Dinh (guitar + vox) and we clicked straight away. It worked out best for everyone as D105 found a kick-ass drummer in Dat, and 7uppercuts could begin!
HS: How did you get started into music?
7UP: It’s so long ago for me I can barely remember! But I started playing drums when I was about 14 and started my first band with my friends at school when I was 15. Shout out to Headrush. The other guys have been involved in the hardcore scene in Saigon for a few years now.
HS: What does punk rock mean to you?
7UP: To 7uppercuts “punk rock” is the energy of youth. It stands for community and expression. The rapid sound of rebellion. And most importantly, 100% FUN.
HS: What do your families think of you playing music?
7UP: It’s true that it’s sometimes difficult to explain what we do or why we do it to our parents who aren’t/weren’t necessarily into punk music. They support us though, and like any parents, they just want us to be happy.
HS: How would you describe your sound?
7UP: We listen to and borrow from many genres but it’s fair to say most of our music falls under some form of pop/punk/rock.
HS: What are some of your influences?
7UP: It’s kind of cliche but we are influenced by so many different sounds and artists. Most people like to make comparisons with Blink 182, Green Day and Sum 41, but we have never set out to sound like anyone in particular. We have flavours of hardcore, emo, hip hop and even samba in our music. We are always excited to learn and evolve our sound as our tastes develop.
HS: You give quite an impressive live performance, what do you do to get yourself ready?
7UP: Why thank you very much! We make sure we are well-practiced the week before the show, but on the day of the show, we like to joke around and hang out with the other bands and fans. We each have little warmups we do before we go on stage too.
HS: What are some challenges you face as a punk rock band that bands playing other genres don’t face?
7UP: It’s pretty difficult to keep a band running and I wouldn’t say it’s any harder for us than any other band. We love what we do and face any challenges as they come.
HS: What is the punk rock scene currently like in Vietnam and what is needed to make it bigger?
7UP: The punk rock scene is really an offshoot of the more established hardcore scene, and it’s still in its infancy here. Being at the forefront of a fresh scene alongside our good friends and like-minded artists is really exciting for us. The idea that we may influence kids to pick up guitars and drum sticks and jump around is like fuel to us. We want to play our part in the growth of the music scene here, as well as youth culture in general.
HS: What other punk bands in Vietnam should we look out for?
7UP: There are only a few punk bands here, so I would take this opportunity to shout out our favourite alternative bands, not just punk. Everyone should check out: Cut Lon, Stupiz Kiz, District 105, The Flob, The Kanonos, OADM and Timekiller.