Getting to know The UNCRTN

Getting to know The UNCRTN

New York City is known for being the type of place to produce some of the most talented and unique artists the world has ever known. As the old adage goes ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’.

Alt pop upstarts The UNCRTN are quickly making their name known in the elite NYC music scene.

With the release of their infectiously catchy latest single “Forget About Me”, it seems the possibilities are endless for this group of talented young musicians. Top Shelf recently had the opportunity to dig deeper and chat with them about what makes them tick and what the future may hold. Check out the full interview below.

How did The UNCRTN get its start?

  • UNCRTN: In the spring of 2016, our bassist Tyler Magrone walked into a Driver’s Ed classroom in an old Catholic high school; it was there he spotted now drummer Chris Lomagno wearing a Rise Against T-shirt. After chatting him up about music, they soon found themselves jamming and covering punk bands, such as Bad Brains and The Stooges under the name ‘The Posers’.
  • After a one-off backyard show in June of ’16, they fell out of touch… that was until 2019, when bassist Tyler reached out to Chris, craving the taste of performing again, but this time, he had a plan. After jamming together for weeks and working on songs Tyler had composed over the years, he began searching for the right vocalist to bring this project to life. That vocalist came in the form of Tyler’s college acquaintance, Sonia Rose. Tyler had heard through a friend that Sonia sang in theater and was classically trained. After finding the opportunity to chat her up in a computer science class, Tyler convinced Sonia to come jam with himself and Chris in their home studio. It was there in that small basement studio that Sonia Rose would begin to find her voice in rock music and the three bright-eyed teens would start planting the seeds for what would eventually become The UNCRTN. 

What made you choose your band name?

  • The name ‘The Uncertain’ came about after a few tries at trying to find a name that represented the three unlikely individuals that came together. What started as a joke by Tyler, because they were unsure about what to name the trio, soon became a legitimate name that represents the uncertainty we face in the world, in ourselves and in our future. We’re all unsure about what tomorrow is going to bring, but what we can do is lean on each other and come together despite differences and learn to live in the moment. 

Your latest song “Forget About Me”… Can you tell us more about it and about conceptualizing the music video?

  • ‘Forget About Me’ is a reflection on your life and the people around you; it’s about the need to get away from what tries to bring you down and change who you are as a person. The song started with that guitar rhythm heard in the verse: Tyler couldn’t get that rhythm out of his head and he felt as though its movement and chord shape helped tell the emotional story of escaping from the things that no longer align with you. After taking the concept and guitar rhythm to his bandmates, they began working through various hooks until producer Nor Omar finally helped them create the sing-along chorus that makes ‘Forget About Me’ so jumpy and memorable.
  • The video concept was created to show a dissonance between the party-goers and the bandmates. They find themselves in an endless cycle of parties and, as you can see in their mood, they’re over it and can no longer sit by and just comply with a lifestyle they don’t believe in. The concept behind the outfit changes was to metaphorically show a disconnect between the band and those around them — the key message of the song. 

What was the most difficult challenge you faced while making the video?

  • Undoubtedly managing a house full of friends trying to party. Trying to get friends to walk the line between ‘have fun and party’, but also ‘control yourself and act accordingly for the camera’ wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. But, between the three of us, Christian Lawrence and a few responsible friends, we were able to get everyone to cooperate long enough to get all the shots needed. 

When did each of you start playing music?

  • Sonia: Similarly to any Jewish/Soviet Union immigrant’s child, I was thrown into piano classes when I was 4 years old. All the while, my grandmother, a former singer, would teach me how to sing whenever I came to her house. As the years went by, I stuck with piano and my parents put me in a conservatory program at Manhattan School of Music, where I expanded my knowledge of piano technique and music theory. Around 13 years old, my middle school music teacher suggested I apply to the Music Advancement Program at Juilliard, where I spent two years participating in chamber music, piano ensemble and jazz ensemble classes, along with many more strenuous and anxiety-inducing intensives that made me… hate piano. However, during this time, all of the kids in the program were given a free scholarship to a session at French Woods — a summer camp dedicated to performing arts. There, I discovered my love for musical theater and vocal performance. I went on to attend LaGuardia High School, where I was a Vocal major and had the opportunity to perform in many shows and train my voice classically, learning Opera, singing in many choirs and expanding my technique in musical theater/jazz, as well. 
  • Tyler: I started playing music around 12 years old, when my dad had gifted me an old Washburn guitar for Christmas. After a few failed attempts at him trying to teach me how to play, my musical endeavors were put on the back-burner, but I always knew I would find my way back to music. Around the 7th grade, that passion for music was ignited again when I heard Red Hot Chili Peppers for the first time; I didn’t really know what a bass was, but I knew I wanted to do what Flea was doing. I eventually was given a bass and 12 years later, I’ve yet to put it down. 
  • Chris: I was forced by my parents to take guitar lessons at 10 years old.

How do you know when a song is finished?

  • In the process of songwriting, we definitely find ourselves overthinking and scrapping a lot of the songs we work on, because we’re still in a constant state of trying to find our voice/sound. But, there are a few indicators for us that tell us a song is finished. First and most importantly, we know a song has good bones when we can’t get the chorus or hook out of our head. As a band, we’re really big on catchy choruses and knowing we wrote a song that our fans and crowds are going to want to sing back to us, there’s truly no better feeling.
  • We also work hard on making sure the production value and ambience in our songs is prevalent. When our productions start to fill up with layers (synths, harmonies, fills, textures) and movement, it tends to propel us towards the end of completing a song. We aim to keep the listener engaged, never wanting them to feel a dull moment. Lastly, having each song evoke emotion every time we listen is one of the most important factors. If the track isn’t inspiring or influencing us to sing, dance, cry or scream, then it’s not where it needs to be.

What are your long term goals?

  • Our most important goal is — and will always be — to create a community where unlikely individuals can come together and learn/create/grow with one another, just like we did. Spreading this message and bringing our songs and community to the grandest scale will always be what fuels our fire. Furthermore, we’re working to create new songs that align with who we are today and take those songs to bigger stages and audiences, so that we can continue to tell our stories and teach people to tackle life and its uncertainties by leaning on one another. 

 If you were given a box of everything you have ever lost in life, what would you look for first?

  • Sonia: The first thing I would probably look for would be a mood ring that my mother gave me on my seventh birthday. I never really knew what to ask for when I was younger, but this mood ring from CVS was all I wanted in 2006. When I came to camp to show all my friends, one of my friends (or so I thought) asked to see it and threw it in the bushes at the park. It was lost forever. And, I never trusted anyone ever again. 
  • Tyler: I would have to say the first things I would look for are all my favorite band T’s that I’ve lost over the years. I’ve been sorta collecting band T-shirts and merch for as long as I can remember, and through the years, I’ve lost a few T-shirts that meant a lot to me. One in particular was a T-shirt from Bamboozle Fest that my dad had bought for me; to this day, I  couldn’t tell you if he went to the festival or got me a bootleg, but I always loved any kind of vintage band T-shirt my dad would give me. I remember when I was young, every once in a while, I would search every crevice of my house hoping to find the shirt, but it would never turn up. 
  • Chris: My left air pod.

If you each had to pick one song that represented your individual personality, what would it be?

  • Sonia: When I first heard “R U Mine?” by the Arctic Monkeys, it was the first time that I paid attention to how instrumentation/mixing genres can complement lyrical dialogue in music. “R U Mine” combines elements of jazz, rock and provocative lyrics to make a raunchy and energetic track. I don’t like to put myself into a box or put a label on my personality. I have a knack for adapting to different environments/people/experiences and taking what I’ve learned from them to cultivate my personality. 
  • Tyler: If I had to pick one song to define my individual personality, it would have to be “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls. The track follows a man giving up everything for a certain someone and just wanting that someone to see them for their true self. I see myself as someone who gives every bit I have into the things I love and at the end of the day, I just want to be known for my authentic, unique, slightly crazy self. 
  • Chris: “Sleeptalk” by Dayseeker has played a great part in my music taste, production and writing style.

What does the rest of 2022 hold for the band and what can fans expect from you going forward?

  • As a band, the rest of 2022 is going to be structured around a few more really fun and interesting shows. We’re trying to build a community of bands and supporters, and give them the most unique and entertaining shows we possibly can.
  • Further, we’re heading back into a writing phase to start working on our next batch of songs to push ourselves, our sound and build The UNCRTN community. We are recently feeling inspired to tell more stories and believe we’re heading into a Renaissance for the band, and are excited to see what new voice/sound emerges from it.
  • Lastly we’re going to keep creating content and promoting our latest release to try and make this our best drop to date and give our fans the highest quality of content possible.

Purchase or stream “Forget About Me” single:

The UNCRTN – “Forget About Me”

Links: Facebook | Instagram

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