Atlanta’s Upchuck Is a Force of Self-Preservation in Punk Music

Watch the band’s new music video for “Our Skin” today.
upchuck band photo
Photo by Marlon Garcia

On stage, Upchuck’s performances are in-your-face and unrelenting, but in conversation, the band is a centered, charged circle of grounded connection. Their origins lay in their experimental DIY days in their hometown Atlanta, skateboarding, rolling silverware, and smoking cigarettes at college parties. Together, they’re a kinetic force of youth and enthusiasm, churning out brutally honest, boisterous tracks that blur the lines between psych rock, punk, and hardcore. Right before hitting the road for a few October tour dates with The Paranoyds, Upchuck found the time to have a welcoming conversation with Noisey about the new music video for their song “Our Skin.”


A powerful single from their debut album Sense Yourself, “Our Skin” is an anthem for the unheard and fittingly seals the album as the closing track. The song’s music video is a reflective time capsule of the band’s first few years, combining footage shot by friends and fans. Lead guitarist Mikey, rhythm guitarist Hoff, bassist Armando, drummer Chris, and vocalist KT formed back in 2018, and with only a few demos out and no existing social media presence quickly became a must-see in the Atlanta rock scene. Hoff recounted playing a 21+ show without being 21 themselves, “and it went crazy.” With no sort of formal marketing in place, through word of mouth, grit, and hard work, Upchuck earned friendships and accolades from their peers, including indie rock staple cinematographer and camera operator Ian Cone, who opened up his studio to the band and has since filmed a lot of their shows. 

Upchuck’s Sense Yourself album cover, shot by Nathan Davenport, shows singer KT with a brutal bleeding cut right above her left eyebrow—the source of a scar she showed to Noisey. The singer has no hard feelings towards the shopping cart that inflicted the wound, reminiscing on a “lit” show that the scar ensures she’ll never forget. The “Our Skin” music video includes footage from that raucous evening, along with cameos from the band’s good friend, Atlanta songwriter Faye Webster, and visuals filmed on their most recent tour with Amyl and The Sniffers

Reflecting on writing the debut album, the band described how seamlessly in sync they all were. As KT put it, describing their lead guitarist, “Mikey literally understands and can potentially hear not necessarily specifically what I'm going to say, but how I'm going to say it and how I'm going to feel about it.” The camaraderie is palpable as Hoff, Mikey, and KT reminisce on playing chaotic show venues, singing and shredding on top of washing machines. Hoff told Noisey, “I would say all these songs have a good portion of that 10,000 hours that you're supposed to have”—or, more accurately, “10,000 tears,” Mikey jokes.

The album is an ode to protection of self and the importance of taking up space. KT emphasized the personal process of understanding herself and others by maintaining empathy, while simultaneously setting boundaries to avoid draining forces in society. She offered the following advice, “Once you understand yourself, you can understand others. Depending on who you are, empathize, sympathize. It's just that easy.” Upchuck has a low threshold for fakeness, and “Our Skin” drives that sentiment home with KT repeating the lyrics, “I’m sick of it.” In their songs and at their shows, Upchuck are actively working towards a more inclusive community where self-discovery is integral, and unabashed creative minds—like theirs—can make a name for themselves.