A phoenix from the ashes, United Progressive Fraternity (UPF) are a tour de force with ex-Unitopia members Matt Williams on guitar, Dave Hopgood on drums, Tim Irrgang on percussion and the ever magical voice of Mark ‘Truey’ Trueack, whose vision this juggernaut is. Added to this, as the first album was made up of songs that Sean Timms and Mark Trueack wrote in 2012/2013, Mark wanted to change directions on the next project.
After the 2014 promotional tour which included keyboard player, guitarist, vocalist and song-writer, Guy Manning, bass player Daniel Mash and sax-keyboardist Marek Arnold, Mark decided for the next project to have an all Australian touring band. It was very difficult decision as Guy, Dan and Marek all contributed to the birth of the project.
In 2015 Mark and his wife Cheryl decided to pay a visit Rhode Island to meet with Steve Unruh who was one of our brilliant guest musicians. As I made a strong bond with Steve during the Unitopia days, I felt that he could be more than just a guest on the next album , so I invited him to be a full member in both touring and production. In October 2015 we recorded a song together called “What Happens Now” along with laying down vocals for two other projects. The new album arrangements for Planetary Overload are now in full swing and like the last album Fall in love with the World we have selected some wonderful guest musicians and over the next 12 months we will update you on the workings of each track and what they represent.
On 31 March 2014, UPF formally announced their existence with the video release of “The Water”, from the debut album ‘Fall in Love with the World’ (released in November 2014) and which includes a collaboration with very special guests: ex- Yes front man Jon Anderson and input from former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett. Steve Unruh also appears as a special guest on the album, playing the violin and flute.
The context of the songs is largely unchanged from the Unitopia days; thought provoking and meaningful lyrics with an emphasis on the human condition, the state of the environment and how we as the human race arrived at where we are today. All sung with feeling and passion – a hallmark of all that is best in progressive music, but the music itself has taken on an edgier, grittier sound than that of Unitopia, which makes it quite breath-taking!
Mark Trueack – March 31st 2014
“UPF – Why the United Progressive Fraternity? My original concept for this group was to make this
a Universal project, allowing not only the members to come and go as they please, but also
inviting the listener to share ideas on what they would like to hear, in other words making UPF the
people’s group. It may sound a little odd, but when I read messages on various comment boards,
it is apparent that people love to share their points of view; in some cases feedback can be very
constructive and help in making the music and the message much more important.
There are bands all over the world who like to express their concerns and worries with what is happening to our World, social injustice and the environment we live in. Some have been very successful i.e. Peter Gabriel, U2, Sting, just to name a few, so how can a project like this be any different? In my eyes, I see that if people are willing to share their inner thoughts and have enough courage to accept different ideas and expand on them we can make a difference. Our Planet is not happy in so many ways, our climate constantly changing, religious intolerance leading to conflict, bloodshed, and outright war in an already unstable social system, and our countries misunderstanding each other, leading to mistrust and risk of further instability.
As the world and civilisation evolve, conflict appears more and more inevitable and our environment harder to live in as climate change takes its toll, if projects like ours can make a difference and if we can involve our friends, lovers of music then we will have a better world..
Fall in love in the World, let the world fall in Love”
David Hopgood – March 31st 2014
“There was a magical past time when rock music evolved, both lyrically and musically, and
the world came along for a brief and beautiful ride. That’s where I live still, though all the
subsequent eras have had their influence. I still feel the magic coming through the speakers,
hear it in the concepts, both epic and whimsical, and see it in the dreamscape album covers.
Imagine going to your instrument with a completely free mind, with no limits being placed
upon you and with a canvas as infinite as the universe itself. The thing is, everyone wants
that, and when you see it, hear it and feel it you want to come along. Imagine also a spirit
of caring that underlies your musical expression, a foundation and strength established by
the giants of the past, but mindful also of the wrong turns and over-indulgence that brought
about their undoing. UPF is starting out again on that beautiful ride: pure music, pure
interdependence and pure celebration – now!”
Guy Manning – March 31st 2014
“Music is the great communicator and unlike modern technologies like e-mail, social network threads etc. it implicitly carries a great deal of emotion within its message…you do not need emoticons here!
When I was first talking to Mark about the formation of UPF, it was important to us both that as well as to entertain (ourselves and you too hopefully), that we tried to educate or at least spark debate on some of the things we feel passionately about.
Ecological change and its consequence has formed a solid backbone of all my recorded output since 1999 starting with “The Last Psalm” on the debut “Tall Stories for Small Children” through “Domicile” [The Cure], “Ragged Curtains” [The Ragged Curtain],”One Small Step… (Parts I-VIII) [One Small Step], “Dr Jonathan Anser” [Anser’s Tree] “The Southern Waves” [Margaret’s Children], “Autumn Song” [The Root, the Leaf & the Bone]” and more…
Lyrics have always been extremely important to me and the whole package comprises of Music + Words + Artwork – With UPF we aim to provide excellence in all these areas.
So let’s get the word out there, start the talk and walk the walk”