Meet The Band: HIGHS

Next Friday night, the Toronto indie-poppers in HIGHS will be playing on one of the most promising bills of the month: as part of Audio Blood Media's 5th anniversary party at Sneaky Dee's (which is also going to include the reunion of Oh No Forest Fires). So that makes this the best possible time to post our first Meet The Band in aaaaaages, as we recently caught up with the quartet, whose self-titled debut EP is full of delightful indie pop tracks that have earned the band comparisons to Vampire Weekend and Paul Simon.

You can stream the entire EP here and get all the details for the Audio Blood party on Facebook here.

If you could open for one current band that you haven't played with before, who would it be?

Either Dirty Projectors, Yeasayer, or Local Natives. If you could play one venue you've never played before, what would it be? We’re going to divide this question into two parts, hope that’s okay. 1 - Domestic Venue (Canada) - We’ve heard the people at The Park Theatre in Winnipeg are the nicest. We'd like to play there at least once. 2 - North America - Anywhere on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Now that would be a party!

What's the worst album you own?

There are albums I don’t listen to anymore and ones that I don’t really enjoy listening to if I find myself feeling nostalgic and put them on. That being said, every album I own I bought because something about it resonated with me, whether as a 12 year old or as a 24 year old. I don’t really know if I own an album I could deem as the worst. They’ve all got redeeming qualities or at least a level of character.

Who, in your opinion, has/had the best facial hair of any band ever?

That’s gotta be a toss up between the gentleman from ZZ top and Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio. If he had a band, Sydney Crosby. Yeah. What would be your all-time, all-star supergroup? Q-Tip - Vocals David Longstreth – Guitar & Vocals Annie Clark – Guitar & Vocals Whoever played synths on Yeezus - Synths Spencer Krug – Piano Sebastien Grainger – Drums

What was the craziest live show you've ever seen?

When I was in my early and mid teens I was really into the whole spectrum of hardcore music. We’re talking Gorilla Biscuits and Comeback Kid to As I Lay Dying and The Black Dahlia Murder. I grew up near Oshawa, Ontario and the place to go for live music was this venue called The Dungeon. Needless to say there were some pretty crazy hardcore shows that went on there.

What was the craziest live show you've ever played?

We played a crazy show in Peterborough, Ontario at this venue called the Red Dog as part of our first tour. We literally played for 6 people. On top of that, there was death metal band playing downstairs. It was still really fun!

What's your favourite song to play live? Why?

Whatever we’ve most recently written. There’s nothing like playing a song live for the first few times. I find myself thinking about it through the entire set until we play it.

What was the first record you ever bought? When was the last time you listened to it?

Probably Choclair’s Ice Cold album. That CD had classics like Let’s ride and Rubbin’ on it. To be honest, those two songs are currently on my ipod’s playlist “running” so it hasn’t been too long.

Who was your favourite band (or artist) when you were 12 years old? Do you still like them?

When I was twelve, Dr. Dre was it for me. When he released 2001, all I wanted and asked for for Christmas was tickets to his show when he came to Toronto. Think about that, an 11 year old going to a Dre concert most likely with his mom. It didn’t happen. As for if I still like him, it’s Dre, of course I still like him. I still know all the words to Still D.R.E. and Forgot About DRE. They’re the type of songs you feel kind of bad playing really loud driving around with your windows down but you just can’t seem help yourself.

If you could only listen to one band or artist for the rest of your life, who would you pick?

Bowie. His music from one album to the next is incredibly diverse. Also, each song has so much depth, you can almost always find something new. Say, for some strange reason, all the music in the world is going to be destroyed, but you can save all the songs from one decade.

Which decade's records would you save?

I think we would have to save the music from the 90s. These were our formative years. We would all be different people without this music.

If you could switch places with another musicians in some type of "Freaky Friday" type incident, who would you want it to be?

The Roots. If you absolutely had to get a face tattoo of album art from one record, which record would you want to have on your face for the rest of your life? Definitely St Vincent’s Actor or Marry Me. First off, there are an endless number of possibilities of worse things than having Annie Clark tattooed on your face. Second, the tattoo would be of a face, and a beautiful one at that, and as a result it would probably be less obtrusive than say Cannibal Corpse’s The Wretched Spawn. Granted, the latter may be slightly more memorable but it would be hard to wake up and look in the mirror every morning. Come to think of it, it would be pretty odd to have a naked baby tattooed swimming across one’s face so maybe Nirvana’s Nevermind would be interesting. Or at least artistic...

If you could have one musical superpower, what would you want it to be?

The ability to harmonize with anything. It can be so hard sometimes so to not have to think about it would be awesome. Just getting the harmonies right right off the bat. Then again, that’s pretty selfish. Maybe we should go with the ability to cure worldwide famine through song.

Do you hate your hometown?

I don’t think any of us have been wronged enough by our hometowns to hate them. Sure they may not be the most ‘happening’ places but we as individuals have the power to change that and to spend the energy hating some place you don’t have to spend considerable amounts of time in if you choose not to is just a waste of energy. Why not spend that energy finding or creating positive things to do in your hometown. 


Photo by Jessica Deeks

Meet The Band is a regular feature where we introduce you to bands we like. You can find all of the rest of them here.


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