Article by: Chad Hutchings
Photo by: Jessica Deeks
HIGHS might just be one of the most promising acts kicking around Toronto right now.
Sure, they've only been together for under two years, but since releasing their s/t debut EP last year, they've been welcomed to plenty of the stages that our city has to offer. And it's justified. That 2013 collection of five songs is tight and full of talent, but light and bright and most likely a very welcomed burst whenever they break out of anyone's speakers. And lucky for all of you CMW-goers, it's not only HIGHS' recorded work that's worth hearing; their live shows brim with that same energy, and we'd be pretty suspicious of anyone not drawn in by those driving tracks that have been making their audiences move.
Since HIGHS will be playing an ambitious three sets at this year's festival (see their schedule here), we decided to run them through our CMW preview Q&A to see just why you folks should be catching them on stage this week.
Sticky: Can you give us a little info on how HIGHS came together?
HIGHS: We all had a connection through university. HIGHS pretty much started out as a friend of a friend sort of thing, until the friends of friends became pretty good friends and formed a band. We didn’t actually start working as a band until after we had graduated, gotten our degrees, and moved from Kingston back to our hometowns. This made for quite an ineffective and rather inconvenient practice schedule but we stuck with it, did some relocating, and are now having a lot of fun doing what we’re doing!
Sticky: For someone new to your music, what can they expect from your set at CMW?
Highs: Energy. We really enjoy being on stage and playing music together. I think when it’s obvious that a band is having fun the crowd is able to feed off that energy.
Sticky: Why CMW, anyhow? Are festivals your thing?
HIGHS: Festivals are awesome! There's an infectious energy that's kind of like summer camp that permeates the city for days at a time. Festivals are also a really cool chance to see a music community at work. They offer a unique opportunity to network with other bands, the music industry, and fans. Not only that, who could complain about free passes to see other awesome bands! Not us.
Sticky: Since you can't perform everywhere all of the time, new fans will need to hear you through headphones, too. Tell us what you love about your recorded stuff (modesty will get you nowhere).
HIGHS: The EP in it’s entirety is just catchy. We’re really proud of the way the percussion translates onto the record. We love the bright vibe of the sounds we chose. The 5 songs on the EP are cohesive but also very individualized in their sounds. We put a lot of time and effort into the EP and we’re proud of it.
Sticky: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2014?
HIGHS: We’ll be playing throughout Ontario and Quebec, dipping into the United States of America here and there. Playing some festivals. The Summer is shaping up to be pretty exciting.
Sticky: If this whole rockstar life turns out to be too heavy (sex, drugs, and rock and roll can take a toll), where do you think we will find you in ten years?
HIGHS: Still waiting on that rockstar phase to kick in... but probably the hearing clinic. Honestly, we’ll probably just be a bunch of regular guys doing regular things, except for Karrie, because, well, she’s not a regular guy. Just a bunch of friends of friends. But seriously, we’ll probably be bbq-ing in the backyard in between our full time jobs and taking our kids to soccer practice.