IF a band can accrue a large following on social media…
they are in a good position of authority. That may seem axiomatic but HIGHLIVES’ credibility and popularity stems from the strength of their sound – not some shallow sense of fame and looks. The boys are, admittedly, not ugly but they trade on quality music. I talk to the guys about their new single, Nothing Left, and what the song is about; whether there will be an E.P. following and what their tour diary is looking like.
I ask about how they connect emotions and relationships to their music and how their new music differs to the 2015-released E.P., Misguided Youth; how they all got together at the start – and what the origin of that unique band-name is.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
Ben: Hey. We are HIGHLIVES: a Pop-Punk band based in Bristol, U.K.
What is the origin of that band-name, ‘HIGHLIVES’?
Liam: The name was decided before the band was fully-formed - we just thought it sounded cool.
Tell me about the single, Nothing Left. What compelled it and can you remember the moment it was written?
Ben: Liam came over to my house with the lyrics finished and within half an hour we had the majority of the song written. After that, we went to Jordan’s to record a demo and came up with some lead guitar - and over time; James came up with the bass and Steve wrote the drums.
How connected to personal realisations/experiences is the song?
From my own interpretation of the song; I feel that it is about giving it your all in a relationship and it all falling apart anyway – which, I think, a lot of people can relate to.
It has been premiered here and the U.S. Is it flattering having American sources backing your music?
I think it’s crazy how people in other countries are listening to our music - let alone media outlets working with us.
Is this single going to lead to a new E.P. or album?
We don't have any plans set in stone yet but we are always writing new material - so there may be something coming soon.
How does your new material differ, it at all, to your 2015-E.P., Misguided Youth?
Liam: Nothing Left, in particular, is a lot more Pop-y than most of our previous stuff. We've never really stuck to one sound though - so it's difficult to compare them as each song we put out tends to be very different to the last.
Can you tell me how you all got together? Was it an instant chemistry in the HIGHLIVES camp?
We all met through friends or friends of friends...
It took some time to learn how to work best with each other- but, now, ideas bounce quite easily off of each other. We often stick to particular ways of doing things like songwriting and organising shows - because we've figured out what works best for us as a collective and makes us most productive.
Did you all share a love of the same acts (when you met)? Who are the artists you all grew up listening to?
Ben: We all like different bands. Growing up, I always loved Sum 41, The Offspring; Blink-182 and Good Charlotte. The first C.D. I ever owned myself was Blink's self-titled album.
Who are new acts you recommend we check out?
Better than Never: best band ever!
If you had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
All Killer No Filler by Sum 41. My dad has owned the album for as long as I can remember and I've always loved it.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that)
Learning to Swim by Better than Never