The High Points
I have been speaking with Ethan and Matt of The High Points…
who discuss the latest track, Need Your Love, and what we can expect from their upcoming E.P. I ask how The High Points formed and they reveal which artists they grew up around; whether there is any rising talent we need to get behind – I was keen to know whether the guys are on the road soon and whether we can catch them play.
The Norwich-formed group are making strides to I ask what they hope to achieve before the end of the year; what advice they would give to artists coming through; if they get chance to unwind away from music – Matt and Ethan each pick a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Matt: Hey! We’re great, thanks! The sun's been shining and this week has been fine and dandy.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We sure can! We’re The High Points; an Indie-Funk trio from Norwich blending the sweet sounds of the '70s with more modern-sounding Indie; formed by songwriters Ethan Keens-Soper and Matt Cranswick
Need Your Love is your latest single. What is the story behind it?
So. Need Your Love is a track about someone instantly falling for someone else in a second and them both having no regrets. It’s a true, upbeat and happy song which we hope warms people's hearts when they hear it.
Your E.P. is coming up. Can you reveal the stories and themes behind the E.P. at all?
We can give you an insight...
The theme of the E.P., Instant Love, is all about times when you’re certain of something and want to seize it straight away (instantly, if you will). The tracks all tell a story and have themes of summer, happiness; love and also times of struggle and sadness. It’s definitely something we’re very proud of and hearing it together really tells you a story.
Do you each have a favourite song from the E.P.?
Definitely. I, myself, absolutely love the track Summer's Day. For me, it’s the perfect blend of our sound. It’s got a constant groove showing off our more funky side but also has this amazingly clean tone and feel to the song. It’s so happy and it’s one of them tracks that just sound great to drive to on a lovely day.
Ethan: For myself; although I agree with Matt’s choice, I would have to choose Coast to Coast; purely for the lyrical content and the dynamics within the music and between the instruments.
I believe The High Points emerged from Norwich last year. How did you connect with each other and realised you shared the same tastes in music?
Matt: So. Myself and Ethan have actually known each other since we were seventeen. We met at 6th form and actually formed our previous and first band back then. We never did anything Funk or Indie-based in that band though which was something we both realised that we loved doing. So. After stopping the first band, we formed The High Points and started writing completely different things to what we had done before.
Which artists did you all grow up around? Do you have any personal musical idols?
We’re both lucky enough to have been brought up with musical families, so we both have a huge selection of bands and artists that we were introduced to at a young age. I was always hearing my dad’s records such as Queen and ELO, as well as music from my brother and my mum like Green Day, the Red Hot Chili Peppers; CHIC and other Disco tracks. The blend of these, for me, was perfect when I was first learning bass. A personal idol for me and Ethan would definitely be Nile Rodgers.
Ethan: For my musical inspiration, as a young guitarist, it was most definitely Jimmy Hendrix. I just couldn’t get enough of his unique style. I then got heavily into John Mayer, which started my love and Interest in singing but then I found myself being a true Kings of Leon fan and idolised the lead singer Caleb a lot. I learnt to admire the licks and melodies of Nile Rodgers at later age with Matt.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Matt: We hope to achieve a bigger status - we’re still relatively small in the huge pool of bands so we’d like to grow our fan base and have more people enjoying our music.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
One that sticks in our mind a lot is actually the first time we played a gig back in 6th form. We’d both never done a live gig before so it was really one of them moments where we were either going to absolutely love it or be too nervous and end up hating it! Thankfully, we both loved the buzz of playing live in front of an audience. Although it wasn’t a huge gig, it’s always meant a lot to both of us because it gave us confirmation that is what we want to do.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
This is a hard one…
So many albums mean a lot to each of us. For myself; I would say Rubber Soul by The Beatles (means a lot to me). It’s just got that perfect blend of everything I love and there isn’t a single song on that album that I don’t love.
Ethan: For myself; I quickly fell in love with Aha Shake Heartbreak by the Kings of Leon. It was an album which helped me out a lot in a tricky part of my life and love It. I still have it playing in my favourite playlist.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
We both would jump at the chance of supporting the great Nile Rodgers. Not just because we love him but also feel like we would be a great warm-up and support as we like to bring the funk to all of our live shows.
We definitely wouldn’t be picky when it came to our rider. Maybe a candlelit McDonald’s on arrival - a bit of comfort food always breaks the ice.
Can we see you on the road this year at all?
You sure can! We’re doing a tour in November and the dates will be available via our Facebook page and on our Spotify gig list!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Try be unique as possible; have your own image and your own style both online and in person. It really goes a long way if you’ve got something special about you that makes it clear to your fans that there’s only one of you and not several bands or artists that sound and look the same. Also, it’s a bit obvious, but always be nice to everyone: try not to have an attitude as being friendly will always get you further and you’ll make new contacts etc. much easier.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Renadeans
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
There’s a great band in our area called The Renadeans. Like us, they’re a three-piece band with a Punk/Rock sound but they’re absolutely fantastic when they play live. They really give a good show and their music is brilliant and unique for that genre!
Do you both get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Yeah. We both like spending times with our girlfriends and we’ve got a great group of friends as well, so we always manage to spend time to go out for a drink or even just play on some games online to relax.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Matt: Girl - The Beatles
Ethan: Peg - Steely Dan
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