The High Loves
I have enjoyed speaking with The High Loves…
about the new single, Serotonin, and whether they have plans for new material in 2019. I discover how the Canadian band found one another and what sort of music they are influenced by- the members each choose a song to end the interview with.
I learn where the band will head on tour and which musical memory stands in the mind proudest; the artist they’d support given the chance; what advice they’d give to musicians emerging right now – they highlight some new artists worth getting behind.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Our week has been really great! The release of Serotonin was well received and we are excited to get the ball rolling on the next steps!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are The High Loves! An Indie-Rock band from Toronto, ON (in Canada). We have been playing together since October 2017 and, since then; we have been playing in some of the biggest bar venues in the city (The Horseshoe Tavern, Lee’s Palace; Rivoli). We released our first single, Perils of Passion, in January 2018 and, since then; we’ve been working on an E.P. that we will be releasing in November.
Serotonin is your new song. What is the story behind it?
Serotonin was the first song Noah wrote for this new project. He was at a low point in his life and working through the song helped him get his energy back. It was a beginning point for the band and it seemed fitting to release it as the first single.
I understand an E.P. is coming? Can you explain what themes and stories inspired the song?
All of the songs are written by Noah Monkton, the lead singer of The High Loves. So, all of the tunes are from his personal experiences with many various emotions. The upcoming E.P. is a reflection of his past year! From start to finish, this record follows a story-line of love, chaos, and reflection.
How did The High Loves come together?
Noah Monkton and Matt Bawtinheimer are both from Victoria, BC and they’ve been playing together for a while. Matt Bawtinheimer moved to Toronto to study at Humber College (in Music) and Noah followed shortly after. After a year of study, Monkton wanted to start a project and took some time off to work on The High Loves. He asked Matt Bawtinheimer and Marko Stojanovic, a fellow Humber College music student, to join his group. Looking for a drummer, they asked a friend for ideas and eventually found Mat D. Landry as their fourth member.
From there; we started rehearsing for our first show at The Supermarket in Toronto. We’ve been at it since then!
Which artists did you all grow up around? Do you have any personal musical idols?
We all come from very different musical backgrounds! We listened to The Beatles, The Strokes; a bunch of Jazz, Funk; Rock, Folk. We have been fortunate enough to have grown up in very musical families. Oh! And! Coming from a French background and family, Mat D. Landry listened to a bunch of weird French music (haha)!
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
We hope to achieve a great E.P. release! Meaning, we want to get to get the most amount of contacts and opportunities to succeed in the long-run! We also hope to get together as a group to write a new record for a potential 2019 release. We are very happy with the opportunities that we’ve had so far and can only hope to grow exponentially from here!
In that same vein; do you have plans for 2019 in terms of what you want to accomplish?
Yeah! We’d love to play with ‘bigger and better’ bands in the scene, draw a larger crowd; play festivals in the GTA and further, write a record; make contacts…everything that we can realistically do in 2019 that could help us get where we’d like to be.
Have you all got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
As a band, we’ve had some pretty great memories so far! I’d say one of our favourite ones could be our first show at The Horse Shoe Tavern on Queen St. Getting the chance to play at one of the most historic venues in Toronto, and even Canada, is a great opportunity. Especially, as our third show!
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Noah Monkton: I would say Is This It by The Strokes
Because it changed my life! (haha). But, seriously, the lyricism, musicianship and songwriting of the record really connected with me at the time. And the attitude! So much of that raw energy that we’re always looking for!
Matt Bawtinheimer: Probably Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon
I must have listened to that record a thousand times during my younger years, and it really got me inspired to learn about music and especially the possibilities of using the studio as an artform as opposed to just documenting what was naturally created.
Marko Stojanovic: John Mayer's Continuum
It is definitely up there. Great songwriting, great musicians; amazing guitar work and solid production.
Mat D. Landry: The one album that means the most to me would be Revolver by The Beatles
This innovative album truly had an effect on the music of that time and the next major music era of Psychedelic and Experimental music. Amongst many of the great tracks on the record, I’m Only Sleeping is THE ONE for me. The Folk signing of John’s voice, the harmonic brilliancy of the group and the experimental, backward guitar tracks are just some of the key points of this song.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I think a legend like Paul McCartney would be a fair choice! He still has a great show and such a presence on stage. We’d let Sir Paul choose whatever rider he wanted if we had the chance to support him.
Can we see you on the road this year at all?
We’re still going to be concentrating our time in Toronto as there is still so much ground to cover here! But, that being said; we’d love to play wherever we can. We had previously talked about a road trip/tour to the West Coast (where Noah and Matt B. are from). With the upcoming festival applications, we’ll see where we end up!
PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Letnik
Might you come to the U.K. and play?
We’d love to if we got the chance! With the interest from many blogs and musical professionals in the U.K., a couple shows could be a possibility in the future.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Play as much as you can! Rehearsals with your band mates are the most important thing you can do to get attention when you’re playing live in front of an audience! Being musically tight and on the same page is key to success. Even just a band hangout is great if you want to get together and talk about your next steps as a group.
IN THIS PHOTO: Akeem Oh/PHOTO CREDIT: Jennifer Adler
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
The High Loves are busy but we still have some downtime. We love to hang out as band, grab a drink and some pizza; play video games. We also love to go see shows! In a city as rich in culture as Toronto, there’s always something going on at the local venues.
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).
Sun Leads Me On by Half Moon Run
Winter Crush by Akeem Oh
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer
Soma by The Strokes
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