ongratulations on your third studio album! Which differences can we find on “You Are Here” (if any) when compared to your previous two records? Thank you very much. I think the new album is a bit sharper than before, less smooth, perhaps closer to our live sound in this regard. I love extreme music but sometimes it feels great to listen to High Spirits after spending one entire day around black metal and its intense atmosphere. Where does your energy comes from? We want to give our audience the same feeling we get from our favorite records, that feeling of companionship and exhilaration. And this feeling comes from all types of heavy metal and hard rock music. There are no limits to our inspiration. In your press statement one can read that you’re one of the hottest new bands in metal. Do you classify your own project that way? What’s the position you’d like to achieve in the worldwide metal scene with High Spirits and what does it take to get you there? Well, we have never claimed to be a “metal” band. We prefer the term “high-energy rock”. Of course this term could include heavy metal, and that’s ok. The terminology is not important. At the start, all I wanted was to explore a new creative space for myself, and I accomplished this through the initial songwriting and demo stages of the band. Then we wanted to try our luck as a live band, and we found that there was far more demand than we expected. I think the timing was in our favor. Now we just want to keep up a good pace where we are answering that demand but also not getting burned-out from working too much. We are very happy with our progress as a band and proud of what we have achieved together with the support of our fans and label partners. This album is extremely detailed and the truth is that you have
written and recorded this album by yourself! How big of a genius are you? Haha and how would you describe your writing and recording sessions? I don’t know if it’s genius or stupid to work this way. It’s quite intense, really, and it seems to never end. But it is part of the High Spirits “formula” for me to work alone on the albums, and related to what we talked about above, we don’t really see the need to change anything with our work style. It’s a compromise doing the albums this way. For example, I am not much of a guitar player, so there is a lot of frustration at times, but I think in the end it helps to strengthen the songs. The detail is not only present in your song structures but also in your lyrics. Can you explain which themes have you approached on this album and what does inspire you to write? I wanted to move away from the heartbreakers since “One Last Chance” and “If I’m Gone” from the ‘2013’ demos were still fresh, but I also tried to let things happen naturally. I’m not trying to force anything into a place where it doesn’t fit. So we ended up with a few heartbreak songs but also I think the solitude of my work environment also found its way into the lyrics. I think the biggest inspiration however was High Spirits itself, just the experience of being in this band and all of the wonderful surprises along the way. This album also contains a revamped version of the band’s signature song “High Spirits” which was originally recorded with a drum machine. Why have you decided to re-record it and what’s the balance you make between these two versions? CHRIS: It’s one of our more popular songs for sure, so I felt it would be nice to have an updated version. The original version from 2009 has some power and charm, but it’s also quite raw and as you mentioned has a drum machine. It’s not a professional recording, in other words. I’m sure some people will always prefer it any-
way, and some people will prefer the new version. At least now there is a choice, ha! Despite working alone on your music, you have a complete lineup to join you on the road. How have you chose the perfect musicians to play your songs and how much of a input do you let them take as far as playing your stuff live concerns? It happened quite accidentally. There were no intentions to play live at the beginning. Then a promoter in Chicago asked if we would play a gig he was organizing. For anyone else, I might have said “no”, but because of the good history with this promoter, we agreed to try it. I built the lineup from friends and we learned the songs more or less exactly as they were on the recordings. Today, it’s still the same lineup, and we still take the same approach with the songs. There is a bit of give-and-take with certain aspects such as guitar harmonies, and maybe extending a few sections for a bit of audience participation, but there is never any tension or disagreement amongst us. We share the same focus when it comes to entertaining the audience. What does the future hold for High Spirits? We want to play in as many places as we can, but without changing our music, lineup, or organization. I think we have a good thing going right now, and we don’t want to jeopardize that by trying to move too fast or taking on more than we can handle. We will take it one step at a time and continue to be very grateful for everything we have experienced.
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