HIGH TIDES (from l-r): Connor Rogers (drums), Alex Hiley (guitar), Chris Litchfield (vocals), Matt Bramley (guitar), Tom Slack (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Nottingham five-piece High Tides have enjoyed a rapid rise since their formation two years ago, impressing critics and fans alike with a mature, well-crafted sound that the quintet have described as “putting emo into pop-punk“.
Having just released ‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Not Just Starting Over’, the eagerly-awaited follow-up to last year’s well-received debut EP ‘Home Truths’, I chatted with the band about their new offering, as well as discussing their journey so far, sound and influences.
How did the band get together initially?
Most of us have been friends since school, so we have known each other for many years. We’ve all been in separate bands both together and separately, and when deciding to start this project together, it just seemed to gel straight away and it all went from there.
How did the name High Tides come about?
There isn’t a particular meaning or story behind this, unfortunately. We were just brainstorming ideas, throwing things out there, agreeing, disagreeing, and when High Tides came up, it just had a nice ring to it which we all enjoyed.
In your own words, how would you describe your sound?
We like to think our sound is a kind of mixture, or balance, between happy, bouncy, and catchy pop-punk mixed with a raw and passionate emotional side, bringing both highs and lows to anyone who listens to our songs.
What are the band’s musical influences?
The main influences we have include the classics such as Blink-182, New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, as well as the newer wave of pop punk such as The Wonder Years, The Story So Far and Knuckle Puck, for example.
Individually though, we all have influences from a range of genres from the heavier artists such as Architects, through to artists like Brendon Urie.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Our usual approach to songwriting is getting together once a week in the rehearsal space, we’ll jam our existing songs for a while, and then we’ll use a good chunk of practice time to write new songs. We’ll all show different ideas we may have written, and together we’ll just compile these ideas and mound them into a basic song. We’ll then keep jamming and jamming it and making little tweaks until we’re happy. It does come with its disagreements and arguments, but we feel that this way we all have an input to each song, so we can each put our mark on it.
You have recently released a mini-album, ‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Just Starting Over’. How was it recording it?
We actually recorded this release many, many months ago, but we had a lot of fun in doing so. We recorded with our friend Myroslav Borys at Jigsaw Audio just as we did with our last EP, he’s so good at what he does, and always turns out songs into something utterly next level with his ideas and techniques.
And what can listeners expect from the EP?
From this release, listeners can expect to be part of a journey. We wanted to make this mini-album not just a collection of songs, but more of a story. So with the lyrics and ordering of the songs, we feel it has a real flow to it, ranging from fast-paced, hard-hitting tracks to softer, more intimate songs.
How is it for you playing live and touring?
We love it, just love it. We recently returned from our ten day UK tour with Where There’s Life and it was insane. We experienced shows with a room full of people jumping, shouting, crowd surfing, and we had shows where we just played to each other and the sound man, but the whole experience was just incredible, we met so many good bands and good people along the way and we can’t wait to do it all again.
What else is planned for the near future then?
We’re going to be carrying on with playing shows all over the country to promote this release, as well as making a start on new material which we will shortlist and record for another release in the future.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
Our aim is just to make music we all enjoy, and that our fans enjoy. We just want to keep playing amazing shows and meeting amazing people. We don’t particularly have a long-term aim. We just want to keep having fun together and see where our music takes us.
‘I’M NOT GIVING UP, I’M JUST STARTING OVER’, THE NEW RELEASE FROM HIGH TIDES, IS NOW AVAILABLE VIA SCYLLA RECORDS.
FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES: