HIGH WIRE (from front left): Mark Nussle (guitar), Chris Rymer (guitar), Adam Harrington (drums), Cameron Jones (vocals/bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
In recent years, the Windy City of Chicago has established itself as a hotbed of emerging pop-punk talent, with many hoping to emulate the successes enjoyed by locally originated bands such as Fall Out Boy and Alkaline Trio.
One such outfit already on their way to achieving this are High Wire, a four-piece hailing from Iowa and Australia who have firmly established themselves on the city’s rock scene, gaining a dedicated fan base in the process.
Currently touring the American Midwest promoting forthcoming EP ‘Different Places’, vocalist/bassist Cameron Jones told me about the band’s journey so far, and what the future has in store for them.
How did the band initially get together?
Mark, Chris, and I all grew up in the same small town in Iowa. Mark and I started playing together when we around thirteen and Chris joined up with us in high school. We jammed together in different groups throughout our time at school, and after we all graduated, we knew that this was something that we wanted to continue.
We decided to move to Chicago because it had a great music scene and it was close to home for us. We spent a couple of years with different vocalists and drummers in the line-up, we even played for a stretch with a Macbook drumming for us live.
Luckily, Adam eventually saw a Craigslist posting we made searching for a drummer and we hit it off immediately. Shortly after Adam joined, Mark and I took over on lead vocals and we’ve been playing together ever since.
How did the name High Wire come about?
It was actually a name that a previous drummer had come up with. It came from a Roger Ebert quote that was on a movie poster hanging in our living room. We ended up shortening the name a while back, but it’s still the same origin story.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s the marriage of current Chicago pop-punk and the alternative albums of the early 2000’s we grew up with.
What are the band’s main musical influences?
Blink 182, New Found Glory, The Starting Line, Fall Out Boy, The Dangerous Summer. There are so many, it’s hard to only pick a few. Basically anything that was on Drive Thru Records.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
It starts with Mark and I laying in guitar parts. We have a makeshift studio to do basic recordings in. We play through options, typically parts that we feel will become the chorus, humming or softly singing melody ideas in.
We try to get a few pieces of a song or a good hook before we jam through it together as a band, and then we’ll collaborate instrumentally and lyrically to finish the song together.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Really, it can be anything from day-to-day life. It will depend on the feel of the song instrumentally and connecting that vibe to a real life experience. Songwriting can be a great therapeutic way to express yourself and work through something, so they tend to be extreme highs or lows.
Next month, you will be releasing a new EP, ‘Different Places’. How has the recording process been?
It’s been great. This was our second time recording with Seth Henderson at ABG and we couldn’t be happier. We were familiar with his process and vibe going in, so we really hit the ground running with this recording.
Apart from him having a great ear and awesome ideas while producing this EP, he’s just an awesome dude to hang out with all day. We can’t wait to go back.
What can be expected from the EP?
It’s similar to our previous release, ‘Caught Up In Everything’, but elevated to a stronger, more mature sound. It has the current pop-punk sound you know and the early 2000’s alternative sound you remember.
You’re currently on tour across the American Midwest. How is the experience of playing live and touring for you all?
It’s why we do this. Writing and recording is great, but playing live with your friends is the most fun. It’s like being on a road trip with your friends and the highlight of every night is playing a live show.
There can be challenges with being away from home, but in the end, playing our music and interacting with the crowd makes all of the challenges well worth it.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
We want to continue to play and write music that both the fans and us enjoy listening to, and we want to play in as many new places and in front of as many different crowds as we can.
‘DIFFERENT PLACES’, THE NEW EP FROM HIGH WIRE, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 8.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND AT THESE SITES:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: highwireil.com