South West London metal band High Rise have been kicking it since 2014 and have been delivering their own style of metallic hardcore alongside the likes of Bad Omens and Our Hollow, Our Home. The five-piece have just released their new EP ‘Endeavours’ that takes on the topics of personal demons and struggles in life.
We caught up with lead guitarist Tom Thain to talk about the darker tone of their new EP and the rawer, heavier sound they created with Oz Craggs from Feed The Rhino.
DP!: Hey, thanks for talking to Dead Press!
Tom: No problem at all, thanks for having us!
DP!: Your brand new EP ‘Endeavours’ is about to drop – how are you feeling going into the release?
Tom: It feels great! Happy to finally get this out there to the world, it’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears and more tears, mostly tears.. But it feels great to finally be here. We’ve already begun writing for our next release.. You heard it here first.
DP!: What can people expect from the EP compared to what we heard on ‘Left It For Everything’?
Tom: Endeavours is somewhat of a melting pot of ideas chucked into a bucket of creative mess and reorganised into a structural finalised bunch of songs. We love to jam new and different ideas, in High Rise every member is a songwriter and we’re not afraid to step into new territories and experiment with our sound further. Compared to ‘L.I.F.E’ it’s definitely a newer, b and bolder step into where we need to be, we feel we’ve really set the bread a butter of our sound with this EP.
DP!: We first heard ‘My Solitude, Your Hope’ back in January as the first glimpse of the new release – why did you pick this track? Do you think it best represents the record?
Tom: We’re not sure if it best represents the entire record as each one is so different, ‘Haunting Me’ is similar in it’s aggression but honestly, to us any song could’ve been the first single although ‘My Solitude, Your Hope’ is a good droplet taster of things to come.
DP!: Oz Craggs of Feed The Rhino mixed the EP – how did that come about and how was it working together?
Tom: Well, during the writing process we knew we wanted to go for a more hardcore, punk, raw, rough and ready sort of sound, something a bit more natural in its essence, this meant doing a bit of research amongst friends and online to see who would best be suited! We fell in love with Oz’s prior works and we are all Feed The Rhino fans… with the added bonus that his studio is right near a beach… We were sold. The guy is a pleasure to work with and hilarious. We had a great time!
DP!: You’ve spoken about how ‘Endeavours’ reflects day to day life struggles – do you think the EP has a darker tone that the previous two?
Tom: Yeah that’s right and of course, yeah! It’s definitely the heaviest, most technical and darkest we’ve ever written to date, we’ve been through some dark times in our personal lives leading up to this and it really is a reflection of that for sure. I mean what better way to let all that anger and aggression out than through music. It’s not like any of us go to the gym. Well, apart from Ricky, he gets punched in the face in his spare time quite regularly, he says it’s fun and calls it boxing, but we think he’s part of some weird fight club or something, no one talks about fight club.
DP!: What made you want to write about these issues?
Tom: For most of us, life is a struggle, nothing good or worth keeping ever comes easy, but with hard work, clear direction and the right support from friends, family, pets and music we can get through it. Music is such a powerful thing and we definitely wouldn’t be where we are without it. Unfortunately, some people don’t have any of these releases and tend to be forgotten about or shunned by society, turning to other things to emotionally connect to, like alcohol or perhaps something stronger. It’s the connection to these things that inspired a lot of the subject matter for this record. But we want people to know that there are always people out there willing to listen, including us.
DP!: The title track has a very honest and truthful story of alcohol dependency and how it impacts on relationships. How important is it to use real and candid experiences in your music?
Tom: I think alcohol is just one of those things that people turn to all the time whatever the reason. For example in times of grief, happiness and celebration, alcohol is used in every aspect of our lives. It’s an odd concept if you think about it… why don’t you turn around to your mate on his or her birthday and say “happy birthday, let’s go for an orange juice!”. I guess that is the case for some but it seems weird, right? It’s the mind-altering effects/addiction that keeps us coming back. We feel this mindset is what leads to the whole dependency of it – “I’m sad” or “I’m happy” or even the thought that no one else is there for them/everyone else is doing it… “Alcohol is always there…let’s do that”. It can help and enhance situations, but it can also destroy lives and relationships for some. We always try to create music around real issues because we like to let all that emotion out on stage and in turn that tends to get a real response from the crowd, because it’s real, you know? It’s us letting the music take over and do the talking. People that are not even fans of our music have come up to us at a show before and said they had such a great time, just moving around, letting go and releasing all that anger and energy amongst like-minded people.
DP!: What can we expect from High Rise in 2019?
Tom: Expect us to be playing more and more shows, we have a couple of tours being booked up, spreading these songs around wherever we can. Keep an eye on our socials for updates, we’ll be back in the studio soon too, we’re writing more than ever. We’re looking at working on something we’ve never done before and pushing it to the next level.
High Rise‘s new EP ‘Endeavours’ is out now and you can listen to it on Spotify here
Features Editor for DEAD PRESS | Based in MK