Infectious Magazine chats with Highness guitarist Graham Scala. Check out the interview after the jump.
Infectious Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How are you?
Highness: I’m well, thanks.
IM: You’ve recently released your new album Hold. How has artist and critic response been?
Highness: Seems like it’s mostly done okay. I try not to pay too much attention to reviews. The negative ones get me angry at a stranger because of their obviously flawed musical taste, the positive ones make me feel too good about myself and my life decisions. Bad news all around.
IM: Do you feel any aspects of the album were overlooked?
Highness: Not sure that there were, I think that would depend on the listener. A few people approaching the album because of some of our backgrounds in heavier music have been put off by Eric’s vocals, but I don’t know if that counts exactly.
IM: You offered your album for free download from May 14 to May 17, courtesy of PureVolume. It seems like in today’s release world, the concept of giving away music for free is either highly praised or criticized. What’s your opinion on bands giving away their music for free or for a “pay what you want” long term?
Highness: I think that if a band is doing something that people want, listeners are going to find a way to get it. I’m neither encouraging nor discouraging scavenging for free albums online, but I think artists’ resistance to the idea isn’t necessarily helping them. Assuming that a few Bandcamp sales will make or break a project is fairly short-sighted. Let people hear it all then have a well-conceived, well-executed, and not exorbitantly-priced physical object to back it up and you may do okay.
IM: You were recently featured on The Huffington Post-congratulations! Can you tell us how that came to be?
Highness: Thanks, it’s kind of a weird story. Arianna Huffington herself contacted us via carrier pigeon. We were invited to the Huffpo compound where we were fed the finest cuts of grass-fed beef topped with shaved truffles (except Brandon, for some reason the only vegetarian option they had was a single head of iceberg lettuce – not even any dressing) and washed down with an Argentinian syrah. After a round of back massages and thirty-year-old scotch, an open Q&A session with a room full of their writers revealed the innermost workings of our creative processes, which they then distilled into their writeup using narrative and structural techniques dictated via a seance with Gore Vidal’s ghost.
IM: You’re offering Hold on vinyl as well as other formats. What are your thoughts on the recent resurgence of vinyl, and do you think it’s here to stay?
Highness: Highness has a few nerdy record collector types in the ranks (myself included), so I can safely say that none of us ever thought vinyl went away in the first place. I’m extremely happy that a new generation of listeners is getting exposure to the finest of audio media and that interest in it has been able to sustain some of the better brick-and-mortar stores out there in a time when digital media failed them. I just hope that certain corners of the music industry learn from the past and realize that gouging customers will only lead to their dissatisfaction and a discontinuation in long-term financial support.
IM: What’s in the future for Highness?
1.) Play shows.
2.) World domination.
3.) Bitter fall from grace.
4.) Drawn out crimes against humanity trial at the Hague.
5.) Acquittal on a technicality.
6.) Talk show circuit.
IM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Highness: We appreciate all the support we’ve received thusfar. It’s been extremely gratifying to bring this project to fruition and we’re looking forward to what will come of it.
You can purchase a CD here.