How did you guys all meet and when did you know you had something with the band?
Mark and Cameron have grown up playing music together. I think the first band we started was in the fifth grade before we even had instruments. Chris grew up in the same small town in Iowa but we didn’t really cross paths until high school. We all knew that this was something that we wanted to continue to pursue after graduation, so we opted to hold off on college and moved to Chicago to reform the band.
The first two years were spent searching for a permanent drummer and working our way into the local music scene, We ended up meeting Adam through a sketchy craigslist posting and hit it off immediately. It was with that addition that we knew we really had something and have been playing together ever since.
Where did the name originate?
Our name came off of a Roger Ebert quote that was on a movie poster in our living room, suggested by a former drummer. We played for a few years as On A High Wire before shortening it to the name you know today.
Describe playing small shows and growing as a musician into where you are now?
We still love playing small shows. For us, it’s more about the crowd and their reaction to the music than how many people we are playing in front of. It is extremely rewarding seeing the size of our shows and crowd grow but it’s more rewarding seeing the crowds reaction to our music ramping up. We’ve played killer shows with only a handful of people in the crowd going all out and we’ve played sold out venues where people clearly just want to see the next band.
Who are some of your influences then and now?
We still listen to our older influences all the time. Blink 182, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory, The Dangerous Summer, All American Rejects. And to lump a bunch together, pretty much anything that was on Drive Thru records from the early 2000s. More recently, knuckle Puck, the story so far, Homesafe, Real Friends, A Will Away, Tigers Jaw, Hot Mulligan. There are so many it’s hard to pick!
If you had to collectively pick two bands to tour with from two different eras, who would they be? Why?
Nirvana. I feel like this one speaks for itself, they were a great band and wrote great music and it would be awesome. Also Simon and Garfunkel because they have those harmonies on lock.
What’s the song writing process like?
For the most part Mark will write a majority of the guitar riffs and Cameron will write the lyrics.
All of the writing starts at Cameron and Marks apartment and the two will collaborate on ideas together until they have a solid structure for a song. After that we’ll jam through what we have and finish writing the song as a group. It’s usually a blank enough slate that everyone can put their own creative energy into their respective instrumental parts and any lyrical changes or missing parts will come together with everyone in the studio.
What’s your favorite tour story?
We were on the road with our friends in Commomweather, and we’re looking for a place to crash in Indiana after a show. We befriended some fans that were nice enough to offer their floor for everyone to crash on. We ended up driving way out into the country to an old farm house in the middle of nowhere. It looked super haunted and according to them, it was. They were so afraid of their own house that they refused to go to the second floor alone. After a few drinks we convinced them to take us on a tour of their creepy farm house. We didn’t see anything spooky but we had an awesome time.
Favorite thing to do while on tour while passing the time? (hobby, food, etc..)
We are fans of a nice Cracker Barrel, and we tend to bring nerf guns with us for impromptu battles. There’s typically at least one person asleep at any given time so usually people are doing their own thing. Reading, playing games on our phones etc. The best is when a certain song from a playlist or the radio plays in the van and gets everyone singing along and rocking out together, and then it fizzles out and people go back to reading or pass out.
Talk to me about your new music and plans for the back half of 2017?
This EP come together very easily and naturally during the writing and recording process. We’ve become very comfortable with our writing method and we feel that it shows in the finished product.
For the rest of 2017 we are going to be hitting the road and playing in front of as many new people as possible. We are very excited about “Different Places” and can’t wait to share the with everyone. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we did creating it.
Give yourself a spirit animal and tell me why you chose it?
A stag, because it’s Harry Potter’s patronus
Website – http://highwireil.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HighW
Twitter – https://twitter.com/highwireil