Clark Summers 18/04/2006
Once upon a time the NME used to champion the best new music (and Terris) on the cover of their magazine. Now they seem hell bent on trying to re-inject life into the careers of flagging rock stars (Primal Scream, Ian Brown, Oasis) who are past their sell by date both critically and commercially. Sure all three were good back in the day but it's 2006 not 1996. Thank god then for the underground press, the champions of new music. In this spirit I present to you The Heights, the band Kasabian wish they were in their dreams. Rock 'n' roll doesn't always need to be eloquent in fact it sometimes sounds better when it's just raw and dirty...
How did the band initially come together?
We first set out to be a three piece band in North Wales. Ows fucked off to Stafford Uni and met Pearse out there. We asked Pearse if he wanted to come over for a jam and the rest is history.
Explain to me if you can how The Heights approach the music making process, do you have a set of ideas / rough demos that you go into rehearsal and develop or do the songs evolve more organically?
There are a variety of ways that a song will come to be, more often than not, Pearse (lead guitarist) will come up with a riff, then the process of finding the rights drum beat will come around. We then get the bass to be as tight as fuck as well as harmonizing with the guitar work. But of course some tunes will come about organically where a simple chord structure is introduced to the band and a song will evolve from that.
Who would you say your lyrical and musical heroes/heroines are?
Musically some of our stronger influences as a band are band like Led Zep, The Beatles, Bob Dylan you know all the greats, they wouldn't be greats if it weren't for their talent so who better than that to be your influences. Of course as individuals we have our own little tastes as well but it's them separate influences that help us gel a song together.
Who would feature in The Heights fantasy pop band?
Margaret Thatcher and Dot Cotton having it on in the shower on several different occasions, we would make these beautiful sounds into samples and stick hip hop beats over it. Harold Bishop will play the bass lines on his tuba along with the percussion of his double chin hitting the keys of the tuba. On vocals we would have Ainsley Harriot, nuff said.
What can fans expect from your debut album? (When is it due for release?)
An explosion, a lot of the tunes are up beat and melodic, there will be a few darker and dirtier sounding tracks too. It will be expected before the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.
What music are you enjoying right now?
Everything that's good!
Complete the sentence - “The most under-rated band/artist in the world today are/is… And explain your choice if you like J
Arctic Monkeys!!!! Valleum, The John Bowden Experience, most certainly The Natives.
Tell us your best on the road anecdote, feel free to embellish it a little if you like (everyone loves a good story after all!)
What the fuck's an anecdote?????? Next question…
It's ten years down the line and a big Hollywood producer wants to make a biopic on the life of The Heights. Which actors would you have playing each band member?
Rhys Ifans would have to (be) one, Richard E Grant, Steven Seagal, Po off Telletubies.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Never eat yellow snow!! Never say yes to a teabagging!!
What are the best and the worst aspects to being a band on the road?
Best - Been on the road having a laugh, meeting new people, visiting different countries.
Worst - The smell of shit that constantly hovers around in the van.
What's essential viewing/reading on The Heights tour bus at the moment?
Road maps and Zoo / Nuts, for 70 pence you can't go far wrong.
Are you confirmed to play any festivals this summer?
Yes!! The Great Escape, Full Ponty.
A trend appears to be developing re: band's acquiring bizarre/unlikely celebrity fans (e.g. Michael Jackson is a big fan of prog-indie-poppers Mew) are there any weird/wonderful celebrities out there who you think would dig The Heights sound?