sábado, 5 de março de 2016

High Fighter: Creative Energy and No Rules to the Music

Hamburg, summer 2014, from two bands that were incomplete and joined to a jam, merger immediate results, thus resulting in HIGH FIGHTER, that despite the short time of existence, is already collecting relevant achievements, including many good press releases for their music and performance.Becoming very quickly in a creative unit, the quintet released the EP "The Goat Ritual" a few months after the band's formation.  (versão em português)

Recorded in a weekend, and virtually "live", the record served to the High Fighter presents the soul, weight, melody and energy of their sound.One of the most interesting settings that i've read about the High Fighter sound was: "Somewhere between Black Sabbath and Kyuss." Indeed, this statement gives an idea of ​​the sound of the band, but it's hard to label them, and this mixture of influences, preferences and musical background of the members results in a heavy sound, dark and melodic, where we can feel elements of Stoner, Doom and sludge to Heavy Blues, Desert Rock and Metal...yes, a creative energy and no rules for music.

Check out an interview with the singer Mona Miluski, where you can know a little more about of this great band.

RtM: Hello Mona, thanks for your time to answer this interview to us!

To start this interview, would you tell us a little more about the band’s beginning? Did you formed the High Fighter due to inactivity or end of their old bands, and also the need to seek something new? That's it?
Mona Miluski: In the end and almost, yes that's it. High Fighter has been formed in the summer of 2014 by me & guitarist Christian, we both have played together more than 5 years in our previous band A Million Miles, which split up in early 2013. After it took us some while to get back on our feet, we were looking into starting a new band project when Ingwer joined us on our lead guitar. His band to that date, Buffalo Hump, had no singer so Ingwer came up with the idea to bring his drummer Thomas as well as bassist Constantin for a jam. He did, and it turned out like a perfect fusion of two half bands, that would have later became High Fighter....

Mona Miluski: Lots of energy live! (photo Sven Ceder)
RtM: Complementing, for those who knowing the band now, how would you define how High Fighter sounds like?
Mona: Not easy to define the sound or fitting into a specific genre, as we don't. We let many influences and sounds happen in High Fighter, there are no rules for us when it comes to our songwriting. I'd like to call it some Heavy Stoner Bluescore. We mix a lot, from desert rock, to blues, to doom and sludge, with even a hint of core and Metal. 

We almost enjoy and are very amused, anytime people are heavily trying to fit ourselves into a genre, but they can't, and then are not getting the music we play, since we cover more than just 1 or 2 genres. Many people need to categorize. That's cool and just human. But while we're staying open minded, and if you're looking for some heavy, mean, melodic but dark tunes, that reaches from Desert Rock to Sludge Metal, then you will be probably finding some of your taste in High Fighter. 

Mona Miluski on stage (Pic by Anders Oddsberg)

RtM: And the influences and elements that make up the High Fighter sound? I could identify elements of Stoner and Doom, and Desert Rock and Heavy Blues. I guess that among the influences are bands like Black Sabbath (well, everybody has Sabbath influences, hehehe), Kyuss and Cathedral.
Mona: We listen to all kinds of music. Of course Sabbath is one of them. Among many more. If it's Kyuss, if it's Pantera. If it's old blues, rock and metal, or new doom and sludge bands. But I would not define High Fighter as taking elements of these bands or any genres as a whole, we all are just influenced by the history and presence of sounds we dig, it comes out naturally and the end result is what you will hear in High Fighter. We just let it happen, without thinking of fitting into this or that specific style.  High Fighter is us, we combine our very own and individual influences and try to create our own sound and vision of them.

RtM: And how did you come to choose the name of the band, and what "High Fighter" mean to you?
Mona: Before we unveiled the band to public and while we were still thinking about the perfect name, Thomas - our drummer - once came up with that he likes “Tie Fighter” of Star Wars as a possible band name, we all were into it since we're big Star Wars fans. But then he came up with High Fighter on top, and that nailed it for us to 100%! It's a very strong and powerful name, and not that usual for a band with this sound....I actually can't tell you who this high fighter dude or lady is, it can be created in your very own imagination. 

We like to give enough space for everyone that listens to our music.  If it's someone who struggles and stands up again, or who is just very stoned or high of things in life, you create who the High Fighter is and what he or she means to you. Maybe we're all and must be some High Fighter from time to time and in life....
Live! (Pic by Agata Frelik)
RtM: We can feel the enthusiasm of all members with the band, and this is reflected in the debut EP, which also was released very early, a few months after you forming the band. What do you attribute these facts?
Mona: If there would be no enthusiasm in a band, why doing it? I think, having a fusion of two half, lost bands, who caught up for a first jam and it immediatly felt like that fire, like we had played together for years already,  High Fighter became a very creative unit from the very beginning. “Black Waters” for example, has been written in within 30 minutes! I went out to get us more beer, came back and the song was ready. 

We have a lot of creative energy in this band...We jammed heavily over the months in summer 2014, when we wrote our first songs, it has been always clear to us, that we need to present our first record live. That we need to always keep the fun inside the band. That we need to be enthusiastic but it naturally happened, because we felt in love with each other and with this band from the very beginning. What later became more than just an enthusiastic band, it became family for us. We are enthusiastic for ourselves, not for any fame, but just because we love what we do. 

RtM: We can see nowadays there is a certain revival, with many bands, some more experienced, and other younger ones, bringing a sound influenced by great bands of the 70s, including the labels and record companies releasing much material on the market. I would like you to comment about it, and also what the difference that the band should seek to excel in this competitive scenario?
Mona: I can only speak for myself, but people may got bored by many over-polished sounds we have heard over the last years, so they like to get back to the roots. At least I feel this way. Like analog and live recordings, the way bands did it in the 70's.  It still delivers the real soul of music in my eyes and ears. And I think, the  soul and life of sounds is what bands, fans and also labels need nowdays, it's all getting back to the roots, but with a new energy and modern vibes. I am not a fan of jumping on any trains that are now super hip, like the word Stoner, which became very popular over the last years. Or being in a doom band. May be fancy for some and then they will be a copy of a copy, but as a fan you will always hear and get when a band means it, and is authentic enough to deliver their true sound.

(Pic by Peter Stñcker)

RtM: Talking about the EP "The Goat Ritual", it was recorded live at the band's rehearsal room, then I would like you to comment more about the recording and production of the EP, and why you have chosen to do the recording in this way .
Mona: As mentioned above, when we jammed our first songs heavily, it's been very clear to us that we are going to also present this true live sound of High Fighter on a record. So we did, and locked ourselves into our rehearsal room and recorded 'The Goat Ritual' live and on one weekend. No editing, no highclass studio production, all one-takes. This debut has been recorded, mixed and mastered by our very good friend Benjamin Kapidzic (Skythen), who did an incredible job for a live-recorded demo in our fucked up rehearsal room, spending up to 14 hours with us each day and until the middle of the night. 

We have chosen this way of recording, as it represents us and who we are.  We will be also recording our upcoming full length album live, not in our rehearsal room – this time in a real studio to get more space, but for us we feel it's the right and most comfortable way, to record our tunes live. It still has the above-mentioned, real soul of High Fighter we want to share.


RtM: I would like you to comment about the theme mentioned in the title "The Goat Ritual" and also the themes that the band discusses in your lyrics.
Mona: 'The Goat Ritual' is a very dark-themed record, we do play with heaven and hell although none of us in the band is any religious, but we deal with the demons everyone has in life, struggling with them and living with a dark side, inside all of us. You have it, too.
From a sound perspective, I see this EP as a ritual – you need to listen to it from the start to the very end, as an entire picture and every track belongs to each other. It's a ritual of tunes, it gives you an almost schizophrenic perspective on many genres we combine, if it's the melodic, catchy rock part or very aggressive, mean parts, it's as well a lyrical ride through heaven and hell...We are trying to give enough space in what you hear or feel with our music and lyrics, we won't be telling you what to feel or to hear, I never write my lyrics in a very clear, black on white way - you can just grab it and imagine anything you want for your own life and thoughts.

High Fighter (pic by Frau Siemers)
RtM: The EP had a very good reception from the public and the press. What were your expectations when the releasing? Are you satisfied with the results achieved so far?
Mona: We were more than stoked and very surprised how people reacted on our debut, please remember it's still a demo! But then it got played on several radio stations, we received such great press and are grateful that people seem to dig our very rough and pure sound.

In one year band history only, we have made many new friends and fans, got amazing press and are lucky enough to have played tons of shows already! In 2015 we have played support shows for bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, The Midnight Ghost Train, Mammoth Mammoth or Greenleaf, we have played festivals such as Stoned from the Underground, Sonic Blast in Portugal, Red Smoke Poland, even a press showcase live at Wacken Open Air 2015. 

RtM: Yeah, it's great, many gigs and oportunities to show the band's sound to more people!
Mona: We recently just came back home from a European tour with AHAB and MAMMOTH STORM this Fall, which has been a blast for us. So yes, having played around 60 shows in the first band year, and people got aware of us and show their support in such positive ways, makes it still unreal sometimes, and we are more than satisfied about our first year together as a band.

RtM: And what can you tease us about the future Full Lenght? You already have sufficient compositions and have a release date in mind ?

Mona: It's getting closer and closer. We just came back from tour with Ahab, now we are focussing on finalising our album songs. We do play many of them live already. We currently plan to enter the studio in February of 2016, to record our first full length album. It won't be going into a very different direction of what you know from us already, some tracks will have more doom, some not. It will stay a mix and fusion of many tunes and styles combined in the High Fighter sound. But we will be definitely recording live again. We like to release it until early summer 2016, hopefully by Spring already.

(photo by Sven Ceder)

RtM: There were contacts with record labels or you wish to release it independently?
Mona: There are some interesting chats about a possible label release, but we will see how it goes and where we will find a home for our first album.
At the moment and so far, we have always been a happy do-it-yourself band – so we would not die to release it on our own again. This band has enough own manpower, we understand our 'business'. But we will see where the road and these label conversations will take us, surely it would be a huge step and chance, to have support from a label side of things, especially when it comes to a good distribution.

RtM: What about you Mona, tell us a little how you started in music and metal, and also about your personal influences?

Mona: Well, where to start....I actually grew up in a very music-enthusiastic family, my father is a professional guitarist, and I am lucky enough he left me some of his good genes in my veins.
Started singing in choirs very early and when I was a child, but it was the grunge era that changed my personal music influences and direction. With 13 I joined my first grunge band, when I was 15 years old I started in my first real metal band. I used to sing in metal bands half of my life, before I felt more home in the sludge, doom, stoner metal tunes. 

My biggest personal influcence will have to be Phil Anselmo and all he did in Pantera, Down and other bands he has been involved I am sure, but among many more such as bands as Kyuss, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Eyehategod. Too many to list here. There's also many 'new' bands I personally adore, especially from the desert rock and doom scene. Very looking forward to the new records by Conan, Greenleaf, Radio Moscow and many more, things are bright for these kinds of genres, that used to be underground but became visible over the past years, which is great for the bands to get their tunes being heard.
Luckily, beside my own music and being on stage, behind the scenes I work in the music industry and having the pleasure to be working with great music and many amazing artists the entire day. It's been a long way, full of hard work and passion for what I love...that is music.

RtM: Mona, thanks for your attention, we are waiting the full lenght, and we sure High Fighter will bring to us many great and powerful songs. I let the space for your message to readers!
Mona: Road to Metal, thanks so much for having us! We hope and it would be a dream come true experience, to hopefully be able to play Brazil one day. Thanks for your support, stay high! 


(photo by Adrian Kietzmann)
'2Steps Blueskill' Official Video:

'High in Summer 2015' Tour documentary:

'A Silver Heart' live ( taken from High Fighter's upcoming first, full length album! )

Live at Stoned from the Underground 2015:


Pic by ELP Photo

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