THE HIGHER SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE
EPITAPH DEBUT ALBUM DROPS MARCH 6, 2007
The Higher will release its Epitaph debut album On Fire, on March 6, 2007. Produced by Mike Green (The Matches, Paramore), the disc will contain three of the four songs from its Digital-only EP Pace Yourself released today (December 12th) via iTunes, plus nine additional tracks.
Opening with the contagious pop of “Insurance?” the disc will consist of the immediate rock anthem, “Rock My Body,” “Pace Yourself” (remixed by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump) and the alluring “Histrionics,” which first appeared on the group’s acclaimed 2005 full-length indie LP of the same name. It was that disc – along with a Los Angeles performance at the Roxy earlier this year – that drew the interest of several major labels. But ultimately, the Las Vegas-based band chose to ink with Epitaph.
“By the end of the second song I was convinced that I wanted to sign them,” says Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz of the Roxy performance by The Higher – which also counts vocalist Seth Trotter, guitarist Robert Ragan, bassist Jason Centeno and drummer Patrick Harter. Citing “Seth’s phenomenal voice” and their “R&B influence” as two key components, Epitaph’s honcho told The Las Vegas Weekly, “I only sign bands I think can go all the way, and I believe the sky’s the limit for The Higher.”
“We talked to pretty much every label, but we really didn’t want to take our band to a major,” 21-year old guitarist Tom Oakes admits. “This is our fourth year now, and we want to build a natural fan base. Epitaph is definitely the smartest option for us. [The] Offspring’s Smash sold 11 million on Epitaph, so the capability of selling millions of records is there. But if you sell 200,000 records on an indie label, you’re pretty incredible. If you sell 200,000 on a major, you’re worthless.”
Fusing elements of pop, emo and R&B, the band’s sound has been described as Saves The Day meets Justin Timberlake. Describing the creative process beneath On Fire, Oakes says, “We’ve been pumping our little hearts and minds to make the most fabulous record we could ever make. Seth’s voice is phenomenal, I’ve watched that kid sing since third grad and every year it gets so much better. Wow does it show on this record!”
“The skills the rest of us have contributed, the ideas, the influences, the beats, the shredding… it’s been such a magical process,” Oakes adds. “It’s going to spin you around like you’re on a roller coaster. I don’t know if you’ll be able to put your finger on it, and we love that.”
Dating back to 2002, when Trotter, Centeno and Harter played together in a high school band, The Higher took shape when Oakes joined the next year. Playing local Vegas shows opening for the likes of Something Corporate, The Starting Line and Yellowcard, the group recorded a demo of the songs they wrote when they were just 16, which became their debut EP for Fiddler Records. That disc, Star Is Dead, was produced by Saosin’s Beau Burchell and led to eighteen months of touring with the likes of Silverstein, Park and Emery. The album will be their first since 2005's Histrionics was released on the defunct Fiddler Records
Here is the track listing for On Fire:
Rock My Body
Can Anyone Really Love Young
Our Movie Rules
Pace Yourself (Patrick Stump Remix)