Highrider was formed in Gothenburg back in 2013 with the idea to play hard music with the addition of keyboards basically. We have all been playing in different punk, hardcore and metal bands for a long time. I played bass in Fredag den 13:e until 2012. Christopher and Axel are childhood friends from another city and they had a band called Din Skevf and other bands before that. Axel moved to Gothenburg and then me and him started making songs together with Eric on guitar. Then Christopher moved here as well and I forced him to play keyboards with us, haha. He usually play bass but he is a very talented musician so it wasn’t a problem. I knew Peter from before when we used to work together and when Eric quit to start a family I ran into Peter at a show and that’s it. Now we make music and try not to kill each other in the process.
2.So far you have released an ep and have a full length coming out in September, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
When we released ”Armageddon Rock” in may 2016 it was the result of a long process. We got into the studio and we didn’t have a singer and things were a bit unclear. We wanted to have a heavy psychadelic vibe to the songs but also straight forward power. The sound is mostly inspired by stoner doom rockers like High On Fire and The Sword, that was what we were into to at the time. When we couldn’t find a singer we liked I did the vocals. It took some time to finish but it turned out great in the end.
After the release Eric quit and Peter joined the band. This time the recording went very smooth, it was finished over a couple of weekends at the end of last year. We had the greater part of the songs ready from before but still it’s quite different from the EP. We wanted to go more hardcore and punk and not so much metal. The sound is rawer and darker and so are the lyrics. It has a lot more varied songs, different styles, some seventies stuff and some hardcore and thrash. It comes together nicely even if it may seem messy in print, haha.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
It’s usually politics, the end of civilisation, suicide or anti social behaviour in one way or the other. There is one song on the new album about a guy who rapes an unconsious woman and gets his dick and balls bitten off by a toothed vagina. It is dedicated to the Brock Turners of the world. We also have lyrics about religion and so on. The main goal is to make the listener a bit uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The suicide theme is mostly theraputical and also when you sing about something you think is important it’s easier to make a good vocal effort. It’s a win-win situation.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Highrider'?
Highrider was the working title of a song from the EP. High is from High On Fire and Rider is from Doomriders. When you make songs you don’t always have a title ready but you have to call it something so it doesn’t get confused with other songs. Usually it’s ”the fast one” or something like that but we were out of the easy ones at the time. We liked the way it sounded and didn’t have any other suggestions. Band names are not as important as good songs anyway in my opinion.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The one so far that made an impression on me so far was playing at the Fredag den 13:e 10 year anniversary show last december. It was special for me at least. We also did a show in Gothenburg at a place called Sticky Fingers this summer. It was great cause we finally got to do a show with proper gear for the keyboard. It easily gets drowned out by the bass and guitar noise. It sounded amazing, you can find it on youtube if you like. Punk squats and DIY places are not used to people dragging synthezisers up on stage. We are direct and to the point when we play live. Not a lot of talking between songs and if available we use low set red lights and smoke machines. We try to keep the set tight and powerful.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the album is released?
We go on tour in september the same week the album comes out. We play in Germany, Poland and Czech Republik I think, together with Fredag den 13:e. We get a lot more proposals now than a year ago but nothing really solid yet as far as more tours. We pick up shows as we go. We´ll se what happens, I think we’ll be out playing soon again.
7.The new album is coming out on 'The Sign Records', are you happy with the support they have given you so far.
Yes, we are very happy! They do a great job promoting our stuff and puts a lot of trust in the band. Kaj and Patrik are great guys and work hard. We’ve even played a few shows with Patrik’s band Snake Tongue. They are really close to the independent music scene and have been around forever.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by the fans of many different metal styles?
We google search on occasion and most people who have heard the EP seems to like it. If they dont like it they usually hate it which is fine by us. We enjoy reading those the most. We don’t want the five out of ten star- reviews, that would be really disappionting. We have done pretty well on live gigs so far and we really want to get out and play more shows.
9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Chrisopher is a bit busy with a pop band called Tomma Intet. Other than that there is none. There isn’t any time left to do much else.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I’m not sure. So far we haven’t been doing much new material. I think we’ll explore more moody territories, more introvert stuff. Hopefully the fast parts will be faster and the slow parts slower and so on. The general directon is more hardcore and doomie I think at this point.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I really like older bands like Black Sabbath, Motörhead and Rainbow. My formative years were a bit wasted on nu-metal but other than that Roadrunner Records were very important to me in the nineties, Sepultura, Biohazard and Type O Negative to name a few. I also listened to some NYHC like Sick of it all and Madball. Anyone who have heard of Type O or Carnivore will notice that I am also a big fan of Peter Steele (RIP). Christopher and Axel listened to a lot of punk and hardcore, Black Flag, Minor Threat, stuff like that. They were also way more into the swedish punk scene, the whole DIY-thing. All this have influenced the music we make now and I think it shows a great deal. Nowadays we listen to bands like Martyrdöd, Dark Funeral, Midnight, Skitkids, Integrity, Power Trip. There are too many to mention.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Christpher is into painting weird stuff, I follow politics a bit and lift tiny weights. Axel likes to drink beer. Peter smokes a lot of cigarettes and I’m a bit worried. He also enjoys football a lot.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We would like to thank you for your attention and hope you’ll be able to pick up the record when it comes out in september. We also hope to see you on tour soon! Take care and be nice to each other!