Last week, we caught up with Oli Chang – one-half of Brooklyn-based dream-pop duo High Highs. They’re currently in the country for the 2013 St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival circuit and are hoping to squeeze in some spearfishing while Down Under.
Where are you and what are you wearing? I am currently at a café in Surry Hills, I think. I’m wearing some black Marsu Homme shoes, some peach coloured socks, grey jeans, an Antipodium shirt with a High Highs pendant and some trendy sun-glasses. Sounds like you’re fitting right into the Sydney hipster scene quite well. Thanks (laughs).
Are you getting pumped for the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals? Yeah, we are really pumped. Super pumped! The weather is really nice too. It’s so balmy here (laughs).
Are there any acts that you may find yourself stalking backstage? Yeah, for sure. I love Holy Other and Shlohmo a lot. I really want to meet them, somehow (laughs). I just love Holy Other’s album. It’s just so good; I listen to it all the time. So yeah, they are my two favourites for sure.
Will you guys actually get any time to look around, go for a swim at the beach, lay in the sun and work on a tan? Yeah man, I hope so. So far we’ve just been running around doing press. We quickly ran down to the harbour yesterday though (laughs). We’ll be hanging around a bit on the weekend, so I’ll hopefully get down to the beach to work on my tan a bit. Then after the shows, we’ll hopefully have some time to do a bit of spear fishing and go for a surf, and stuff like that. That’ll be a lot of fun.
Are there many punch-ups between you while on the road? (Laughs) Yeah, maybe a lot of metaphorical punch-ups. I mean, we have been working quite closely together and we do spend a lot of time together (laughs). I think problems come in a band when people are passive aggressive and don’t actually bring up issues as they arise. If you keep pushing them down, it is eventually going to erupt into a gunfight or something. People can get killed, you know? In short, we have a few quarrels, but it’s all in the name of communication (laughs).
Who takes the longest showers? Interesting question (laughs). Yeah, I don’t know actually, I think we are both fairly quick. Although, maybe I’m in there longer, when I’m exfoliating (laughs).
What can Australia expect from a live High Highs performance? Compared to the album, it is a lot more synthy and raw. There’s far more scale of dynamics to the live shows. The album kind of has dreamy atmosphere throughout it, which we still maintain in the live setting, but it just hits a bit harder in the big bits, and can then become really intimate in the smaller areas. We’ve been tweaking our set quite a bit leading up to this as to try and make it more exciting and fun. It is going to be a lot of fun. We do quite a bit of improvising on stage too, just to keep it fresh and interesting.
You can catch the High Highs at one of the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals happening around the country over the next few weeks. Tickets are still available to a few of them, so get in there ASAP.
Alternatively, you can check them out at one of the below sideshows that are going down this week:
High Highs’ debut album Open Season hit the shelves at the end of the week. Until then, get yourself acquainted/reacquainted with the High Highs and their self-titled debut EP from 2012: