World famous skateboarder Corey Duffel tells us about his all time favourite band THE HIGH
Hi Corey. Can you tell us abit about your upbringing?
I was raised in a quiet town 15 miles east of San Francisco. Like many of my music heroes, i was a bored teenager looking for action and discovered skateboarding and punk rock at a young age, and was doing whatever I could to spend my time hanging out in the city and getting away from normality of the blue collar burbs.
What was the first music you got into?
My mom always had good rock n roll playing in the car and introduced my two brothers and I, to good stuff at early ages. I cant ever remember not having a turntable or boombox around for us to enjoy. In the car, even to this day, my mom still listens to the alternative rock station. In the 90s, it was MTV, and my older cousins would give us tapes with cool bands. I remember buying Beck ‘I’m A Loser’, at 9 years old. My mom took me to the store to pick up the cassette single. She probably picked up a Nirvana, album that day or Smashing Pumpkins. I remember thinking it was so cool that my mom was into good music. She introduced me to my favourites. The Who, Clash, Ramones, and even bought me my first Sex Pistols CD when i was 13. I remember really liking the american grunge music at a young age and that led me into discovering punk rock and what not a few years later.
How did you get into skate boarding? You have quite a large following on Twitter etc…
I didn’t want to be like everybody else and play football and be told how to do do something. Skateboarding was a counter culture and very against the grain when i started in 1994. I thought i was so appealing because it wasn’t anything I had really seen before and it looked fun to fly down the streets and scare off ladies off the sidewalk. I picked it up from a neighbourhood kid and his brother, had skateboards and i traded them comics and pizza to borrow it one day and could never get rid of the addiction
When did you first hear THE HIGH?
I actually didn’t discover Somewhere Soon til thirteen years after it was released. When I heard it for the first time i was blown away that something so great slipped through the cracks for so many people. I’ve turned so many friends onto The High, that never heard of them either. I am a big Martin Hannett, fan and was reading some stuff and the name The High, was mentioned, so i started looking every where for something by the band. Finally, I found a copy of Somewhere Soon off eBay. It is quite hard to find a lot of uk pressings here in the states and was even harder years ago, before eBay and Discogs were stockpiled with every thing you could imagine.
What was it about THE HIGH’s music that you connected with the most?
The song writing is brilliant and the production is amazing. Somewhere Soon, is a masterpiece to me, and i can listen to it five times in a row, and it gets better every listen. One of those records that doesn’t get boring and I hear something new every time. The guitar work is really amazing. Listen to “This Is My World” and tell me you didn’t feel anything during the song. Truly they are up there with the greats of the early britpop, and shoegaze movement.
What are the favourite tracks by THE HIGH?
“A Minor Turn” The Martin Hannett, session is my favourite for sure. I actually really wanted to use it in a skateboard video part in 2007, but I could not get the rights from the label. I always thought it would have been a beautiful song for a part. Dreams Of Denish, starts off side two Like a kick to the balls. Wakes you the fuck up and gets you ready for another few songs. Somewhere Soon, as the ender is just great, and when i hear it, I know its almost time to flip it back to side one for another go.
You have been a constant supporter of all things to do with THE HIGH since they’re reformation. What would you like to see THE HIGH do next?
I just think it is so cool that they are playing again, and Andy’s kid, Jack is on stage with them. I think that is really neat. The revival of so many 90s bands is amazing, because so many fans didn’t get to see them in the heyday, and there is a whole new generation that are fans.
When are we going to see you use THE HIGH’s music on your skate videos?
I tried and got shut down by London Records, in 2007. They wanted an enormous check, so I actually ended up using a track by The House Of Love, instead. I would still love to use song in the future. Might be a bit easier now that there is a small connection.
Would you like to see THE HIGH a gig in USA?
Absolutely. I wish i could guarantee a huge turn out and big bucks for a band that deserves it, but I know I would be there no matter what and would be dancing.
What are your own plans for the future? THE HIGH ambassador?
Skateboarding is slowing down for me as i am getting older, but I want to remain involved with it the most I can, or to follow my dreams with music, and work on starting an indie label.
Thanks for allowing me to do this and I hope some of the answers are ok.