Sep 3 2016

Andy & John on BBC 6 Music Liz Kershaw


Interview with the band from BBC Radio 6 music from a few weeks ago

Jun 8 2016

Corey Duffel interview 06.06.2016

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.

Jun 18 2015

Glenn Routledge interview 18/06/2015

Here we have a exclusive interview with THE HIGH sleeve designer Glenn Routledge!

Hi Glenn, Can you tell us abit about your upbringing?

I was brought up in North Manchester and had the usual sort of northern upbringing, nothing special, except that I had great parents and tons of friends too!

What was the first music you seriously got into?

First music, if I have to be honest was David Bowie and Roxy Music, but that was many moons ago and my taste in music varied over time, eventually being into most Factory Bands and later enjoying almost everything coming out of ‘Madchester’ … including Inspiral Carpets, Northside and Happy Mondays of course …

Artwork by Glen Routlidge

Your artwork for THE HIGH’s singles and debut album Somewhere Soon are highly regarded as some of the best indie artwork ever produced. How did you get into design?

After leaving school, I went to study Visual Communications/Graphic Design at an Independent Art College. After five long years of diverse experiences, fun and study, I got my first job in a Manchester Advertising Agency within two weeks of leaving Art College. My career in design just blossomed from there and I worked on many ‘cutting edge’ projects, including exhibitions, package design and point-of-sale work.

Had you done any other artwork for any other bands prior to THE HIGH?

Yes, I did the artwork for the Stone Roses sleeve, ‘So Young/Tell Me’  (Thin-Line), Quando-Quango, Loopzilla, Hypnotone and others, along with some other work for Factory too, but I simply cannot remember everything nowadays!

Were you employed by London Records?

Contracted to produce sleeve design.

Had you heard of THE HIGH before doing the artwork? What were/are your fav tracks by THE HIGH?

Yes I had, on the grapevine so’s to say. My favourite tracks were/are Box Set Go, Take your time, Up and Down, Somewhere soon.

How were you asked to do the artwork for THE HIGH?

I think it was by their first manager, when I went along to a video shoot to see them perfoming.

What was you inspiration behind each piece of work you did for THE HIGH?

For each individual piece of work I cannot remember, but ‘Somewhere Soon’ was inspired by the sleeve for ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ on the recommendation of the band (or their manager!). The collage idea was something that I had developed over the years and I enjoyed the rough but documentative feel about them.

Your artwork on THE HIGH’s work had tinges of a Mod/Pop Art theme. Was that deliberate?

Yes it was deliberate and that was done in stark contrast to rock themes …

Box Set Go detail

I just remembered something that was amazing regarding Box Set Go and this is probably something that people will be interested in.

‘When I produced the artwork for Box Set Go, I wanted something minimalist and totally striking. So with the help of my partner Brendon we came up with the idea of three simple ‘traffic light’ dots in contemporary colours, but within a box, which was so simple but effective and not done before.

Returning from London, I stepped out of Manchester Piccadilly train station to see the hoardings covered in extra large posters for Box Set Go – a whole line of those striking images, definitely noticeable and certainly unavoidable. In fact they were in the best positions all over Manchester City Centre at the time!’

Good huh?

How was each design for THE HIGH’s work put together? Was everything made by hand or were computer design functions around at that time?

At that time, everything was assembled by skilful hand, with the additional of photography and reprographic techniques. Computer design was around but not fully developed and you can see an early computer aided effect where the photographic image of the band is superimposed onto the manual design.

Did the THE HIGH as a band have much say in the design of the sleeve? Did you meet up with them to discuss this?

Yes I think the band did have some say in the design and I did meet now and again, but to some extent this was controlled by their manager and London Records.

Did you see THE HIGH live at any point? If so where?

Yes I saw them perform at an initial video shoot, but also live in Manchester in 1990.

Do you still own any of the sleeve designs you produced for THE HIGH?

Here is a technical question; I have a small collection of the published items, but I guess I still have ‘ownership’ or ‘joint ownership’ of the actual copyright.

Did you design any other artwork for any other bands after THE HIGH?

Yes, I did, but cannot remember them all, sorry!

What have you done since those days? Are you still working in design?

I continued in Design, Media and Publishing for many years working on major accounts. But later made a change of direction and became a Lawyer (with excellent design skills!).

When did you first hear of THE HIGH reforming?

To my surprise I read about it in January this year.

Are you looking to see the band live since they’re reformation?

Yes, I’d like to go to Manchester Academy to watch them play in May this year.

Thanks for your time!


More ... detail

Jun 6 2015

Oldham Chronicle Gigantic Review and Band Interview

THE HIGH fan Simon Smedley has been covering THE HIGH’s reformation since interviewing John Matthews a few months before Gigantic. I had the pleasure of meeting  Simon after the momentous show at Academy 2 at Gigantic. Here we have Simons superb article from this weeks Oldham Chronicle. Brilliant work Simon..!!


May 21 2015

Chris Goodwin exclusive interview

In a exclusive interview I get the chance to interview the original drummer with THE HIGH Chris Goodwin, a true gent!


Hi Chris, how are you?

Hello Matthew, tonight im gonna be Chris Goodwin, all good in the hood.

Tell us abit about your upbringing?

Music was everywhere in our house growing up. My Dad was (is) a great singer and loved sinatra, my Mum was (is) into Shirley Bassey and the carpenters. My 3 sisters (no brothers) were massive fans of Bolan, Bowie then later punk and my youngest sister Gill is a Paul Weller obsessive!! Lol

So i couldn’t have asked for a better grounding than listening to these artists booming out of every room ,so you could see from an early stage i wasnt gonna take up stamp collecting ……….saying that i did a good racket with the green shield stamp books………(older viewers only)

How did you get into drumming?

The first time i picked up two of my mums fat knitting needles and started whacking fuck out of a cushion (percussion) i knew 2 things.
1: I was gonna be a drummer & 2: I’ve just found out im allergic to dust ….
In the school holidays me and a couple of mates used to work at the working mens club to earn a few free shandies, there was a concert room and a stage with a drum kit and an organ, the landlord was a top fella and we used to go in the games room playing snooker and playing the band kits, then when he nipped to the bookies i was off like a shot on that drum kit, it felt fantastic, it was a slingerland sparkley thing and it didnt make me come out in hives so that was the moment…..ill get a drum kit………well ill ask me mum for one.

What was your first bands you were in?

The first gig i played with was a band called Wheatsones Bridge, we played a load of sixties covers and got a residency at the famous Miners arms Oldham every Saturday, we were in the big time ha ha!!
I played with a lot of bands along the way all of which ive absolutely loved, one band in particular Asia Fields were a ramshackle bunch led by the fantastic Graham Maley who i think is a brilliant songwriter and singer i played with The Jerks for a while who were ahead of their time and a brief spell with the Inspiral Carpets and an early version of The Stone Roses whom you may not have heard of……..oh yes and of course the fantastic Steve Diggle out of the Buzzcocks.

Why did you leave The Roses?

You wanna know about the roses thing dont you ?………… wanna know why i left the stone roses dont you ?……..i know people say to me , are you gutted that you left the roses etc???…and i always say one thing …..yes!!! I’m not bitter though……….im Utd……


Fast forward to THE HIGH. How did you meet the other members of the band?

How did we meet ??…well myself, Simon Davies and Andy Couzens were working with steve diggle and split and formed THE HIGH…..
I knew john from his fantastic band Turning Blue and the rest is history.

Any interesting stories you can tell us of your time in THE HIGH?

We had some amazing times working with some cool people none more mind blowing than Martin Hannett.
One particular martin moment which stands out was, we were recording up and down in Strawberry Studios and i was playing the kit and he was umming and arring, shaking his head, coming in and out of the control room and im saying…’whats up martin?’…’im not getting the right colour’ …..’eh ?’…i said….’its not right something is not right with the overheads’ said Martin……
Now martin always used two overhead mics as ambient sound only he uses a cigarette butt in between the two mics… a sandwich…….
Martin then decides to go to the pub whilst i’m told to keep pounding away on the kit and not to stop……
2 hours later martin stumbles through the studio, ‘hang on a minuite hang on a min’………he then pulls out the ciggie butt, inspects it, then says ‘….ahh, thought so !!’… like ‘what ???(sweating me nads off )’…….’this is a Embassy Regal cig’……..I’m like yea???’………’I only use Camel cigs!!!!…….lets record !!!’……………
So I loved my time with THE HIGH, we wrote some timeless songs which i still think sound relevant and cool today which is why i think the new look version of THE HIGH today will smash the Academy this week

What do you get up to these days Chris?

My time these days is taken up working on our busy family catering, we supply business’s were im managing our prepared vegatable site in rural west lancs …………

Do you still play the drums?

I still play the drums but only as a hobby in my music room at home, i was asked kindly to rejoin THE HIGH but its not for me at this time ………after years of not being in touch with the former members of THE HIGH its been really nice getting back in touch with them and I hope to finally have that long lost pint with them …………good luck for Gigantic x