It's surely no exaggeration to proclaim that Chicago's own High Spirits are one of the hottest new bands in metal. Their first album was initially issued as a private release in 2009 (to be taken on by High Roller Records a while later). 2011's »Another Night« (also on High Roller) received great reviews (especially in continental Europe).
When High Spirits played the prestigious Rock Hard festival in May 2012, they went down a storm with the German audience. Many regarded them as the highlight of the whole event.
Now the time has come for the third studio album entitled »You Are Here«. Nine timeless traditional metal songs played from the heart – power, passion and immortal hooks. All instruments were handled by Chris Black “The Professor” himself. He was also responsible for the songwriting on tracks like “When The Lights Go Down”, “The Last Night” or “I Will Run”. The album also contains a re-vamped version of the band's signature song “High Spirits”. “'High Spirits' seems to be one of our most popular songs,” states Chris Black. “Along with 'Full Power' and of course 'Another Night In The City'. But the only studio version of 'High Spirits' was an amateur recording with drum machine from 2009, so I felt it was worthwhile making an up-to-date version. I’m sure some fans will prefer the old version, and maybe the new version will be special for others.”
"Gone To Pieces" is probably the most accessible number on the new album – having almost a pop feel to it. It once again shows that you always have to expect the unexpected when listening to a new High Spirits record. Chris Black explains: “I want all of our songs to be accessible, familiar, and inviting. When I’m writing, I don’t think about boundaries. One of the things that I learned from High Spirits is that taking risks is an essential part of my songwriting process.” And that's exactly the way to go …”
A song like "Reminding You Of Me" shows traces of a fine little old band called Trespass, especially the guitar tone of the initial riff. “I know what you mean,” comments Chris. “Sometimes I like to use a recurring guitar melody such as here or in 'Do You Remember'. The riffs in 'Reminding You of Me' really aren’t very exciting on their own, but the melody gives the guitars a certain 'voice' that fits the atmosphere of the song and lyrics. Many English bands used this songwriting technique from time to time with great results!”
The production on the new record is once again really direct, really warm - the olde English way … Chris agrees: “»Another Night« had a very smooth sound, and the »2013« demo compilation continued in an even more atmospheric direction. So with this album I wanted to steer a bit closer to our live sound, more direct as you say, maybe a bit more natural.”
The cover for »You Are Here« (some people will know that there was a UFO album by the same name a couple of years back) might be interpreted as a pun on the London Underground network map. So it kind of implies (at least to me) that High Spirits have their musical roots in the N.W.O.B.H.M. Or is that reading too much into it? According to Chris Black that may well be an overinterpretation: “That wasn’t the idea specifically, but there’s also nothing wrong with that interpretation! In life we all walk our own paths, which run in many different directions, but sometimes they converge. I’m always aware of this when we are performing. Everyone in that room arrived from a different place, yet by some combination of choice and chance, we are all experiencing a few moments of our lives together. And I take that very seriously.”
For High Spirits the future does look bright. Sky seems to be the limit … and mainstream success might be just around the corner. “We have already gone so much farther than I imagined,” is what Chris says. “At the beginning, High Spirits was a personal project done purely for my own enjoyment. I had no intentions of playing live at all, let alone having some of the incredible opportunities we have had during our short career. I think you’re right that our fanbase is quite diverse, and I’m very proud to see that.”
Be assured that »You Are Here« will end up one of the Top 10 metal albums in 2014!