Ahead of the release of their debut album, we caught up with Heights to discover their festival plans…
MTTM: Your debut album, Dead Ends, is due for release the 21st of this month. Are you nervous about the launch? And do you feel you’ve achieved what you wanted to with this record?
Heights: I think we are all a little nervous definitely. A fair few people have heard the album by now and we’ve had a really positive response which has been great, but there is always the uncertainty of how the general fans and public will take to it. This is our first album release so there is a slight element or the unknown surrounding everything, but to answer your second question we do feel like we’ve achieved what we wanted to with the record. We are all very pleased with and proud of the album. So no matter what people say about it, we’ll have our heads held high.
MTTM: What were the major influences behind the record? Are there any that people might not expect considering the hardcore nature of your music?
Heights: I would say there are a lot of influences that people wouldn’t expect! Myself and Dean are big Fleetwood Mac fans; I also love Steely Dan and Dean in a Pink Floyd nut. So I guess those influences are floating around in there somewhere as well as what we get from the more expected bands
MTTM: Dead Ends was written while you toured over the past year. Has touring filtered into your sound and developed it, or do you feel you’ve just matured with the experience?
Heights: It’s a combination of the two, our song writing was inevitably going to progress and mature as we got older and more experienced as song writers. But I think when you get out on the road you really start to learn what works in a live setting and what doesn’t. When we were writing the album we definitely had an eye on how we were going to achieve the songs at a show, whereas with the E.P it was a case of writing them at home and in the studio and then getting into a practice room and thinking “right, how can we play this?”
MTTM: How do you feel this record differs from your previous work on the Empires EP?
Heights: It’s definitely a bit darker and heavier. We’re still the same band but everything has just been taken up a notch
MTTM: You’re set to play quite a few festivals this summer, including Download and Ghostfest, how does it feel to be playing such renowned festivals and to such large crowds?
Heights: It’s a real privilege to be playing alongside such great bands. Sometimes we look at the line ups and feel like imposters! But we are really excited and we’ve got our fingers crossed that people have some time in their day to come and check us out and see what we’ve got.
MTTM: Your live shows have gained an infamous reputation, with dislocated jaws and broken floorboards. Did you expect people to go this crazy for your music?
Heights: We actually had another injury on our last tour; a dude busted his ankle and had to go to hospital after our first song! But not really, sometimes you write something that you know is going to cause some mosh, but most of the time we just write what we think is cool. I think people feed of the energy we have for our own music on stage
MTTM: You recently finished the video for the single Eye for an Eye. It’s a pretty unusual video, what’s the concept behind it? And is it what you had in mind before you started filming?
Heights: We actually did all the filming the video back in December of last year! We’ve just been sat on it for a while. We worked with the videographer Ryan Mackfall (who is a really great dude) about how to try and tie a bit of story line in with the live shots and we ended up with the guys in the masks as a rough tie in to some of the lyrics. This was our first ever video so we had no idea what to expect really, but we are really pleased with the finished product
MTTM: Following your summer tour and the release of Dead Ends, what are the future plans for Heights?
Heights: I am just chatting to the guys about writing some new songs at the moment, its looks like we are going to get our heads down at some point in the summer and start writing album number two! But beyond that we just want to carry on touring to as many places old and new as possible and carry on writing music we can get excited about.