HighBall By: Jeffrey Kurtis
[Jose] Energy/Power Rock with a side of punk.
[Chris] Everyone says we sound a lot like Screeching Weasel.
[Leo] Energetic, with early punk influences, simple.
2. With so many other bands out there right now, what do you feel makes Highball different then bands playing a similar style?
[Jose] Hair count is much lower in Highball. In all seriousness, I don't think we're focused on trying to sound different or differentiate ourselves. We do what we do because that's what comes out when we write our songs. We have fun doing what we're doing and we hope people that come out to our shows have fun and enjoy the songs as well. I guess if there's one thing that might make us different is that we focus on having fun first and not taking everything so seriously.
[Chris] I agree the energy and that we're truly enjoying ourselves adds to the music, something you can't emulate on a CD.
[Leo] We may not be the most talented band but we make up for that with great shows and lots of positive energy.
3. Do you have anything released and if so what? (include if it is on your own, or via a record deal etc...also include any info on any future releases you know of at this time).
[Jose] Self-released 2 song demo, some live recordings and videos on our website and a 6 song split cd on the way with After the Fight.
[Chris] We've been slow to put out a release; beer and shows have gotten in the way. However we were able to make some cool t-shirts that we giveaway at shows!
4. Where can people check out the music or pick up a CD if they'd like to?
[Jose] www.highballchicago.com www.myspace.com/highball
[Chris] Our 6 song split CD should be out March/April 2006 so check the website.
5. (If you do not already have a record deal of some kind) Do you have any label interest at this time?
[Chris] no, but that shouldn't discourage the majors from calling or sending us an email.
6. What is the most important thing that a label can offer Highball that will make them sign?
[Jose] An endless supply of Frijoles (spanish for beans)
[Chris] Benjamin's, is that still cool to say or am I dating myself.
[Leo] Free beer and groupies.
7. Have you done any touring yet? If so favorite cities, funny stories, etc…
[Chris] no, Jose we drove all that way out in suburbs were you live to play a show that was touring. The Clearwater Theater was the farthest we've gone so far. The memory partying at Matt from Shooting Blanks house afterwards.
8. Which tour or single show stands out as the one that has benefited you the most?
[Jose] Clearwater Theater/Bottom Lounge
[Chris] The first show with Jose in the lineup. His resume read well but you never know what you're getting til you play live in front of audience. Plus Jose can put the beers away so I was worried he'd be wasted before we even played, needless to say over a year later it's worked out well.
[Leo] The Clearwater Theater, The Bottom Lounge and The Big Horse (Halloween night 2005).
9. If given the opportunity to open for any band dead or alive who would it be?
[Jose] Ritchie Valens, I would love to have played in that era.
[Chris] Elvis Presly, he new how to put on a show plus my mom loved him.
[Leo] The Ramones, The Clash, and Backstreet Boys.
10. What was the first song you heard that made you want to play music?
[Jose] Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker
[Chris] Scorpions - Rock you like a Hurricane
[Leo] Johnny Be Good by Chuck Berry.
11. What about the punk scene attracted you to it?
[Jose] The do it yourself attitude and the amazing energy of the music
[Chris] The comrade ere of the bands and fun everyone has without that I'm too cool in band attitude.
[Leo] Straight forward, simplicity, high energy, rebellion.
12. You are from the Chicago area that is blowing up with bands like Allister, Fallout Boy, etc… What do you think is the best part about playing in the Chicago scene?
[Jose] There are tons of places that host music so local bands always have a place to play.
[Chris] The local band scene is supportive of other bands. Plus with the exposure of Fall Out Boy it'll provide a great opportunity for Chicago bands.
[Leo] Whatever kind of music you play, there's always a following.
13. Other than yourselves what Chicago area band should people keep their eyes on?
[Jose] Shooting Blanks, The Cells, Textbook
[Chris] After the Fight, Shot Baker
[Leo] Textbook, Shooting Blanks, DSF, After the Fight, and The Cells
14. How do you feel about people downloading music and its effects on the industry?
[Jose] I don't really care, until concert prices start coming down, I say "download away"
[Chris] I read a great article in a magazine saying the movie industry of America complained about the VCR and how it would destroy the movie industry. A couple years later the movie industry was making millions off video sales. The record industry needs to get their heads out of their asses and make a CD full of good songs instead of 1-3 radio friendly songs. That formula has lead people to download so they don't buy a CD full of filler. The good part of downloading as I see it is that it exposes lesser-known bands that you normally would have never known of.
[Leo] I'm all for it.
15. What piece of advice would you offer to a band that is just starting out with hopes of making it?
[Jose] Don't have hopes of making it, playing in a band should always be fun, the second you focus all your efforts on trying to make it, you lose sense of direction and being in a band suddenly becomes a job or a chore and the let down when you don't make it will be that much more devastating "Making it" is like winning the lottery. There are plenty of amazingly talented bands out there that will never be "discovered" but that shouldn't stop them from doing what they love to do.
[Chris] Remember there is always a better band than yours, but is there a band that's having more fun than yours?
[Leo] Enjoy it for what it is and don't take yourself too seriously.