As I’ve mentioned before, indie/alt is taking on a plateful of new content. We have tons of shows coming up, lot’s of amazing albums on our to-review list, but the most exciting part for us is the series of interviews that we’ve carefully (and secretively) been setting up for your pleasure. Our goal is to get the word out about smaller acts by letting you get to know them a little better.
A couple days ago, we posted a mysterious picture of a band, going by the pseudonym “Beauty and the Geek”, on our various social networks. Now, their true identity is revealed in the beginning of our indie/alt interviews series.
Via Skype, I chatted with Eli Hirsch and Quincy Saunders of LA (formerly Portland) band, Superhighway. Superhighway has been featured on indie/alt before, in reviews for Hellogoodbye’s ISTW show, as well as their own feature article marking their departure from the 503.
The indie pop band has been hard at work since they left for SoCal in June, journeying to New York and even Australia to record what will soon become their debut EP. We started out talking about their origins as a band, and the early days of their friendship.
When Saunders was fourteen, he was the camp counselor at a rock and roll camp in Portland called Band Works. Through a band called Goat, he found Meet Your Monster, Eli’s band, who at the time was fifteen.
“I get a Facebook message from [Quincy],” says Hirsch. “That says, ‘Oh my God! You’re my favorite band! Can I please come play for you?'”
The two officially met in Eli’s basement, and became best friends instantly.
“It’s kind of bizarre,” says Hirsch. “We kind of love each other a lot.”
Working together, the two began to expand out of their previous lock in the emo/punk genre, and move into material more in the vein of 80’s style pop. From this, Superhighway (formerly The Ecstatics) was born.
Adds Hirsch, “People who are passionate about the same things at the same level, and also can deal with each other, come together and make it work. And that’s what this is.”
All through high school, the band worked toward this ultimate goal of being able to play music full time.
“We didn’t hang out with our friends,” they said. “We had band practice.”
After much growing and ripening on the scene here in Portland, Superhighway took the move to Los Angeles in June of this year.
“We’ll always be from Portland,” says Hirsch. “We grew up in Portland, we cut our teeth in Portland.”
However, Superhighway is benefiting from the move to LA, even though they haven’t quite been there this whole time.
Superhighway took to the skies to travel down under to Australia, where they spent three straight weeks, every day, eight hours a day, in a basement in Brisbane as they recorded their debut EP.
The good news is, the EP is finished, recorded, and they love it.
“What if you don’t love it?” Hirsch says. “What if you put all this work into something that you hate, but we don’t. We love it.”
Now it’s only a matter of finding someone to put it out, but there are exciting things in the future. First of all, a new song, due to drop in a few weeks, and after that, a music video.
Though they’ve spent almost all of summer in the studio, Superhighway has, and always will be, a live band.
“We exist on this Earth and came out of our Mother’s wombs to play live shows,” Hirsch says. “It’s everything we do, it’s the reason we take our first breath in the morning.”
And for good reason too. Superhighway has, to this day, been the most energetic band I’ve watched live. Through the performance, the band is running, jumping, wailing, and just having an all out blast on stage, and the crowd definitely benefits from this passion.
“Us and the crowd are one entity,” says Hirsch. “One thing happening. That’s where the energy comes from.”
For now, Superhighway’s future looks as promising as ever.
“We’re playing tons of shows,” Hirsch says. “We’re gonna put out this record, and we’re gonna go tour the world nonstop for a year. And then we’ll put out a full length.”
To conclude our chat, Superhighway gives their advice to new bands coming on to the scene.
Their main advice: play lots of shows!
“Play so many shows,” Hirsch says. “And it’s relaxed in the self, but furious in the movement. Believe in yourself, go ape-shit with what you do. That’s it.”
You can watch the full interview, which includes more on pre-show rituals, choosing songs to cover, as well as a speed round, where the band answers hard hitting questions like “Best pizza topping?” and “Elephant sized cat or cat sized elephant?”, in the YouTube video.
During the interview, we also asked what bands Superhighway are listening to now. Their answer comes in the form of our playlist, “On the iPod of… Superhighway“.
Listen to the playlist, watch the video, and share it all. Our goal is to get the word out about these bands, and we can’t do that without your help. Stay tuned for part two of the indie/alt interviews series, with band “Molalla and the Streets”.