Start with the premise that popular music is a game where corruption, extortion, and all forms of vice rule supreme. Bands get hooked in all the time, by the claws of industry, by the faint whiffs of the juiced up flesh that clings to the bones of the popular beast. “It’s easier than ever to get into to this mess”… that’s what the righteous people in Vancouver’s High Drops told me. “Knowing the way out is gonna be tough”. I had been trying to track these guys down for quite some time after hearing their amazing 10” EP that sold out shortly after the ink dried on the 300 copies. I hunkered down at the Red Wagon… I knew these guys were ‘checking out of the scene’ but I wanted to be ready to pounce.
NB: How important to you is the idea of music being instinctual?
HD: I’ve never really thought about it before. I think it’s just something that gradually develops in people as they spend more time with it. It becomes an intrinsic relationship.
NB: Realistically where do you see the High Drops being in a couple years?
HD: It’s hard to say, hopefully still together. Things can change quickly within two years. We have a 7″ split coming out on Student Loan records with Bummer High in October. We’ve also started recording songs for our first full length which is exciting. As for the future a few more records and some tours would be nice. We haven’t played in another city before, so playing for some different folks has its appeal.
NB: The first time I saw you perform I thought ‘these guys are dangerous, someone is going to sign these guys’. Do you think that is a fair assessment?
HD: Well that’s being generous. I don’t really see the band as being a threat in anyway, we’re all quite tame. I take it your involved with some big tycoons maybe you can hook us with a serious provider?
NB: Vancouver has a glut of fucked up party bands. The High Drops have always been about party rock… Would you agree?
HD: That kind of environment is always a lot of fun to play in. A high energy situation can make thing’s a lot more interesting. I think we’ve actually played one party in our entirety though. It’s great to see people dance and get lost in what you’re doing, but we do owe a lot of that to heavy consumption.
NB: Is it a good time to be a young person on this city?
HD: I’ve lived here my whole life, and love it here. It seems that Vancouver is starting to appeal to a more so successful, situated demographic which makes it a lot harder for younger people to survive here… it’s very expensive. What do they call it “the city of class?” It’s bitter sweet.
NB: You recently went on tour down in the Big Sur area and it turned into a vacation of sorts. What is it about that landscape that you find appealing?
HD: We we’re supposed to do our first tour with The Shilohs but it fell through so we decided to go camping along the 101 instead. We didn’t have any particular plan and because of that we met a lot of great people and got see some amazing stuff. I think Mike managed to drink 8 cans of beer in the passenger seat while we were driving the 5 between Oakland and Sacramento in the middle of the afternoon. That should give you an idea of how the trip went.
NB: Together with Capitol 6 and the Shilohs you have managed to release a number of great limited edition vinyl pressings. Is there any friendly competition amongst the bands?
HD: We’ve played a handful of shows together and we’re all friends so there’s definitely some camaraderie there. I think their records are great, hopefully a world tour comes from this answer.
NB: Tell me about your recent 10″ – which I think is one of the finest records coming out of Vancouver.
HD: Thanks. Well it’s the first few song’s that Mitch and I wrote together, our purest moments. A friend of ours suggested that we should send this label Under the Gun our music. They ended up pressing 300 copies which was really rad of them. It’s a great feeling to finally have your own vinyl in your hands and to be able to see the art work in its entirety.
NB: Have you heard of a band called The Dead C?
HD: I actually haven’t, now that you’ve mentioned them i’ll check them out though. I guess that’s pretty boring but I haven’t had time to do my homework on them. None of us have had an internet connection in months.
NB: The other night I bumped into a friend who was pretty out of it. He said he was coming from seeing you play at a space in the East Village. I had no idea what he was talking about. Expand?
HD: Haha I think I know what you are talking about. We decided to put on a free show at our space for anyone to come and hang out about a month ago. It turned out to be a fun little evening until your friend decided to have too much to drink. We’re still cleaning the place. Thanks.
NB: Vancouver is constantly transforming itself – I leave the city for short business trips and return to see huge changes. What do you think is up with that?
HD: I am not sure.
NB: Why did you turn you back on professional skateboarding?
HD: Things started to change for me as I was getting older and the idea of meeting a deadline or a certain quota didn’t really appeal to me anymore. That kind of sucked the fun out of it. It was just time to let it go. It’s better not to hold on to something just because of its familiarity, that’s when it becomes dysfunctional. I still skate occasionally and really enjoy it. I’ve been healed.
NB: What is your connection with Green Burrito cassette label?
HD: Mitch and I have known Ryan for a long time. We used to skateboard together when we we’re kids. His mom and my mom lived a few blocks away from each other so we we’re always hanging out. He moved away for a while and when he got back we reconnected. He was talking about starting a label called Green Burrito and ended up putting our EP out on cassette. It was nice to do a collaboration with an old friend like that after so many year’s.