The Higher will release its Epitaph debut album On Fire, on March 6th, 2007. Produced by Mike Green (The Matches, Paramore), the disc will contain three of the four songs from its Digital-only EP Pace Yourself released on Dec. 12 via iTunes, plus nine additional tracks. Tracklisting and information on the CD is posted below.
Opening with the contagious pop of Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Insurance?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? the disc will consist of the immediate rock anthem, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Rock My Body,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Pace YourselfÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? (remixed by Fall Out BoyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Patrick Stump) and the alluring Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Histrionics,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? which first appeared on the groupÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s acclaimed 2005 full-length indie LP of the same name. It was that disc Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ along with a Los Angeles performance at the Roxy earlier this year Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ that drew the interest of several major labels. But ultimately, the Las Vegas-based band chose to ink with Epitaph.
Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”By the end of the second song I was convinced that I wanted to sign them,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? says Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz of the Roxy performance by The Higher Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ which also counts vocalist Seth Trotter, guitarist Robert Ragan, bassist Jason Centeno and drummer Patrick Harter. Citing Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”SethÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s phenomenal voiceÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and their Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”R&B influenceÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? as two key components, EpitaphÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s honcho told The Las Vegas Weekly, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”I only sign bands I think can go all the way, and I believe the skyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s the limit for The Higher.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?
Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”We talked to pretty much every label, but we really didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t want to take our band to a major,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? 21-year old guitarist Tom Oakes admits. Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”This is our fourth year now, and we want to build a natural fan base. Epitaph is definitely the smartest option for us. [The] OffspringÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Smash sold 11 million on Epitaph, so the capability of selling millions of records is there. But if you sell 200,000 records on an indie label, youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re pretty incredible. If you sell 200,000 on a major, youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re worthless.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?
Fusing elements of pop, emo and R&B, the bandÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s sound has been described as Saves The Day meets Justin Timberlake. Describing the creative process beneath On Fire, Oakes says, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”WeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve been pumping our little hearts and minds to make the most fabulous record we could ever make. SethÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s voice is phenomenal, IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve watched that kid sing since third grad and every year it gets so much better. Wow does it show on this record!Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?
Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The skills the rest of us have contributed, the ideas, the influences, the beats, the shreddingÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦ itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s been such a magical process,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? Oakes adds. Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s going to spin you around like youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re on a roller coaster. I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know if youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll be able to put your finger on it, and we love that.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?
Dating back to 2002, when Trotter, Centeno and Harter played together in a high school band, The Higher took shape when Oakes joined the next year. Playing local Vegas shows opening for the likes of Something Corporate, The Starting Line and Yellowcard, the group recorded a demo of the songs they wrote when they were just 16, which became their debut EP for Fiddler Records. That disc, Star Is Dead, was produced by SaosinÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Beau Burchell and led to eighteen months of touring with the likes of Silverstein, Park and Emery. The album will be their first since 2005’s Histrionics was released on the defunct Fiddler Records
Here is the track listing for On Fire:
03. Rock My Body
04. Weapons Wired
07. Can Anyone Really Love Young
10. 31 Floors
11. Our Movie Rules
12. Pace Yourself (Patrick Stump Remix)