Highness is an up-and-coming post-hardcore quintet whose members are split between Richmond and Fredericksburg [and Brooklyn! Oops-ed]. The first thing about them that anyone is going to mention is their epic pedigree, so let’s get that out of the way right now:
Highness is an up-and-coming post-hardcore quintet whose members are split between Richmond and Fredericksburg [and Brooklyn! Oops-ed]. The first thing about them that anyone is going to mention is their epic pedigree, so let’s get that out of the way right now: Featuring Ryan Parrish (Darkest Hour/Iron Reagan) on drums, Brandon Evans (Pg. 99/City Of Caterpillar) on bass, and a three-guitar attack that includes ex-Forensics guitarists Brent Eyestone and Graham Scala, Highness have plenty of hardcore/metal cred. However, if “Gaea (Strings),” the first track they’ve released from their upcoming debut LP, is any indication, it’s singer/guitarist Eric Richter who contributes the deciding factors that give Highness their sound.
Richter’s work with legendary emo band Christie Front Drive had a great deal of influence on the direction of that genre in the late 90s and beyond, an influence that can be found in the work of bands like Mineral, Jimmy Eat World, and The Get Up Kids. Since Christie Front Drive’s breakup, Richter has performed with several different groups. While Antarctica was more ambient, and The 101 was more pop-oriented, all of them have had significant elements of their sound in common with Christie Front Drive, and Highness is no exception. While they may be the heaviest of all Richter’s post-CFD bands–a fact that makes sense in light of his bandmates’ previous work–it is Richter’s signature vocal and guitar sound that places “Gaea (Strings)” solidly on a continuum with his previous work. Therefore, we can imagine that fans of Christie Front Drive will rejoice to hear his voice once again on this track. Check it out below.
Despite their previous experience in heavier bands, Richter’s bandmates are enthused about the music they’re creating as part of Highness. “It’s literally the music I’ve wanted to make all along, yet didn’t have the voices or the means to get it all out,” says Brent Eyestone. “I think Highness is one of the most accessible things any of us have ever done, which has been something of a challenge, in that most of us are more comfortable with heavy or weird music,” Graham Scala adds. “It’s been rewarding to try to make something with a stronger emphasis on the melodic side of things.”