Fiercely Pointed & Poignant: Our Interview with Highasakite

Norway’s Highasakite are back with their brilliantly dark and ethereal sophomore album, Camp Echo, where the band goes deep into important political and social issues. Øystein Skar was the one who talked to us all about this fierce new album and much more.

Your new album is out now, so how has been the feedback so far?
Very good, thank you! There has been a lot of nice feedback, both in media and from fans. Exciting times! Seems like people are liking it!

Even though you said that it isn’t a political album, the themes on Camp Echo are based on political and social issues, terrorism and the human condition. What led you to approach on such heavy and delicate themes?
It’s hard not to be affected by things happening around the globe at the moment, and making music is just our way to approach and cope with these subjects.

Camp Echo is one of seven the detention camps within Guantanamo Bay. Why did you choose that name for the album’s title?
I personally like the “echo” word in the album’s title. It’s also the name of a number of summer camps for kids in the United States. Not only the one at Guantanamo. The rest of the story behind it is up to the listeners to make!

Camp Echo is much darker and more impactful than its predecessor, your debut album Silent Treatment. What was the process like making this new album?
We had a clearer idea for this album, with specific music and idea references that everybody in the band were into. We also knew each other and the producer much better when we did this record, than the previous one. Besides that, the process was kind of similar.

“God Don’t Leave Me” is such a powerful and striking song. What can you tell me about the story behind this one?
We don’t like giving away any stories behind the music. The best thing is if the music is experienced as a powerful subjective thing, then the listeners creates their own story.

Would you say that this album was a cathartic process or more of a way to express your social concerns?
Difficult question, I don’t know what to answer… Maybe both, or maybe none of them. When we make music we try to focus only on making our music as good as possible. Of course, there’s more behind it, but we try to only focus on making the music.

You worked once again with Kåre Christoffer Vestrheim, who you worked with on your previous album. How did the recording process go this time around?
We know each other much better now, so the process was easier. We also started the whole recording process staying with Kåre at his hut in the woods… Without any internet or phone signal. Just improvised for a week on a lot of synthesizers, it was a lot of fun!

Overall, how would you describe this album as a whole?
Pop, rich, dancy, dark and on the edge.

Your music is so detailed, so how do you convey the studio recordings into the live shows?
It’s really hard getting all the details in it, at the same time we don’t want the live shows sounding exactly like the album. We need to rehearse a lot!

What do you like the most about being on the road? What records do you listen to together?
Seeing new cities, experiencing things together as a band, eating good food and dancing in the tour bus. We listen to Phil Collins, Prodigy, Fever Ray, Die Antwoord, and Toto when we are dancing.

Words: Andreia Alves // Photo: Hollie Fernando – Camp Echo is out now via Propeller Recordings.
You can also read the interview here:

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