After having recently signed with record label Revolver, I sat down with HIGHWAYVES’ frontman Brad Meechan to talk about their new single THINGS COULD BE WORSE.
What’s the story behind HIGHWAYVES?
HIGHWAYVES started in summer last year [with] a few friends of mine who also play. We decided we wanted to do something a bit different, focus more on an artistic direction rather than just doing music. We’d played together in various other bands at various points and we all came together behind this thing that had to be art-driven as well as music, we wanted everything to tie in together.
We always call it an artistic collective rather than a band, because we focus as much on the video work as we do on the music. It was a new direction for us, we wanted to experiment with stuff we’d never done before, and a lot of that came through learning to produce for ourselves. We had free time to do it then, we didn’t have to pay for a studio, so we just got really creative.
Which artists and genres inspire you and your work?
I’m inspired by all sorts: a lot of alt 60’s music [and] I like The 1975 a lot, I think they’ve got some great stuff at the moment. Lyrically, I like a lot of beat and punk poets, it’s where a lot of the lyrics came from, especially for this new song as well as [being] very John Cooper Clarke inspired. For newer art there are the likes of Sam Fender and beabadoobee – we just pull bits from everywhere really!
So your new release THINGS COULD BE WORSE was released on June 30th, could you tell us a bit more about the song?
So I wrote that song about a year ago, this was when me and the boys were all living together actually, we all lived in the same house and I had COVID so they locked me in my bedroom! I decided that songs were taking us too long to finish, so I decided to write [this song] all in one go in a day.
Since I left college, you get mates who ‘sell out’ I guess, you find that you get into lots of conversations with people where they talk about getting paid and buying a house and then maybe going on holiday twice a year. That just didn’t really do it for me, [in terms of] my thoughts of how I would feel two years down the line. I kind of took it a bit far, I take things to the extreme when I talk about things. I guess I have my emotions about things and then I amplify them and take it to the absolute end of the line, so that’s what this [song] is.
The song contains spoken-word verses, what made you opt for this style?
I wanted to opt for that so I could really put the focus on the lyric and what I was talking about. I wanted to deliver it like a poem, just so the main focus is on what I’m saying rather than how I’m singing it. When you take out the melody, you have to focus on the lyric, and that’s what I wanted to happen with that.
This [song] is really stripped back – two guitars, bass drums, vocal, with just a few other bits laden in but nothing like our other releases in that context. What I think ties it all together is the bite and the aggression behind the delivery of the songs. All the songs have that aggressive edge in them, certainly in all the choruses. They’re all heavily emotion-laden and they’re all about different things. They’re always the most amplified version of my thoughts.
Having recently signed with Revolver Records, what are your next steps?
We just keep releasing music. It’s funny for me because I was going for years and years and years, and you get nowhere, and then you sign with someone like Revolver. Then you have people coming in from all over the world just messaging you saying that they’ve heard your stuff and it’s crazy. I spend most of my day just replying to random messages [saying] ‘Hello, I listen to your music from Brazil.’ That’s really cool!
Also, we’ve got more singles in the pipeline, all sorted [and] ready to get sent off for mixing. [In terms of] gigs, hopefully we’ll be getting over to England sometime soon, play a few shows in the northwest.
Shoutout to the artist who does all our artwork, adfail. [He does] all the release covers, all the logos, everything we’ve had done. We’ve worked really closely with him, he’s a good friend from a good few years ago. He’s had a big part in this because he developed the visual aspect for us.
You can now stream THINGS COULD BE WORSE on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music among other streaming platforms.