Having just released a cover album titled Other People’s Greatest Hits, which is full of their takes on huge songs from other genres. Patent Pending have just dropped a video for their cover/mashup of Tiesto‘s Wasted mixed with Avicii‘s Wake Me Up. The video shows frontman Joe Ragosta in a bedroom covered in paint and through use of a boomerang-like effect with back and forth camera footage, the video shows how this situation arose. Check out the video below:
Of the thought process behind the idea, Ragosta had the following to say:
“It’s very common and very easy for people to overlook EDM music. We wanted to make these two songs rock so people who would much prefer rock to EDM could hear these tremendous melodies and catchy sing along parts it in a more familiar way.”
Before the band played their set supporting Holding Absence at Bristol’s Exchange, we had the chance to speak to Highlives, members of Bristol’s scene themselves, to talk about their plans and some opinions on pop punk.
It’s a Sunday evening and the headline band for the gig have unfortunately had to pull out, but how are the boys feeling? “It’s a shame but the crowd seems alright downstairs, there’s people coming through the door so we’re happy so far” says vocalist Liam Edwards. Guitarist Mark Prouse explains that Pushing Daisies, another Bristol band will now be playing the gig and Cardiff’s Holding Absence headlining.
“We’ve played with Better Than Never and Pushing Daisies before” explains Liam, and Mark chimes in with “Better Than Never once and Pushing Daisies quite a few times now. We headlined here once about a year ago and it was their first show.” In this manner, it’s familiar ground in some senses for Highlives – the band are in their element.
Liam describes themselves as fortune to be part of a music scene as active as Bristol, rightly pointing out you can’t choose where you’re from and they’ve gotten quite lucky to call Bristol home where there’s a thriving pop punk community. Thinking about the UK pop punk scene in general, Mark comes out honestly, pronouncing “It’s quite over-saturated, there’s so many bands.”
This isn’t necessarily a completely negative thing, as Liam muses. “I suppose with so many bands starting out it makes it a lot more difficult to get recognition. At the same time there’s more bands to play with and people to meet, so it definitely makes it more homely.”
“It’s good because it’s over-saturated because so many people like music and there’s always a gig going on; but because there’s always a gig going on wherever you play there’s another gig going on maybe the day before or after. You may not pull the same crowd. We played Bristol before and ROAM were playing the same night with As It Is or something, so everyone who’s into that type of music are going to go and see ROAM and As It Is which is understandable, but is one of the problems. I’m not sure if that’s me sounding like a massive dick!” elaborates Mark.
Moving on to talk about the band themselves, we dove right in and asked what Highlives are all about. It seems the band don’t hold themselves too tightly to any stricture: “We’ve always just not gone for any particular sort of style. We don’t listen to a band and go “we want to sound like that”, because we’ve got songs like Losing Sleep which is quite heavy, almost easycore, and we’ve got songs like Through Vacant Eyes which are really cheesey. We’ve always just sort of jammed and if we like what’s come out we’ve gone with it. We put out music we enjoy basically, and hope that other people like it.”
Mark and Liam moved on to discuss the various influences within the band, as they naturally cannot all agree. They call out their guitarist Ben Lucas as only listening to the cheesiest pop punk on offer, and as for drummer Steve Parks, Liam jokes “I think Blink-182 are the only band Steve has listened to, ever.”
Highlives latest release was their 2015 EP Misguided Youth. How are they feeling about that in retrospect? “When we released it we had a few problems with members and had a line-up change so we didn’t really tour it like we wanted to. So we’ve finally just got the chance to tour it, and we’ve started seeing people singing along and having some movement in the crowd. It’s been a really positive reaction so far. We’ve got people that like it, we’ve just got to move on with that now.”
Mark agrees, expanding on Liam’s explanation: “Before it we definitely didn’t really have people singing along, other than maybe our friends. These past couple days we’ve been playing it and there’s been people singing along and we have no idea who they are.”
Digging deep into what the band think of their EP, we asked if there was anything about Misguided Youth they weren’t fond of, and would like to work on. It’s hard for them to say, says Liam, until they release more music that they can compare to. Mark, on the other hand, brings up the fact that the EP is quite varied, not holding to one particular style. “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing”, he says. “I’d also like to have something acoustic, or more acoustic on the next release.”
During the writing process for Misguided Youth, some of the band wanted to include and acoustic songs and others did not, so their song Twenty Two is a compromise of sorts, starting out slow but building into a heavier, rhythmic pop punk.
What’s next for Highlives? They tease us a tour that has now been announced, supporting the aforementioned Better Than Never. Aside from this, the band have demo’ed a track they want to release before Christmas, and after that they’re full steam ahead writing a new EP.
In terms of touring, we asked what their opinion is on pay-to-play gigs and tour packages, something that up and coming bands sometimes have to struggle against. It’s not something they’ve had much experience with, luckily, but Mark weighs in with “I don’t think we’ve ever paid to play a gig. I mean I can see why people do it, but it’s just really expensive.”
Highlives’ writing process is inextricably bound up with their personal experiences. When asked about whether they feel it’s important for music to always be imbued with meaning, Liam stated “I think it should definitely have meaning. That’s what people relate to, especially lyrically. You’ve got to write about real things so real people can relate to it.” At this point, guitarist Ben Lucas arrived to weigh his opinion. “I think it’s important but at the same time if you write a song and it just sounds good and doesn’t really mean anything, it’s fine just to have a song for the sake of being a song.”
To round off our discussion with Highlives, we asked them who they’d most love to tour with in the UK pop punk scene, and then who they’d each most love to see on a bill together without just considering UK bands. “I reckon with Boston Manor would be really cool. We played with them ages ago now at Stag & Hounds, and obviously they’re huge now. I know a lot of people that have liked them have liked us as well. I think they’d definitely be a cool band to tour with and they seem like nice guys”, says Liam, and Mark added “ROAM or WSTR would be cool too. We saw WSTR and Trash Boat and it was a really cool vibe, playing a smaller venue but having that crowd so it’s in your face.”
Ben pitches in first on his dream gig, espousing “Blink-182, Sum 41 and A Day To Remember”. Mark calls up Stick To Your Guns, A Day To Remember and Blink-182 once again. He then went on to accuse Liam of dreaming of Robbie Williams. The response to this was “If it could be that diverse, I’d definitely have Robbie on there, then maybe The Wonder Years because you can’t see that band enough times. And then… I really want to see Boston Manor again, I’d put them in.” We can dream, right?
The final words of wisdom came from Ben – “If any of these gigs did happen none of us would be able to afford tickets, would we!” The truth hurts.
Don’t miss out on Highlives upcoming tour with Better Than Never!