Nottingham Quintet High Tides classify themselves as ‘putting emo into pop punk since 2015’. The members have for the most part, been in each other’s lives for many years, some even from school age, explains vocalist Christian: ‘We’ve all been in bands previously both together and separately, but this final line up just clicked instantly both musically and socially’. Within the busy sphere pop punk, they comment that what sets them apart from their contemporaries is both their music and their live show: ‘We feel our sound brings some fresh elements to the UK Pop punk sound, being a bit deeper and more mature than other bands on the scene, tending to stray from the typical ‘In sound’ currently being shared.
‘Live it’s always crazy energetic and we put absolutely everything into it, we don’t feel we’ve done a good enough job unless we come off stage looking like we’ve had a bath in sweat.’
Having recently released their mini-album, I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Just Starting Over via Scylla Records, vocalist Christian talks lyrics.
How do you write them? What is your process either as a band or individually? Have you ever suffered from writer’s block and if so, how did you overcome it?
The way we wrote for this mini album was different to the 4 track we did. Most of the lyrics were written there and then, as we were writing inside the practice room, like word vomiting and connecting the dots with what the first line was that came to me. Being as it was a story from start to finish I always had an overall vision of what I wanted each song to be lyrically. With “52” the song was already written and when it came to recording, I had no lyrics, so I went home, sat at my desk and wrote 52 that night and went in the next day and recorded it! The other way we wrote was in the studio – we knew we had an idea for an interlude, outro and intro, but we messed around with that while we were recording and they changed quite a bit.
What is the lyric you’re proudest of and why?
It’s difficult to have a favourite lyric as everything in the mini album has a theme and it has to be listened to in its entirety to be understood. I mean you could listen to one song and it will sound great, but to get the bigger picture of what we wanted to achieve, you have to listen to the full thing. That being said I think my favourite lyric is in heart: “the distance between us or the miles apart you know I’ll always be close to your heart”. It’s a reference to saying that although were not together anymore, I’m glad everything happened the way it did and I’m happy to have had that as a big chunk of my life, I wouldn’t be where I am (mentally or just generally doing better in my life).
What themes and topics do you like to cover and why?
The main theme is about a 5 and a half year relationship ending and what i went through the year after that; how I dealt with it and what I did to myself. I thought I wasn’t worth anything. The reason why is because it helped me to get over everything, to just have written about the things I went through. Even though heartache doesn’t seem like a big thing to anyone not going through it, it’s a way of writing everything that’s happened and the thoughts you go back and forth on. I feel good today, to the next day feeling like the worst. It’s a very horrible thing but i think we all need a bit of heartache to understand ourselves better.
Has anyone ever misheard, perhaps to comedic effect, or misunderstood the intention of your lyrics?
I think the only time this has happened is when reviews and stuff came for Bridges and they got the title wrong “not scared of burning bridges” – which is ultimately fine because they obviously listened to the track! I think that’s about it for misheard lyrics.
Which of your own lyrics best sums up your band?
I don’t think i could use a lyric that sums up the band as they are pretty personal, but i guess hopefully “will never fuck up again.” In terms of music we are very conscious of what we have written and we know its different from the main stream pop punk, but we hope that everything we do can relate to someone. There’s no better feeling than playing a show and having someone come up to you and saying how much they can relate to or that they love your band. It just means that as well as me feeling that way, there’s other people out there that can connect to what I’ve been through.
If you had to have any lyric tattooed on you, if you don’t already, what would you pick?
“Here’s 52 reasons why i can’t be with you” and it’d probably be accompanied by some cards behind it or part of it ha
What lyric do you wish you’d written and why?
Probably anything by Brand New. The vocalist’s lyric writing ability is just out there – they manage to paint a picture of everything they sing. He has very good descriptive skills and I’d love to be able to do that kind of writing, telling a story, maybe one day.
Who are your favourite lyricists or even writers for content such as film, TV or even poetry? What are some of the lines that best connect with you? Do you take influence from that?
Dan Campbell, Jesse Lacey, Miles Kent, James Pope for bands i love. TV and film I’m as of yet to take any influence from but maybe Romeo and Juliet or Titanic one day.
What are the worst lyrics you’ve ever heard?
Mine? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad lyric – everything is subjective and if a band are happy with what they are writing then power to them I’m not going to stand there at a show and just slate them. As for the first comment I think I’m a perfectionist and I always think I can do better, so yeah, probably my lyrics.
Finally, please sign of with some lyrical words of wisdom…
If you’re going through a break up or a tough time just remember even though it seems like its hell, it will always get better. It may take a few days, it may take years, but eventually things do get better. I had pretty much given up on music when I was going out with said girl, I didn’t really play for around 3 years then after that I focused on what I enjoy doing and haven’t looked back since. Music will always be my passion and I will always have it to fall back on when I’m low. So I guess focus on what makes you feel happy, if you want to travel then work out how to do it and do it; if its music pick up your old guitar and just write, I guess that’s my message.