By Gary Horn
Highly Suspect are a young rock band formed by twin brothers Rich and Ryan Meyer and their best pal Johnny Stevens. Their 2015 debut Mister Asylum unexpectedly caught the ears of the folks who put on the Grammy’s, resulting in the band performing at the 2016 edition of the awards show before anyone really knew who they were. Their 2017 release The Boy Who Died Wolf continued in their abrasive, grunge-revival tradition and they set off on the summer festival circuit.
Before they took the main stage at Bumbershoot 2017 I caught up with Rich (bass/vox) and Ryan (drums/vox) for a quick Q&A.
NadaMucho.com: What are your pre-show rituals?
Ryan: I like to take a nap, that’s my thing. (laughter)
Rich: We’re not into chanting or putting our hands in a circle or shooting Jaeger shots. We’re mostly just about taking naps. Maybe drinking some coffee, doing some pushups, that sort of thing.
Rich: Sometimes I’ll do an 8-ball of cocaine in one long line though. (more laughter)
NM: What bands are you listening to now?
Ryan: Mostly electro pop bands, but I listen to pretty much everything. The new Queens of the Stoneage record Villains is amazing. It’s sick. I’m listening to Jay-Z and London Grammer a lot too. The new Nine Inch Nail record sounds dirty and shitty and awesome.
Rich: I listen to a lot of the same stuff. I like Royal Blood’s new album. And it’s not electro pop or rock or anything, but I really like Vince Staples’ new album, Big Fish Theory. Also, Calvin Harris’ new thing that he put out.
Ryan: They did that Queens of the Stoneage record with Mark Ronson too, which is different for a rock band. He usually works with artists like Lady Gaga and R&B artists. It’s a cool, dance-able album. They do a lot of drum samples so the beats are consistent. Queen of the Stoneage’s record Like Clockwork was fantastic too.
NM: What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on this tour?
Rich: This one time we did an interview and they DIDN’T ask that question. (laughter) That was real strange.
Ryan: We see a lot of strange stuff. It’s kind of like eating ice cream. It’s never a bad thing, no matter how many times you eat it. My point being that the crazy shit happens so much on the road that it becomes the norm in your life. Honestly, I end up forgetting most of it.
NM: Give us a tattoo story.
Ryan: I have this little tattoo on my leg. I did it in Hawaii after I hadn’t slept for a week, including the last night we were there. I ended up drinking a lot of whiskey and realized we were late for our flight so we had to high-tail it to airport. Going through customs, hammered and bleeding, it was amazing how laid back the Hawaiians were. They just looked at me and said, “It’s cool, bro” and let me on through like it was no big deal. Nothing like what you’d find in the states.
(Below are some of Travis Trautt’s pictures from the performance Highly Suspect gave just after this interview – Ed)