Highway Child - Young Man's Blues!

By Jens Hellroute

You want no-frills honest rock’n’roll that’s not paying any lip service to what’s considered trendy, flavor-of-the-month-ish or cool? Try Highway Child. This Copenhagen 4-piece has created quite a stir in 2005, not with big headlines, hype or ads, but on their own terms, doing it the hard way with playing gig after gig, drawing a bigger and bigger crowd each time.

Highway Child has a huge love for classic rock, be it Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream or Hendrix. Out of these influences they have created their own unique varied sound which is hardrockin’, bluesy, soulful and incredibly memorable. Not only are they insanely talented musicians but Highway Child is also one of Denmark’s very best live acts at the moment. So after the release of their 2nd single, recorded in their rehearsal and selfinanced, I thought it was time to investigate the phenomenon that is Highway Child.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Your names and instruments?

Christian: I’m Christian and play the bass.

Andreas: Andreas, drums.

Paw: Drums and sings backing vocals...sorry, guitar and backing, a good start, haha.

WC: Yeah, and harp.

Patrick: Patrick, I’m the singer.

WC: 2005 was a busy year for Highway Child, you started late 2004?

Christian: Yeah, early 2005 we played our first gig, then we played Lades in February.

WC: You also played on a boat?...(phone rings) And played The Rock november? Your first real big show, you’d have supported Eli Roth, who cancelled, then you headlined?

Paw: Yeah, he cancelled, and there were tonsa people.

Patrick: I think many were curious to see what kind of band we are.

Andreas: And people said on our website that they’D seen us on the boat, a German boat called Stubnitz here in Copenhagen habor.

WC: Okay, influences. I’d label your music ’classic rock’, Paw, I know you’re a big Led Zep fan, and I can hear a bit of Cream in your tunes...

Paw: Yeah, we hear a lot of that, especially Led Zep, but also Cream, The Who, Hendrix, Yardbirds. Those are a the major influences.

Christian: We’re kinda moving a bit away from Led Zep which we sounded a lot like in the beginning towards something a bit more original, our own sound.

WC: I’d imagine you’re also big blues fans, stuff like theChess artists?

Everybody: Oh yeah, we love old blues, Howlin Wolf, Sonny Boy, Muddy Waters, Little Walter etc.

Patrick: The Band, even though you can’t hear much of them in our music.

Paw: I’m a big Neil Young fan.

(a pause, we found a case of beer, COOL!)

WC: Your first 4 track demo was full-on rock’n’roll, the latest is more varied with acoustic intro etc.

Paw: It’s not professional recordings and it’s really just accidental it got the sound it got. It’s not calculated that it’d would sound as much as Led Zep as it did, it just happened.

WC: I’m very impressed with the quality of the sound on your first demo, it’s done in your rehearsal room?

Paw: It’s done in our rehearsal room on a 12 track harddisc recorder...

Andreas: Each song is mixed in like 15 minutes.

Paw: And one of my friends mastered it, but yeah, we were pleasantly surprised of how good it sounded. All done in just one weekend.

WC: I’m a big Hawkwind fan, and in the track ”Take Me Down” there’s some weird sounds, sorta like a synth...

Christian: No, we never used any keyboards. It’s a theremin, Patrick is playing on it today, and then an old Roland with feedback noises.

WC: Your latest ep, the lyrics of ”Red, White & Blue”, is it a comment on Bush and the Iraq war?

Patrick: Not so much about Bush, but mostly about superpowers and the things they do.

Andreas: But we’re not a political band. Patricks write the words.

Paw: We just jam and the lyrics evolve later on, from simple words to things with more feelings in it.

WC: ”Love For Sale” has a bit Angus Young guitar in it?

Christian: People mentioned AC/DC. And also MC5, which we didn’t know who was before people started mentioned them, haha.

Patrick: It’s sorta of a proof of what we play comes from the heart.

Paw: We try to sound like Highway Child.

WC: I think your songs have that cool early 70s production...

Andreas: When we record, we record live. No overdubbing.

WC: Have you gotten any response from record labels?

Paw: We have played for a year now, and we have figured out who we are and what we want. We just signed a contract with two managers, but we haven’t really sent out that much material to labels, but we are aware that record people are keeping an eye on us.

WC: Your music is really outside the recent flood of Danish indie’ bands, so I’d imagine you might have a bigger chance in the US than here with your kind of music?

Andreas: We are very pleased you say that, haha.

Patrick: There are plans of a German tour this summer, and yeah we should have a chance in the US...

WC: You probably know another Copenhagen band, On Trial, they’ve done it that way, building up a strong fan base in Germany.

Paw: Yeah, we have talked with Henrik of On Trial, and we will do a tour and play some showcases.

Christian: And end up paying for it ourselves, haha. But that’s just the way it’s done the first time.

Paw: Denmark is sorta fucked up with this kinda rock’n’roll, that’s just the way it is. We just have to get out there and play.

WC: First time I saw you I compared you to my first experience of seeing Baby Woodrose live. Even though they’re more
psychedelic than you, you seem to have the same passion for the roots of rock’n’roll instead of what’s trendy nowadays?

Paw: Yeah, absolutely. You’re into what moves you, good tunes, not what’s trendy.

Patrick: We’re not influenced by their music, but they’re definitely role models on how to do it the right way. We have probably a more rhythm & blues approach to our music.

Andreas: Both bands don’t sound very Danish.

WC: I know that a lot of my Stoner rock friends will be here tonight.

Patrick: Yeah, and many metalheads like our music as well, it’s kinda funny that people from so different backgrounds seem to dig us.

Paw: I think people can see we are having fun on stage, we like to jam, so people notice we play the songs a bit different each time, maybe that’s why many come back to see us again and again.

WC: Any plans of a full length album?

Paw: Absolutely, we are going all the way.

Andreas: We ain’t only looking for a Danish record label to release it, it’d be interesting to be on a Swedish or German label. They have to trust us, and we have to trust them, because we’re giving them a lot of ourselves.

WC: You drawing a lotta people by doing the ’advertising’ for gigs word-by-mouth style, internet, emails etc.

Paw: Last time we put 200 people on our guestlist, this time there are 350 on it!

Highway Child's Official Website