Interview with Alex Monty of Heights

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Interview by Dan Perks

 


Hi Monty, how are things?

Hey man, yea things are pretty good in the Heights camp at the moment. Got some time off tour but keeping busy doing press and that, so it’s good to be chatting to you!

“Old lies for young lives” is a strong runner in the album of the year stakes for me, how was the recording process for the album?

Thanks a lot mate! Well the year is still young so we shall see.

The recording process was certainly an experience. It was the first time I had spent any lengthy time in a studio, and my first album ever, and my first time in a studio as a vocalist so it was awesome to be able to finally do that. But recording an album can be a massively stressful and draining experience as well.

We were at Outhouse Studios in Reading for about 3 weeks in total. We stayed at a friends house nearby and slept in his living room. So basically we spent 3 weeks either in that living room or the studio. There was like no personal space whatsoever and we were all massively fried by the end of the whole thing, because we spent every day squeezing out every last bit of creativity we had left in us. We’re all incredibly happy with what came out in the end though. So it’s all been worth it.

The album covers some deep topics throughout, where did you draw your inspiration for the album?

Mostly from our own lives and experiences. There’s a lot of different themes that run through, but most of them are centred around growing up, maturing and thinking for yourself. Lyrically, we tried to do something a little different with it and not keep it too personal or make it about our relationships or anything like that, but then also not go down the whole heavy political route. It’s far more of a social commentary in that aspect.

Alex Monty - HeightsHow was it working with Sam Carter on this album?

Yeah that was a great experience. He, and all of the Architects boys have been really supportive of us since they first took us out on tour in December 2011. The recording process with him was real easy. He wasn’t up for just coming in and being told what had been written and laying it down and then fucking off. He really wanted to get creative and work with us to make a killer track, which we did.

Lots of bands are now adding a more electronic element into their music. Is this something you guys have tried to avoid or are you open to using it in the future?

To be honest it’s not something I’ve ever thought about, either way. I’m actually listening to far more experimental electronic music at the moment than I am rock or metal, so it’s certainly not something I’m opposed to. Bands like Dillinger Escape Plan have used electronic elements in their music; I think they really nailed it in Ire Works, and that sounds amazing. So yeah, maybe if we’re writing one day and a part really calls for it, I’d definitely be up for it.

The album is due for release on April 29th and “Eleven eyes” has already been released on YouTube, will there be any new music released from the album before the release date?

There should be a new single with a video hitting the Internet about a week before the album comes out. I say hitting the Internet because we’re planning on making something that really pushes some boundaries, and hopefully no TV station will want it. Hopefully. Ha ha.

How has this recent touring cycle been for you guys? Any highlights?

Yeah pretty sweet. We’ve just come off of a 2 and a half week UK run with Your Demise which was one of the best UK tours I’ve been a part of. Good to get some actual serious time out on the road in the UK. One of the shows got shut down half way through Your Demise’s set because of stage divers, so we’re going back to Newcastle next weekend to play a free show and make up for it and hopefully earn a bit of money for charity at the same time. Good shit all round.

Have you been playing the new material live? If so how has it gone down with the fans?

Yeah we’ve been playing Stray Rats which is a pretty fast riffy song so that’s always easy to get involved with even if you don’t know it. And Eleven Eyes, which has been going off pretty hard since we put it out last month. Still some of my favourite tracks on the album that no one has heard yet so I’m still really excited for the release… And pretty nervous.

You guys are playing Slam Dunk fest in Wolverhampton in May, are you looking forward to coming back to the Midlands?

Hell yeah. I lived in Birmingham for about 2 years so it’s like my second home really. I have a bit of a soft spot for the West Midlands so I always get excited for shows up over there. Haven’t played in Wolverhampton for about a year and a half now as well.

2013 is a big year for British alternative music, what else have you guys got in store for the year?

So it seems. Well, we’re doing a video for a new song off Old Lies at the moment, and planning something a little bit different as a b-side for the release of that. Again, excited / nervous. Festivals all summer, Slam Dunk, Hevy, Fury Fest, SummerJam. And then back on to some tours for the end of the year. Maybe a headline? Who knows…

Thanks for your time Monty, finally is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of theMidlandsRocks.com

No worries man, it’s been a pleasure. Our new album Old Lies For Young Lives is out on the 29th April and you can preorder it from www.oldliesforyounglives.com, and catch us on the road over the summer. All our shows are up at www.weareheights.com/shows. Oh and see you in Wolverhampton!