What is your name and role within the band?
My name is Nicholas Griffith and I am the singer, songwriter and guitarist of High-tails.
How did you start?
The four of us have played music together in some form since high school. We used to live in Wagga Wagga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagga_Wagga). It wasn’t until we all finished school and moved to Sydney that we started this band. We just started from the ground up. Writing songs, playing small shows until people started to notice and we got the opportunity to record our first EP.
Where are you based?
I live in Dulwich Hill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulwich_Hill,_New_South_Wales).
Please give an example of your music writing process?
There’s a lot of different ways the songs happen. I don’t like to restrict myself to one method. I like to find new methods to keep my ideas fresh and eliminate writers block. For example, at the moment I’m writing more songs on keyboard than ever as well as learning clarinet. I’ve also been sampling cheap vinyl from op shops and working with that to write songs.
What are you working on right now?
We’ve just finished recording our debut album. Naturally a lot has changed during this recording process. Layers were added, structures were tweaked. So right now we’re re-evaluating our live show to do it justice.
What is your gear setup?
At the moment, when High-tails play live, I use a Japanese Tele, into a Fender Deville via a bunch of pedals. My favourites and most used would have to be the Maxon Ambient Stereo Chorus and the Fulltone OCD Overdrive. On top of that I trigger a Roland TR-8 drum machine and may occasionally bust out a melodica. My friend has a rule: never play more instruments than you have hands. It’s a good rule and I’m working on introducing it to High-tails. But for now I’m going Vitruvian Man on our live sets.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I try to organise my life so that I’m engaging in music as much as possible. I play in a handful of other bands that keep me busy. Big White, Bourgeois Earth, Cody Munro Moore, Las Vagueness, more to come. But when I’m not jamming, I do like to dabble in some video making. I take a handycam around with me and try to collect as much video footage as I can store. You never know when it will come in handy. And yes, I do sometimes make videos to watch my music to.
How would you describe your music genre?
Deep alt wave gaze.
Do you know any music theory?
Yes. I find music theory very interesting. A lot of musicians I’ve spoken seem to find it restricting (or maybe just boring). But I don’t think so. Music theory does not consist of rules. It’s just a language to communicate what is heard, and to articulate the patterns that occur in music. I don’t think of myself as a master of music theory. I like to know that it’s an endless world of discovery, like mathematics (and I’m definitely no master of mathematics). I don’t always use it but it’s there for me when I need it, and I can use it to push my songwriting forward.
What are your plans for the future?
High-tails have an album to release this year and some hard touring to do!
How did you get into music?
When I was 8 years old, my parents got me a drum kit. I got lessons but I didn’t get taught anything cool, just rudiments, so I got bored of that. A few years later I started learning on my dad’s nylon string guitar but once again, I got lessons and didn’t get taught any cool riffs that a kid wants to play, so I got bored. It wasn’t until I got my first electric guitar and started to teach myself guitar tabs off the internet such as “Seven Nation Army” or AC/DC, that I knew that playing guitar was gonna be my thing.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Lots of Wings.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
In no specific order:
Stephen Malkmus (& the Jicks)
Edwyn Collins (Orange Juice)
When are you playing next?
Keep an eye on the High-tails socials for this. We’ll have shows announced soon.