Here to help you navigate those traumatic times in life is Chicago’s High Street. The hard rockers recently released their new single “Swallow Your Pride,” an anthemic, hard-rocking affair that’s meant to encourage you to stay strong when life throws you a curveball and times get tough. The song aims to inspire you to become the best version of yourself while keeping in mind that the road to get there is never easy. You just have to weather the storm and do your very best to emerge a better person when it’s all behind you. It’s how we respond to adversity that defines who we are.
You can trace the beginnings of High Street back to lead guitarist Erik Findling’s attic. While in middle school, he and his brother Kurt gathered some musically-inclined classmates to form a band, with their parents’ attic becoming their primary rehearsal space. The attic looked out onto the corner of High Street in Chicago, which inspired them to name the band after the street. By middle school, the group was already gaining traction, which earned them shows at some very highly regarded Chicago venues like The Double Door, Hard Rock Café, and Subterranean. By the time college came, the members parted ways, and Findling pursued a solo project. When he moved to Los Angeles, he felt motivated to start the band again, which now includes singer Noxigen, bassist Nic Metaxas, and drummer Brando Nikales.
As connoisseurs of fine hard rock, High Street seemed ideal to connect with for our latest Stereo Six feature. Read on as the band outlines six albums that left their mark on them as musicians and songwriters.
1. Velvet Revolver – Contraband (2004, RCA)
“Our lead guitarist’s choice. Erik first heard this record after his dad played it in the car for him back in 2004 when he was just in first grade. Being a huge fan of Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N Roses, to figure that the two bands had joined to form a supergroup was jaw-dropping. The gut-wrenching guitars on Contraband played by Slash and Dave Kushner had a profound impact on the formulation of our new EP.”
2. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin 1 (1969, Atlantic Records)
“Our lead singer’s choice. Noxigen’s influences range from several artists like Chris Cornell and Myles Kennedy, but Robert Plant was what really sparked his creativity to be a rock n’ roll singer. The complex vocal parts and high-toned vocal range that Plant is known for as demonstrated on Led Zeppelin 1, drew an immediate attraction for Noxigen, and has carried that influence with him all the way to throughout making this EP.”
3. Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993, Virgin Records)
“Our bass player’s choice. The fuzzed guitar playing of Billy Corgan on Siamese Dream inspired Nic to pick up the guitar at a young age. Learning almost nearly every song on the record, Nic discovered that he could correlate a lot of his guitar playing inspiration from Siamese Dream over to the bass. The fuzzy guitar style that Corgan made famous, is apparent on ‘Swallow Your Pride,’ as Nic kicks the bass into overdrive and lets the rest of the song do the talking.”
4. Audioslave – Self-Titled (2002, Epic/Interscope)
“This choice was from the whole band. The four of us have drawn huge inspiration from Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden, so when these two bands joined together to form Audioslave, it couldn’t get any better. The use of Tom Morello’s guitar effects had a big influence on Findling while putting this EP together. On top of that, Noxigen’s vocals have been heavily influenced by Cornell in such a way that their similarities are apparent, but very original at the same time.”
5. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet (1986, Mercury Records)
“This choice was from our drummer, Brando. Upon moving to America from Indonesia, Brando soon discovered all the classic rock bands from the ‘80s such as Bon Jovi. Songs like ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’ were something Brando had never heard before and immediately fell in love with. The pulsing guitar by Richie Sambora and clean vocals from Jon Bon Jovi was something that Brando drew inspiration from, especially while recording our new EP.”
6. Curveball: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (1959, Columbia Records)
“This one was chosen by Erik, the lead guitarist. Erik had written all the music for the EP, and there was more than just classic rock that shaped his influence while writing the songs. Kind of Blue was one of the first jazz albums Findling had ever heard and was a key contributor to a lot of the lead guitarist’s creativity. The improvisation from Coltrane, Davis, and Bill Evans has a profound impact on Findling’s solos to this day, and is something he keeps in his arsenal when he decides to pick up the guitar and shred.”