Over the past few years Norway’s Highasakite have become some of PHILTHY MAG’s favorite musical acts, international or otherwise. I’d like to think we’ve also gotten to know them quite well. We first chatted with vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik in April of 2013, and then got the chance to make the acquaintance of guitarist Kristoffer Lo this May, in preparation of of their May 19th date headlining Underground Arts. Highasakite will be returning to the main stage of Underground Arts on November 6th, for November’s edition of Communion, which has them sharing the space with Count This Penny, Norwegian Arms, Son Step, and Vita and the Woolf. This time around, I got to chat with Highasakite drummer Trond Bersu.
Earlier this year Highasakite released their sophomore LP, Silent Treatment. The album has the indie pop band exploring their darkest sounds, yet with a popularly and epically uplifting tone of the wisest of contemporary electro-driven chanteuses, in addition to the most sing-alongably morose pop minstrels of the 1980s. The album melds classical composition with the infectiousness of both modern and postmodern pop music. They’ve spent the better part of the year on the road and seem to have evolved pretty significantly as a band. Trond Bersu told me all about this transformation and what we can expect of Highasakite when they’re in town next week.
Izzy Cihak: The last time I talked to the band was early this May, shortly before you played your first ever Philly date, so I’m curious: What have been the highlights of your time spent since then? Any especially inspiring cities or gigs?
Trond Bersu: Since then we´ve been touring in Australia, Germany, and Asia and now we´re on a Norwegian tour that is sold out almost everywhere! That’s really fantastic! I think that Tokyo was a big highlight for everyone, and also the gig at Oyafestival. I think it was 15000 people in the crowd
Izzy: And you’ve said that touring has had a major impact and influence on the evolution of the band itself. Is there anything especially significant that’s happened in the past six months or so that had a relatively big influence on the band as it exists now?
Trond: Everything has become more professional. The lights, the crew, and how we play the shows!
Izzy: So both your last (and first) and upcoming stop in Philadelphia find you at Underground Arts. I’m not sure if you know it, but the venue’s located in the neighborhood that inspired David Lynch’s Eraserhead (He lived there in the early 1970s.) So I’m curious: Are you David Lynch fans? (If you are, he has an exhibit currently on display in the neighborhood that you’ll have to check out when you’re here.)
Trond: Cool! Yes, we all like David Lynch. Twin Peaks was a big thing here in Norway in the early ‘90s I think, and we´ve all seen his movies!
Izzy: Your upcoming area appearance has you playing Communion, a night celebrating a collection of different bands. What do you think is important for people who might be fans of the other bands to know about you? What would you tell them in order to hopefully get them to stick around for your set?
Trond: I think we´re able to make the show sound really good, and look surprisingly good, despite the short changeover time and all the stress with many bands sharing a stage! We´ve been doing this a lot, and we´re well prepared!
Izzy: As the year is coming to a close, I have to ask: Has there been any music released or live performances you’ve experience throughout 2014 that you found to be either especially inspiring or just especially intriguing?
Trond: We´ve been touring so much this year, so it´s not easy to get time to go to concerts. While we were touring with London Grammar, we saw them live every night! That was really nice, and when we´re listening to their songs now, it brings back good memories from touring the Southern states and East Coast
Izzy: And finally, how do you hope and plan to spend 2015?
Trond: Record a new album, and hopefully be able to tour a lot as well!