The Brooklyn-based quartet High Waisted is a fierce garage pop band that dwells in sunshine surf vibes. Though they draw from the sound of the mid-’60s, the four musicians are fearless in their determination to put their own quirky spin on each one of their tunes. The band is fronted by the formidable Jessica Louise Dye, who talked to us about the High Waisted’s latest release, and what she’s currently using to coax the wildest sounds out of her gear.
What records, people, things and/or events inspired your debut album, On Ludlow?
NYC was my biggest influence. She’s the lover I can’t seem to quit. She only misses me when I’m gone, and when I come home, she’s cruel as hell, pushing me out the door. On Ludlow is about late nights in NYC and the friendships you have the pleasure of keeping along the way.
In your experience, is inspiration some kind of random blessing, or is it possible to set it in motion?
I want to either write something worth listening to or live a life worth writing about. It’s a balance of both.Inspiration isn’t a blessing, it’s everywhere. Being uninspired is lazy. Everything you want is there waiting for you, not the other way around. The harder I work the more abundant my inspiration and drive to create grows.
The guitar tones on the record are extremely varied, guitarists, please tell us what was on your board during the recordings and why.
So. Much. Reverb. We used two different reverb tanks, a Fender and a Vintage Premiere. I also rocked a Cathedral and a Holy Grail. For distortion, I had a vintage Rat on my board and we used vintage amps like the Fender Champ with a clean tone, capturing the grit of cranking it to 9. We were also very lucky to use the natural room sound of an old church. And lastly, we recorded to tape – it was like a secret weapon to perfecting our warm, wave-crashed daydream tone.
[We also see on this board a Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver and a BOSS GE-7 Graphic Equalizer]
How about your guitar/amp combo, what led you to that match?
Love at first sight. I wish it was a grand plan or a conscious effort to perfect tone, but my favorite gear were hand-me-downs or lucky finds. The instrument you have is the one you have and I have perfected my sound using a 1963 Fender Jazzmaster with a 94′ Vox AC15.
Is there a person that’s been important in perfecting your recorded sound?
Our producer and friend Bryan Pugh was very supportive in helping us make the best record we could.
How do you envision your sound developing with the next album?
Our sophomore album will be more focused on strong melodies and lyrical vulnerability. We’re opening up emotionally and turning down the reverb a bit to showcase beautiful songwriting.