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Higher Power is a five-piece hardcore band from Leeds, comprised of frontman Jimmy, his brother Alex on drums, Louis and Max on guitar, and Ethan on bass. Visually, they are an imposing bunch, but in reality they just really love dogs. They are graffiti artists, brothers, they are creative and hysterically funny, and they are trying to open up a genre of music that terrifies most listeners.
Higher Power’s hardcore is about positive expression of aggression and a form of escapology. It is angry music — but lyrically they convey a lot about themselves as people. It’s about finding a positive outlet for their anger, whether it's social issues or mental health, it's adding a social consciousness and depth to what traditionally is quite a one-dimensional genre of music.
“We're just trying to do something different to what other bands are doing, we're pushing the boundaries and comfort zone of traditional hardcore. We’re finding a way to convey our anxieties and issues that are happening in the world.”
Understanding what hardcore means to Higher Power is knowing something incredibly intimate to them. It is about the feeling the music brings. Higher Power’s hardcore is about a feeling of a community. Jimmy says that it differs from person to person — for him, it's an underground culture that is connected across the world.
“For me there is no live music experience like hardcore, it's not watching a band, it's joining a movement. When I’m on stage and I'm playing, I want people to be free from whatever they’re dealing with, we don't want people to conform to hardcore. You don't have to mosh in certain way, you've just got to do your own thing. That’s what Higher Power is about.”
There is an intelligence to Higher Power that elevates it beyond being simply angry music, they’re working through their rage to find peace within themselves about what's happening in the world. They’re influenced endlessly by 90s alt-rock, and there is something distinctly hip-hop about their swagger and stage presence. But as Jimmy explains it, they’re trying to make music that's influenced by everything they grew up with. They're trying to make music that they would want to see live.
“We're just trying to make a sound that's really groovy, we write songs with bits that we would want to mosh too. We don't want people standing there waiting for a bit to mosh too, we want people to move and dance and mosh to the whole thing. It shouldn't stop — I think that's a really recent development in hardcore, the continuous beat, not just a breakdown.”
Jimmy says “no one normal listens to hardcore” — it's a genre of music that is still exciting, because it’s built on adrenaline, it's built on intensity, there is still a danger to it that has been diluted from a lot of other forms. Higher Power works because everyone is looking for the same thing out of the band.
“We just want to do as much as we can with what we have, everyone is on the same wavelength about the music and the aesthetic, everyone wants to be in a band that pushing creative boundaries.”
Higher Power are set to release their debut album Soul Structure via Flatspot Records and Venn Records (UK only) on May 19.