Membership in the High Dials has been a bit of a revolving door over the years, and door spun again this spring, with the happy return of two familiar faces to the live line-up: George Donoso III on drums (ex-Dears) and Eric Dougherty (The Rothschilds) on keys. Both musicians were key players on Moon Country and old friends who have toured extensively with the band. Rounding out the change, Charles Prénoveau-Giguère makes his High Dialian debut on bass. Departing members Max Hebert and Shane Watt leave to pursue other cool musical projects. You can hear Max’s magic in his band Final Flash, and the High Dials highly recommend Shane Watt as a great singer-songwriter who releases his own album later this year.
According to the band, becoming a five-piece again is all about recapturing their fullest-possible live sound complete with the beautiful three-part harmonies of their recordings. In fact, Trevor explains, “There has never been this much singing in the band. It’s very exciting to hear these harmonies happening. Over the past couple of years I’ve been moonlighting as a soul DJ in Montreal and rediscovered my love of old vocal groups. Very few rock bands use voices and harmonies the way they did in rock’s golden era, when everyone in the band was a singer. We want to bring some of that to our show, though we’re not wearing matching sequined suits just yet!”
You can catch the new line-up on one of the following dates:
June 8- NYC, NY (Cake Shop)
June 9- Boston, MA (Great Scott)
June 10- Philadelphia, PA (Johnny Brenda’s)
June 11- Baltimore, MD (Metro Café)
June 12- Ottawa, ON (Westfest Festival)
June 16- Burlington, VT (Metronome)
June 17- Montreal, QC (O Patro Vys) **Early show**
June 18- Kingston, ON (The Mansion)
June 19- Toronto, ON (NXNE @ Rancho Relaxo)
Recording for the High Dials’ 4th LP is just about wrapped up without further supernatural incident to report. Stay tuned for exciting news on the release front soon…
In the meantime, the band are teaming up with Philly psych popsters Asteroid #4 for a series of live dates in June. With two weeks of gigs in major eastern cities, there are plenty of opportunities for you to catch this tripped-out twosome en vivo. This is a special bill, don’t miss out! From the High Dials, expect a smattering of new material and plenty of classics from all three previous records. All the gigs are listed here.
**Note that the venue for the Montreal show has been moved to O Patro Vys. It is an early show (over by 11pm sharp), so be there when the doors open at 8pm**
The High Dials have sequestered themselves off in an historic old building in Montreal where they are tracking songs for an upcoming 4th LP. The secret location is at the heart of the city and was once owned and used by the Canadian navy. In fact, the building is still littered with naval artifacts, including old maps and what appears to be a ship engine. Attracted by the beautiful natural reverb in the admiral’s ballroom, the band received permission from the owners, undeterred by rumours the building is haunted.
However, in an ironic twist for a band known for its supernatural themes, the band have found themselves spooked by otherworldly events over the course of the recording so far. Trevor was dive-bombed by an unusually large bat on his first night alone in the ballroom. Robbie was knocked to the ground by something while rummaging around in the underground area. Most eerily, unrecorded parts can be heard in some of the music the band has made. Harmonies no one remembers singing are present on playback, though they do not show up on the computer screen! On one song, a clearly audible cello part seems to be writing itself. Auditory hallucinations brought on by the intense reverb in the ballroom? Over-active imaginations stimulated by round-the-clock recording in such an unusual setting? Whatever the explanation, no one in the band will remain in the building alone.
The High Dials will be busking for your change in Montreal on Tuesday, March 2 @ 9am (Place-des-Arts metro) in support of War Child Canada. We hope to see lots of you out for an unrehearsed, stripped down acoustic rush-hour set of Dial classics. Requests welcome, except for Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” cause that joke is pretty tired. Lots of other great bands will also be playing around town.
War Child Canada is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to war-affected children around the world. This is a cause the band really believes in. There are children all over the world suffering because of regional conflicts that get little attention in the media. Our goal is to raise at least $500. There should be 100 High Dialians with $5 to spare. Donate 15$ at the event and we’ll give you a free CD!
A little-known High Dials bit of trivia: Trevor busked on the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow for several weeks in 2004! Someone even paid him £20 for his rendition of “The House Where Trouble Sleeps” (this was the high point).
The High Dials are proud to unveil their newest video today. Shot near the Quebec-Ontario border in the fall of 2009 and directed by Mila Aung-Thwin of Genie award-winning Eye Steel Film, this wry, mystical film is a homage to Hammer horror films and dragon slayers of all stripes and/or beards. Thank you to everyone involved in the production and to Factor Canada whose support made the video possible. See pics from the shoot here!
The High Dials will be performing a set of largely new and unrecorded material this Sunday, February 7th at Petit Campus (57 Prince-Arthur E.). Tickets are $10 at the door. LA’s Mini-Mansions (featuring members of Queens of the Stone Age), are the headlining act. The High Dials are in the early stages of recording their 4th LP. This is a rare hometown performance and a great chance for a sneak peak at the new songs. Doors are at 9pm, the High Dials on shortly thereafter.