Epitaph is pleased to announce the signing of Las Vegas quintet The Higher. The group drew the interest of label founder Brett Gurewitz, along with several major labels, on the strength of their acclaimed full-length 2005 LP, Histrionics. After the band’s performance at the Roxy this year Gurewitz personally presented them an offer. “By the end of the second song I was convinced that I wanted to sign them,” says Gurewitz, citing “Seth’s exceptional voice” and their “R&B pop influence ” as two key components. Epitaph’s honcho told The Las Vegas Weekly last month, “I only sign bands I think can go all the way, and I believe the sky’s the limit for The Higher.” Despite enormous competition from other indies as well as major labels, The Higher ultimately chose to ink with the legendary imprint.
Fusing elements of pop, emo and R&B, The Higher – who have been described as Saves The Day meets Justin Timberlake – are currently at work on their Epitaph debut which is expected in early 2007. Describing the creative process, guitarist Tom Oakes says, “We’ve been pumping our little hearts and minds to make the most fabulous record we could ever make. Seth’s voice is phenomenal, I’ve watched that kid sing since third grade and every year it gets so much better. Wow does it show on this record!”
“The skills the rest of us have contributed, the ideas, the influences, the beats, the shredding… it’s been such a magical process,” Oakes adds. “It’s going to spin you around like you’re on a roller coaster. I don’t know if you’ll be able to put your finger on it, and we love that.”
Dating back to 2002, when Seth Trotter, Jason Centeno and Pat Harter played together in a high school band, The Higher took shape when Oakes joined the next year. Playing local Vegas shows opening for the likes of Something Corporate and The Starting Line, the group recorded a demo of the songs they wrote when they were just 16, which became their debut EP for Fiddler Records. That disc, Star Is Dead, was produced by Saosin’s Beau Burchell and led to eighteen months of touring with the likes of Silverstein, Park and Emery.
The current line-up was cemented when Robert 'Reggie' Ragan joined the group in 2005.. After gigging with Taking Back Sunday, Unwritten Law and Less Than Jake, and on the heels of resounding praise for Histrionics, the Higher are poised to bring sexy back AND kick out the jams.