Take Aim: The High Strung Vs. Amy Sciarretto
Fri, 06 Apr 2012 14:15:50
The High Strung Videos
Detroit garage rockers The High Strung are releasing ¿Posible - O - Imposible? on April 17 and in honor of the occasion, lead singer Josh Malerman celebrated by going mano y mano with Amy Sciarretto for this Take Aim rapid fire. He's from Detroit, so he's innately tough, so we knew he could handle it. We liked 'em, as they are known for their song "The Luck You Got," which is featured on Showtime series Shameless. But we fell in love with 'em after this battle round of questions!
If you were not doing music, you would be doing what?
This is a no-brainer. Without songs, I'd've got myself a job taking tickets at the Haunted Theater on Mackinac Island (that's a carless island between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas). Then, after having received enough positive comment cards from tourists, I'd work my way up the ladder until I either 1.) owned the place, or 2.) opened my own (preferably closer to Detroit). And in MY "Haunted Palace," visitors would be subjected to all manner of physical mayhem, including rickety bridges that broke when you were halfway across them, dropping you into a marshmallow-like substance from which "things" reached for and black birds soared overhead. I'd also make sure I, the owner, was a part of the attraction. When a tourist reached the end, I'd be there, playing the organ (in a sick suit). I'd give each a simple riddle. And if they got it wrong? Oh no! They'd have to start alllll over again from the start.
Wow. Simply amazing! Now, can you pick one song on your album and share a story about it - whether it's a writing or a recording story, can be funny, serious, whatever you want. But put us in the moment and tell us something we wouldn't know just by hearing it!
I've never been one to write songs from an angry point of view. That may sound strange considering I also write horror novels (weird-tales), but for me, songs have always come from either an excited place or (more apt) somewhere strange, by which it gives me a thrill to write an absurdist's tale in the small/claustrophobic confines of a melody with chords. However, hearing the love of my life had got herself engaged to someone else, I went straight to the guitar and angrily started playing. I was thinking this: should I object to her wedding? Like in the movies? Ought I to be the crazed, bearded maniac who rises at the right moment and says, "I, sir, do object! For I love her still!" It felt good to think of things like this. Somewhere in the mess of emotions it struck me that the place she gets married will mean a lot to her. What if, I wondered, I were to be there? Buried? Wouldn't be quite so fun a wedding if my tombstone was there between her and her groom. Morbid thought, sure, but a good chorus erupted and so i went all the way with it. "Buried Where You Get Married" is one of my favorite from ?Posible o' Imposible? if only for respite it gave me from feeling sad. Now that the song is on vinyl (and doesn't sound angry at all, btw), I sometimes feel almost bad about it, like maybe I should have sent her a 'well-wishes' card instead.
How did you hook up Showtime and the theme song to Shameless?
That was BUG Music, our publisher, who has tirelessly pitched us to film and tv for the run of our careers thus far, despite us probably being a more difficult sell than, say, someone much bigger. It really boils down to a woman who works there and who has total faith in the High Strung and what we're doing. It's a really exciting thing that has happened for us.
What's your favorite thing about Detroit? Biggest misconception?
I don't care if this sounds devilish: for me it's the women. Everywhere I look I'm ambushed with beautiful women. In any season, any year. There are a lot of things to like about the area: the bars, the bands, my friends and family, Tom Izzo, the sense of humor, etc. But none of those are quite as fun as talking to a girl, getting all flustered, then drinking all night and talking about how crazy women are. I think the biggest misconception is that Detroit is made up of garage bands. The garage explosion was some 13 years ago. If you think about it, that'd be like talking about 1987 to the bands who broke through in 1999.
Any non-music hobbies?
I'll list one for each of us: Derek Berk (drums) works on the movies that come to town. Chad Stocker (bass) takes as much pride in his cooking as he does his basslines. Stephen Palmer (guitar) is... hmmm. I think Stephen puts all his time into his guitar! And I, Josh Malerman, make a tremendous clown at adult parties.
We love you, Josh! What did you think, readers?