I got to talk to Chris Russo Jr of Highwind about his band w/Dan Synn and here’s what he had to say..
Q: Your band, Highwind, consists of 2 people. You (vocals & guitar) and Dan Synn (vocals & bass)…when did the two of you decide to come together? And do you have other musicians filling in on other instruments when playing at clubs?
A: Dan and I have been friends for a very long time. About 8 or 9 years now.. I was finishing up the, “How You’ve Been?” EP with my producer, CJ Rarela, at the time. Dan had been living in California for a few years. He had come back home to New Jersey a few months prior to us meeting up. Around the time I started to work on the EP, I think. I was looking for fill-in members to play some shows with me. He hit me up not too long after a I had posted a Facebook status and I started showing him how to play everything about a week later. After a few months of playing with me, I asked him if he actually wanted to be a part of Highwind and we became the lineup you see today. We have several rotating fill-in members for lead guitar and drums. It’s usually friends of ours from other bands in the area that are willing to help us out.
Q: Coming out of Asbury Park, NJ where many musicians have performed at the infamous The Stone Pony, is that a venue that the band aspires to play one day? It’s considered to have helped the music careers of Springsteen, Van Zandt and Southside Johnny.
A: I would love to play at the Stone Pony! I’ve played there a couple of times with bands that I used to be in. I’ve also seen so many of my favorite bands at that venue. I would love to have Highwind take the stage there one day.
Q: Do you consider your sound alternative rock or pop rock? To me, it’s more of a hard alt rock sound… and what bands do you see as a musical influence?
A: I would say a bit of all of that, to be honest. A lot of the newer stuff we are getting ready to record is a bit more pop rock with a technical aspect to it. I would definitely say we definitely fluctuate between alternative and pop, it all just really depends on the song. Dan and I really look up to bands like Paramore, Anberlin and Sleeping With Sirens. I, personally look up to alternative rock/pop-punk bands like As it Is, Taking Back Sunday, The Downtown Fiction and Polar Bear Club, just to name a few. I also really love indie pop acts like The 1975 and Flor, and really try to incorporate sounds that those kinds of bands have into our music.
Q: My favorite track on the EP is Synchronicity. The lyrics, “Who lit the match that set the rose you call yourself ablaze. I blame myself cause even then I could have dropped my gaze.” What is the song about exactly?
A: Synchronicity is basically about someone who lead me on, turned me down, and made me feel like it was incredibly manipulated. It was my ‘heartbreak’ song on the record and I used it to vent a lot of what I was feeling at the time, The story itself is really long, but that’s the summed up version.
Q: You asked your fans to show up and be in the 2023 video that was shot at the The Clubhouse at Tom’s River. How much does your fan base mean to you?
A: We love our fans, supporters and friends who show their love for what we do. We are super grateful for anyone who gives even the slightest bit of attention, love and/or care for what we do. This band wouldn’t really exist without their support. I always want to do everything I can to give back to those who support Highwind. I really enjoy interacting with our supporters through Instagram HighwindNJ and Twitter HighwindBandNJ.
Q: What band would you love to open up for? And what venue would it be?
A: I have a long list of bands and artists I would love to open up for. As it is are definitely at the top of the list. Selfish Things, nothing nowhere, Belmont, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Movements, Waterparks, Four Year Strong, flor, Rise Against, Boston Manor, and Grayscale are all on that list. I can think of so many more too.
Q: In your spare time, what do you and Dan like to do?
A: Dan is actually working on music production! He really is into mixing, audio engineering and all of the behind the scenes technology that goes into making a record. I have a deep love for video gaming. I’ve been playing Nintendo systems for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been super into Super Mario Bros., Custom Robo and the Vs. Capcom series’ of games. I’ve also been super into computer gaming as of recent. I’ve been playing a lot of Rocket League in the little bit of time that I have.
Q: Can we expect to see a full length album in 2020?
A: I wouldn’t expect a full album but I would expect new music in the form of singles and other surprises here and there. We have some really cool things planned out for 2020.
You can listen to Highwind at the Highwind station on Spotify and on Apple Music at Highwind station. For t shirt merch, you can go to Synchronicity T-shirt.
Stay tuned for more interviews with Pretty Vacant, Jessy Covets, Andrea Von Kampen, Lillie Mae and Michigander..
Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias