It was 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday in Austin at The Parish. The street was crowded with locals and visitors who were all ready to experience the Cape Cod rock band, Highly Suspect, for themselves.
While the line outside grew longer and longer, Fusion FM’s Madison Wichterich chatted with Highly Suspect bassist and vocalist, Rich Meyer about spirit animals, poolside tattoos and Prince collaborations. Check out the full interview, below.
So y’all just finished up your European Tour. Can you tell us about some of the highlights?
My favorite part about the European Tour was visiting London for the first time in my life. I feel like I’ve been there before even though, technically, I haven’t.
Did it meet your expectations?
Oh, absolutely. It was exceeding expectations.
Was performing in Europe any different from performing here?
Well yeah, it was way different. We were playing, like, in front of thousands of people every night which is something that we aren’t accustomed to. So that was different, but also the people were way different. You know, everything was different. What wasn’t different should be the question, really.
What was something that happened that you didn’t expect? Something weird maybe?
Their tour manager, Spike, jokingly asked Rich: “Didn’t you kill a guy?”
What are some of your most anticipated stops y’all have coming up?
Most anticipated right now is we’re going to play Reading and Leeds in London. That’s going to be awesome.
So y’all have become widely recognized fairly quickly. When you were starting out, what were some of your big dreams?
I wanted to be on the local radio station on Cape Cod. Which hasn’t actually really happened yet. The radio station just doesn’t really play our genre, I guess.
Your new song “Serotonia” has a bit of a different sound when compared to your Mister Asylum album and y’all started as a reggae cover band right?
Yeah, originally we were playing a lot of Bob Marley and our original songs were very heavily reggae influenced.
What influenced your change in sound?
Moving to New York City. It, you know, was a culture shock for us and it really changed, artistically. We’re like sponges and we just kinda soak up our surroundings and then the art that comes out is a result of that.
So y’all had two Grammy nominations right off the bat. Did you feel pressured by all the hype that you gained so quickly?
Yeah! It was mind boggling. You know, I mean it was exciting.
How’s that affecting some of your plans for the tour?
I feel like it really affected the overall size of the venues we’re playing at, everything, like, doubled when that happened.
Where did M.C.I.D (My Crew Is Dope) come from?
It was a pool party on Cape Cod. Right before we moved to New York, Johnny got “My Crew Is Dope” tattooed on his hands at a pool party. I think it was that kid’s, like, second tattoo ever, or something like that, and he did it pool side.
How have your fans contributed to your success?
Where do y’all get your songwriting inspiration? What do you do if you get stumped?
The songwriting inspiration comes from real life experiences. I don’t know, getting stumped is something that happens all the time, you just have to try to change up something. It’s real easy to get into a rut in your personal life and artistically. They’re kind of the same thing but you have to break yourself out of the pattern in order to get away from that.
If you could choose to collaborate with anyone who would be your dream pick?
I was gonna say Prince, but…
What’s next for Highly Suspect?
We’re going to start working on album two pretty soon.
What’s something I haven’t asked but you think I should’ve?
You should have asked me what my spirit animal is.
What is your spirit animal?
Mine is Tim and Tim’s is Spike.
Thank you so much!