Art is a creative, reactionary response to the world around us. Everything from love to loathing has moved musicians to pen some of the greatest songs. So it’s not surprising that a lot of music makers today have been motivated by the past couple of years; from their government to society at large. It’s all been a lot to deal with and comprehend, but when you can’t quite make sense of your reality, it’s sometimes easier to usher those emotions into song. This is what Higgs Field has done with their latest, “Leader in the Eye.”
The song as well as a lot of what’s been pushing Higgs Field in the studio as of late has to do with the above, and we dove into that. From the uneducated in their native Australia to the people in charge who are as clueless as can be, we covered all of that and even managed to toss some music chatter into the mix in this brand-new back and forth.
Kendra: It’s been a minute since your fans have been treated to some new music as ‘Paracusia’ dropped back at the start of 2021. Nevertheless, well worth the wait because you’re back with “Leader in the Eye.” When did this new track start to take shape?
Higgs Field: I guess with most of our songs, things really start coming together when we’re in the jam room, that’s where we mold the song and turn it into something we can really feel out. I brought the riffs to the dudes and we played around with everything until it sounded good. We played it live a few times and kinda went, “Yeah man, let’s go.” We wanted to make sure that the song’s subject matter was reflected in the song, so it’s aggressive where it needs to be and subdued where you need to listen.
Kendra: At its core, “Leader in the Eye” is about preserving culture. Do you mean in an Australian sense, musically? Humanity as a whole as we fall more and more into a false sense of reality due to living and breathing in online spaces?
Higgs Field: Definitely, but It’s a problem everywhere. We need to let a mushroom be a mushroom, and a tree be a tree. These cultures need to be allowed to grow and thrive in their own way. Uneducated tyrants tried to kill the ability for them to grow and we’ve all lost thousands of years’ worth of knowledge because of it. In an Australian sense, we’ve mistreated the oldest culture in the world, in the most disgusting ways you could possibly imagine.
Because the Aboriginal culture is full of strong and intelligent characters, we get that insight into a beautiful perspective of how the world could be. Mind you, you’re more likely to see a Ray-Ban shop in an airport, then anything that could educate you about Aboriginal culture. We’re nowhere near where we should be, it’s systematic and can only be changed when it’s embraced full-heartedly.
As for how people are falling harder into an online space, I truly don’t know how to feel about it. I feel like it’s a natural part of our progression and in the next 100 years, life will be totally different from what we know now. Whether that’s going to be a good thing or not is another thing. Put it this way, when ‘The Terminator’ came out it was a sci-fi thriller and we couldn’t imagine it. Now we have machine gun drones with pinpoint precision from over a kilometer away and AI that we’ve had to shut down because of how hateful it reacts to people. It’s scary but really incredible at the same time.
Kendra: Another aspect you’ve focused on as a whole, as of late, is control. Do you think that with how music works today, being a bit more DIY-driven, artists have more control than ever – or do the big labels still pull the strings?
Higgs Field: I feel like when we talk about control, it’s more of a push back about what we’ve experienced during Covid. It’s really opened our eyes to how much control our governments actually have and how little control regular people have. People have been hurt badly, while governments around the world have allowed corporations to profit from it, which really shows us where their priorities really are.
I’ve paid more taxes here in Australia in the past two weeks than Apple has paid in the past 10 years. You only have to look at the lockdowns in Victoria, Australia, and the banking system in China to realize that some things are not right.
In the music industry we can’t really say too much about the labels because we’ve never dealt with them. They might be great to work with but they haven’t contacted us and we’re not waiting around to see if they do. We’re also not going to waste our time chasing them down either, we’ve got music to write and that’s our main focus. We don’t care about fame or money, so it’s really not high on the priority list.
Kendra: Being that I always tagged along with my metalhead older brother in the ‘90s, I instinctively knew who some of your inspirations were right when I pressed play. It’s nice to hear that sort of throwback rock sound take up some space in the present. How do you find a way to intertwine modern ways with that rock sound that is, to many, seemingly nostalgic?
Higgs Field: Bands like Oasis were influenced by The Beatles because that’s what they listened to growing up. We’re the same, except for the music we grew up with were bands like Tool, Cog, Karnivool, and Parkway Drive. We’re clearly different to a lot of stuff out there because we’re not worried about appealing to “current” music trends. At the same time, we’re also honest about what we like and aren’t afraid to nod our heads to them in sections of our songs. We love the shit, so it’s only natural that we sound a bit like it.
Kendra: Again, this is the first single since 2021. Is “Leader in the Eye” the jumping-off point for what’s to come with your LP in 2023?
Higgs Field: Yeah, I think it’s just where we’re heading in general but we’ve got a few curveballs coming too. Whatever we do with our music in the future will be worth the listen but don’t expect the same thing, over and over again. We’re like children, we get bored easily and constantly need to be entertained.
Kendra: Side note time – with it being a Back 2 School season, I’d love to know your favorite field trip or just school memory.
Higgs Field: I don’t know if I have one. Maybe a little field trip to my mates’ house to play video games at lunchtime, that turned into a maccas run and an all-nighter. It feels like such a long time ago now that when I think of school, I can only really think back to some of the things that I did at school.
Kendra: Lastly, with “Leader in the Eye” out now and plans for a new LP in 2023, what else is on the agenda this fall?
Higgs Field: We’ve got another song coming out before the end of the year, one of the curveball songs I was talking about earlier. some cool gigs lined up and whatever else in between. The best way to keep up with it all is to go follow us on our socials though. Sometimes we don’t even really know what’s coming up!