INTERVIEW: Highasakite

Highasakite are an indie-pop/ indie-rock band originating from Norway. The five part band consists of Ingrid Helene Håvik (vocals), Trond Bersu (drums), Øystein Skar (synthesizer), Marte Eberson (synthesizer) and Kristoffer Lo (guitar, percussion and flugabone).

Their recent UK stopover was short and sweet – a one-night only, and completely sold out, affair performed in  London’s The Forum – but Norway’s Highasakite are back to do it all again; joining fellow Nordic nomads Of Monsters and Men on a full-scale UK Tour this November.

It’s not the first time the pair have shared the stage, having embarked together on a sold out tour of North America and Europe from May to June of this year. Before hitting the UK again, Highasakite rounded out the season with a string of Norwegian headline performances – including a 10,000 capacity show at Sverresborg Arena, Trondheim in August.

In the midst of back-to-back touring, Highasakite revealed new single ‘Keep That Letter Safe’ earlier this year. The song was extremely successful, The Line of Best fit called it a “soaring piece of cinematic pop”. It landed in Norway’s Top 15 Chart on presales alone and swiftly jumped to number one on release. .

Keep That Letter Safe is the band’s first single in more than a year, serving a worthy successor to debut LP Silent Treatment – the album which was not only commended in Norway but across the Atlantic too. It managed to claim the longest consecutive run in the Norwegian Top 40 Albums Chart since 1997, an astonishing achievement for the band. Not to mention two Norwegian Grammys, and an IMPALA Nomination for European Independent Album of the Year.  More recently, at the 2015 14th Annual Independent Music Awards, Highasakite was the winner in the Pop Album category for ‘Silent Treatment’.

The band performs in the Olympia on the 22nd of November and it will be their first time playing in Ireland. We caught up with vocalist and song writer Ingrid Helene Håvik to find out more about the rising stars.


First of all can you tell me a bit about how you all met and how the band formed?
Three of us met in University, The Jazz Academy. Then we moved to Oslo and the band formed there.

This is your third time touring with Of Monsters and Men, what is that like supporting such a well known band?
It’s really great because we can play for a lot of people. They haven’t heard about us and they wouldn’t have come to our show, so it’s nice to play for them.

How do you find touring? Is it very stressful or are you too busy having fun?
It’s very stressful but mostly fun. It really depends on what state of mind you’re in. I love touring I wish I could do it all the time.

You’re hitting the stage here in Dublin on the 22nd of November, have you even been to Ireland before and are you excited?
No I’ve never been to Ireland and we’re very excited about that. It’s going to be great to play in a new country.

What are you going to do here in Dublin, will you go sightseeing?
I hope so. A lot of times we don’t have time for that, we just get into the night-liner and drive on. But I it would be nice if we get to see some of Dublin while we’re here because we haven’t been before.

Focusing now on your own material, what’s it like to see how successful your music is, not just in Norway but overseas too, did you ever expect this?
No, we never expected it but we were working towards it. This is what we were hoping for and now we have new goals to do even better. It feels like our work paid off.

You write most of the songs for the band, where do you get inspiration from?
It’s a really big question but I think I get it from everywhere. Like movies, other music, books, poems and just everything that I put together and try to make something.

Have any of the rest of you ever thought about or tried writing for the band?
Yeah they write for their own projects. They have solo stuff. Everyone are really good composers but I do the composing for this band.

So how do the rest of you get involved with making the music? Is it solely in the studio?
In the studio, we arrange everything together. Everyone has their own ideas and then combine them as a band.

Your latest single Keep That Letter Safe was released a month ago and has had a great response, I’m sure lots of fans will be wondering, can we expect an another album soon?
We’re going to release another album in May, according to the plan. Hopefully we’ll release a few singles before that.

You’ve extensively toured your home country Norway, is there a huge difference between touring there and in other countries?
I think people are pretty much the same everywhere. Of course in Norway we have a lot of audience who know who we are so it’s more lucrative to tour there, but at the same time it’s really fun to tour everywhere else. And everywhere else is warmer than Norway so it’s nice to get out of there!

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We do this thing where we all put our hands together so that we feel we’re going on stage as a group and make sure that the atmosphere is good.

What’s your favourite part of touring?
Playing on stage of course! I love putting on my makeup, getting ready and then going out and playing a show.

Have you guys got a good relationship with Of Monsters and Men?
Some of us know them better than others. There crew is really nice to us, it’s a really good gang. They’re really good people to tour with.

What’s next for you guys after touring for Of Monsters and Men?
We’re going to finish our record and start with the music videos, then we’ll get ready to play new shows!


(Image credit: Culture Glaze)



Emer Handly


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