Hail Your Highness
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Hail Your Highness

Grayling, Michigan, United States

Grayling, Michigan, United States
Rock Indie

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Since 2006 sisters, Niki and Jessie, came together in musical harmony, but it took until 2012 to really form their band, Hail Your Highness. The band started out as a larger group, but in the end the sisters decided to run with the two piece rock 'n' roll vibe.

This two piece rock 'n' roll vibe has taken on a life of its' own. When asked to describe their musical sounds the sisters pondered the question before responding. "We try really, really hard to blend all the genres that we love and listen to into one vibe that is Hail Your Highness, music that is eclectic and has strong emotional vibes. So we call it melodic-hardcore-indie-rock 'n' roll," said Hail Your Highness.

That complex sound has been grabbing the attention of music fans all over Michigan. The sisters are hoping to head back into the studio soon and get new music into the hands of fans before summer time. Along with new music, the bands plans on playing more live shows.


"Or So I Thought" by Hail Your Highness Official Video
I had the chance to interview Hail Your Highness, we discussed everything from how the band formed to how social media has entirely changed the music industry. The entire interview is below.

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C: When did Hail Your Highness come together?

H: Niki and I are sister's so we've been playing and singing together since we were little kids. We started little bands throughout out early teen years for fun and then played as an acoustic duo for a while. But I suppose we "officially" started HYH back in 2006 with our original guitarist Mike, added our first bassist Sam in '07, changed our band name a few times and would eventually stick with Hail Your Highness. We went through a lot of member changes from 2009 to 2012 and just this past year have we decided to run with this whole two piece rock and roll vibe, just me and Niki.

C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?

H: We grew up in a strict church environment so unfortunately there really wasn't a whole lot of artistic "Christian" music out there, not at least when we were kids. So we were listening to bands like DC Talk and Petra which is cool when you're a kid, but the older we got the more we craved something deeper. When I was 14 I started listening to a band called Kids In The Way, who sadly aren't together anymore, but their record Apparitions of Melody completely rocked my world and totally changed my perspective on music, how you write it, play it and perform it. That band and record really jump started everything that is HYH. We started delving into a lot of heavier and artistic music. We went through our hardcore phase where it was nothing but The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Bring Me The Horizon, anything super heavy we could get our hands on we were listening to. We still love heavy music, but grew out of it a little and as of recently we've been listening to a lot of Indie and Rock&Roll music like Dead Sara, The Joy Formidable and a lot of Jack White.

C: Hail Your Highness in a few words, how would you describe the band's musical sound?

H: That's been something we've always had trouble labeling "what is your sound?" We try really, really hard to blend all the genres that we love and listen to into one vibe that is Hail Your Highness, music that is eclectic and has strong emotional vibes. So we call it Melodic Hardcore Indie Rock&Roll haha! I think we've done a good job at sounding new and unique that still to this day people can't really pin us to any certain genre and I'm really proud of that.

C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?

H: We're really visual people so the best way we learned was by watching other bands. We have really great parents that took us to a lot of shows and festivals as teenagers so we were able to see and get involved in our favorite band's careers which was really awesome. I love seeing people on stage who are unafraid to be exactly who they are and that's really what we strive for in a live show. Being females in a band, I always love seeing ladies who can throw down as hard as the fellas and that's always been something we hold ourselves accountable to. We don't want people to say "you're good for girls," but rather just respect us and our music free of any gender specifications. One musical influence that I think people wouldn't expect is Judy Garland. That lady is my hero. The way she could captivate an audience during her theater tours back in the 1950's & 60's was absolutely out of this universe! If I could have just an ounce of the talent in that woman's 4'11'' body, I would die happy! I definitely pull a lot from the great performs of that era.

C: Hail Your Highness has gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?

H: It was actually a lot easier when we first started. - Examiner.com


The format for a musical show scheduled to be held at Grayling High School on Friday includes three acts, three benefits and "You Choose."

The You Choose Benefit Show will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 20 in the Grayling High School's Joseph Stripe Auditorium. On the bill are Hail Your Highness, formed by sisters Jessie and Niki Bobenmoyer, Dactylion, a thrash metal duo made up of Cameron Brooks and C.J. Bertram, and Jessica Hoover, an acoustic act from Traverse City.

Hail Your Highness and Dactylion, which are both based in Graying, were initially prompted to organize the show by overwhelming response to the Kony 2012 campaign sponsored by Invisible Children.

Kony 2012 is an online video focused on the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his crimes against children during the country's civil war, which became a global Internet sensation in March and has been viewed more than 100 million times.

Invisible Children hopes the video and other efforts will make Kony a household name and drum up international support to halt killings, rapes, abuses and abductions committed by his group, the Lord's Resistance Army, in central Africa.

Kony, who has operated in central Africa for two decades, is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. In October, the United States sent 100 combat-equipped troops on a mission to kill or capture Kony.


After the release of the video, Jason Russell, the cofounder of Invisible Children and the organization's main spokesperson, was criticized for simplifying the Ugandan conflict and overplaying today's role of Kony in the African nation.

Just weeks after the video was released, Russell was picked up by police after several people reported a man running through the streets of San Diego in his underwear, screaming. He was not arrested, but was taken to a hospital and is believed to have had a mental breakdown due to the criticism of the international campaign.

As soon as the Grayling bands created an event page on Facebook and posted a flier, people started slamming the show, saying they would not attend due to the support of a controversial cause the acts were supporting.

In response, the bands decided they would also raise money for the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center, which operates a food pantry in the community to support individuals and families in need.

Jessie said the initial response to the show was unfortunate.

"I was surprised because Invisible Children has brought a lot of awareness to the issue," Jessie said. "People are going to have their opinions, which is fine, but we felt like moving forward with the show."

Niki was also shocked, but pleased that the show will go on.

"It was disappointing that the kids were going along without knowing all the facts, but that's all taken care of now," she said.

After more discussion, the bands decided to add a third group to support called Traffic Jam, an organization working to end child sex slavery and trafficking overseas.

Hail Your Highness has played the musical festival circuit for the last two years for events sponsored by Traffic Jam.

"It just really tugged at our heart," Jessie said. "They've done a lot for us and if we can do a show and give them some of the proceeds, we want to do that for sure.

Now, people who attend the show will place a $5 cover charge in buckets for the cause they wish to support.

"You Choose is a great solution to all the controversy. Choose to do something locally or globally or even both," Jessie said. "There's no reason for people not to come now."

Throughout the show, short videos will be played in between the band's set changes, giving facts about each charity to encourage people to give more if they choose.

"We just wanted to get on board and see what we could do," Jessie said. "We play music so that is our weapon of choice." - Crawford County Avalanche


TRAVERSE CITY -- A four-city search and contest that hit New Hope Community Church in Williamsburg during a major snowstorm in February resulted in three bands getting an invite to the Big Ticket Festival in Gaylord next week.

Hail Yer Highness, Kwestion and Jason Taylor were all selected that snowy night to perform on the Indie Stage at the festival, scheduled for June 18-20 at the Otsego County Fairgrounds.

Big Ticket, a Christian-based, family-focused festival, expects more than 30,000 people to attend this year's event, now expanded to three days. There are six stages at the fairgrounds, with acts including Third Day, Switchfood, Newsboys and David Crowder.

"We had a blast" at the New Hope performance, said Jessie Bobenmoyer of Hail Yer Highness, a Grayling band that also played at last year's Big Ticket Festival. "We were kind of nervous because it wasn't our typical crowd, but we were very well-received. We even got a sponsor right on the spot," she said.

Bobenmoyer, who writes most of the group's songs with her sister Niki, admits the band doesn't look like a typical Christian music band and doesn't even really play typical Christian music. They typically play for 15- to 20-year-olds, she said, and the New Hope crowd was "a church crowd."

"We have kind of a harder edge," she said. "But we're just spreading the message of hope and love."

She said Hail Yer Highness played for 200 to 250 people at last year's festival and they're hoping for more this year.

"We'll be out Thursday and Friday, putting up signs and posters, spreading the word," she said. "It's the highlight of our year."

Larry Jennings, pastor of student ministry at New Hope Community Church, was manning the concessions during the February contest, but wasn't surprised at the outcome. In fact, the church hosted Hail Yer Highness for a repeat performance at the end of May.

"They have a harder edge to them," he said. "The crowd went nuts for them."
- Traverse City Record Eagle


GRAYLING — Hailing from Grayling, with a heavy metal band look, this hard rock music group sings about their faith in a multi-genre self described as screamo, pop and hardcore.

“Hail Your Highness” was founded by 18-year-old female lead guitarist Jessie Bobenmoyer and her drummer sister, Niki, 15, of Grayling. Mike Fiel, 19, of Gaylord plays lead guitar and Sam Bengston, 19, of Gaylord plays bass.

Jessie Bobenmoyer has been playing guitar for about nine years.

“My dad had an old acoustic guitar laying around he never played, so I started to play,” she said.

Niki started playing drums at church, Grayling’s Resurrection Life, about six years ago.

Bengston plays in his church band at Gaylord Community Church and Fiel plays in the band at his church, Freedom Covenant Fellowship in Gaylord.

All band members proclaim their faith is No. 1 in their lives.

“We believe God will use whatever it takes to save our generation,” said Jessie of the group’s heavy music. “We are willing to be put in those situations that most Christian bands wouldn’t accept to show that being a follower of Christ isn’t as bad or boring as the world thinks it is.”

The sisters didn’t have to go far for their Christian music influence.

Parents David and Julie Bobenmoyer sing in church. David manages the band and Julie is the “mom of the band.”

“Their music is so awesome,” said Julie. “Whether they’re doing contemporary praise and worship or their own style.”

“That’s what we feel we were called to do — our own style of music,” Jessie added.

The group has been together for nearly three years. Bengston joined the trio in November 2007.

“We are unashamed and proud to say that the reason we write, the reason we are alive, and the reason we play music is all to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” said Jessie. “Without him we are nothing. And if we get the chance to share that and do some good in this world, then that’s all we can ask for.”

Hail Your Highness recently recorded an EP (extended play) release, “Fatal Stares & Deadly Prayers” at Front Street Sound Studio in Grand Rapids.

Their EP release show debuts Friday at The Matrix Resurrection Life Center, 2640 West M-72, Grayling. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Special guest, Battle Creek’s “Forever Affect,” will open for the group.

General admission tickets cost $5 and royal tickets, which include the EP, cost $10.

To learn more about the band, visit www.myspace.com/hailyourhighness - Gaylord Herald Times


A Christian rock band, led by two Grayling sisters, is set to unveil its inaugural CD this weekend.

Hail Your Highness is holding a CD release celebration for its EP, titled "Fatal Stares and Deadly Prayers," at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at The Matrix Youth Center, located at the Resurrection Life Fellowship Church.

Hail Your Highness was founded by sisters Jessie and Niki Bobenmoyer. The band pulls its influences from multiple genres such as pop, "screamo" and hardcore rock. The band is bold with their lyrics, unashamed to share the good, the bad and the ugly, which is paired with catchy and driving melodies and harmonies.

But the main focus of the band is to share their faith with other youngsters and listeners.

"Our personal relationship with Jesus is just that - personal," said Jessie Bobenmoyer. "We don't go around preaching at people or condemning them to hell based on their background or the way they look - that's the last thing this world needs. If we get a chance to share the love of Jesus, the love we have felt in our lives and show kids there's a better way out there, then we have done our jobs. We have changed a life for the better."

Jessie serves as the lead singer/screamer for the band, and Niki handles the duties behind the drum kit. The sisters have been writing, performing and composing music for 12 years. The band is rounded out by lead guitarist Mike Fiel and bassist Sam Bengston, who both live in Gaylord.


Jessie and Niki help operate The Matrix Youth Center in Grayling, sharing the vision of their parents, Julie and David Bobenmoyer, to reach out to the younger generation and show them the love of Jesus Christ. Fiel and Bengston also share that vision, using their talents at churches they attend in Gaylord.

Last month, Hail Your Highness recorded their first CD at a Grand Rapids recording studio. Darin Distance, the owner of "Not Your Mother's Music," saw performances of Hail Your Highness performing with acoustic instruments on YouTube.com. After a number of conversations with band members, Distance took the band under his wing and gave them an opportunity to broaden their horizons. The CD was recorded at Front Street Sound Studio in Grand Rapids.

David Moet, co-owner for the studio, said he was impressed with what he heard and saw in the young band, as they were taking part in their recording sessions.

Jessie said that while some people don't feel that God can speak through heavy music, Hail Your Highness believes they can reach others through anything.

"We believe that we are a band with a calling to change lives with our music, in a world that is searching for something more," Jessie said. "We are unashamed and proud to say the reason we write, the reason we are alive and the reason we play music is to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without him, we are nothing and if we get a chance to share that and do some good in this world, then that's all we can ask for."

For more information about the band, people can go to www.myspace.com/hailyourhighness. Listeners can also vote to have the band play on the famed punk rock Warped Tour
- Crawford County Avalanche


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

When asked to describe their band in one sentence, vocalist and guitarist Jessie Bobenmoyer said this, "Hail Your Highness is a band striving to mesh eclectic styles and genres to create a unique sound with strong emotional vibes."

"It's never been easy for me to give someone a direct answer as to what Hail Your Highness sounds like, so when that sentence popped into my head, I coined it," says Jessie.

What would end up resulting as Hail Your Highness started 6 years ago in the garage of sister's Jessie and Niki Bobenmoyer. Through numerous member changes and plenty of ups and downs the Bobenmoyer sisters have ended up right back to the way they started playing music, just the 2 of them. Some might see this as yet another set back, but it has only been the opposite and a new launching pad for the duo. With the encouragement of their family and the guidance of their producer, Joe Stockton, Hail Your Highness is now presenting themselves as this "force to be reckoned with" 2 piece band with 2 lead vocalists and something to prove.

"The more I thought about it, the more I thought just the 2 of them is all they need," says Stockton, "It takes more than just sounding unique now. You have to present your music in a new way. And I know the 2 piece thing has been done (White Stripes, Black Keys, Middle Class Rut) but I've never seen it with a heavy sound, not to mention two sisters who's voices compliment eachother so well. In my eyes their voices ARE their band and ARE their sound. Niki has the "flare" if you will, and Jessie has the raw aggression. It fits like a puzzle. Everything else just supports that."

With this new mindset in full swing Hail Your Highness has been reborn. "We want everything to be us, created by me and Niki," says Jessie. "Thankfully I play both guitar and bass so I can track everything musically when it comes to studio time and Niki can bang out drum tracks like nobody's business these days. So when we finally came to the realization that we really could do this on our own, it was very empowering." Not to say that this band doesn't have a lot of work ahead of them would be an understatement, but they've been putting it in for the past 6 years and if they keep growing day by day and year by year as they have been, with the right guidance and direction Hail Your Highness could really shake up the music scene.

"It's always been our heart to reach people through our music with a positive message. We write about the ups and downs of life, what's real to us and try to compliment and match those lyrics with a musical vibe that drive the point home. We've seen God manifest in our lives and pull us through so much with the band that not sharing that with as many people as we can would be an injustice to what He's done for us."

Hail Your Highness is ready now more than ever to share a genre of music with people that can only be described when heard first hand. If you see they're coming around your neck of the woods, saddle up and head out to that show. You won't be disappointed.