High Rise West
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High Rise West

Band Rock Acoustic


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Tecate! (first release)
May 2005
let her in a moment
and I want to
breathe again


Feeling a bit camera shy


biography - a first draft...

Our story is one of much heartache and rejoicing, one that will take you through the deepest depths of Mordor…one of betrayal, love and murder…okay, maybe not the last part. Unfortunately the story changes depending on whom you ask, but to ascertain the true events you will have to reach us in a moment of utmost clarity. You will have to buy us a few Jack'n'cokes and come with an open mind leaving all prejudices behind. It is then, and only then, that you will learn your way through the tortuous caverns of the mystery that is High Rise West.

For centuries historians and scientists have been trying to unravel the secrets of seduction, alchemy, love and music. What these great minds have tried to accomplish and resolve over past decades, we will deliver to you in 51.6 minutes of pure rapture for the fee of an "admit one".

Now to get a little more serious, Ken and Nitin (the primary members of High Rise West) are trained Jedi Masters, skilled in the art of hypnotic suggestion and trained by none other than the almighty David Hasselhoff. Every now and then you may find Nitin speaking to his watch and wondering where his car is, in this situation it is of critical importance and duty of High Rise West followers to buy Nitin another Jack'n'coke and point him in the direction of the nearest bartender. Similarly you may bump into Ken mumbling nonsense before a gig and shrieking in off-kilter pitches in preparation - this means he has lost his trusty yellow back pack and High Rise West followers are encouraged to form an immediate search party.

Ken and Nitin's paths crossed at a fine educational establishment in West Philadelphia. Nitin, a former drummer and Ken, a former touch foot-baller met for the first time in a building called High Rise South. There was also a High Rise East and a High Rise North. Over the many musical projects Ken and Nitin were part of, Ken could never figure out the correct name of the building in which we would rehearse. It was then that the concept of High Rise West was realized. A place, mythical in nature, where musical expression was with no bounds, convention was tossed into the trashcan, and where "the song" would lead the way - never quite sure where it would end up. An exciting place, a peaceful place…a pure place.

We really despise conforming to standards which don't have any meaning, especially when it comes to music, but for ease of explanation, we would not correct people who would place us in the genre of acoustic rock. After an abrupt retirement from playing in stadiums and arenas as part of UnTied, Pier 34 and Undertow, we now prefer smaller, intimate settings where high wattage lights blast in our face and we can't see the audience. You can find us playing anywhere in New York and Philadelphia that accepts the decibels produced by two acoustic guitars, two microphones and if you're lucky the huevos d'oros and gorilla socks.

Due to our geographic separation (a theme central to our history), we have had to develop creative ways to write our music. Who would have thought that E-mail and FTP would be a key part of the composition process? Nitin, being a former drummer sometimes forgets that he is playing a guitar and begins to move all his limbs. This phenomenon results in a much more percussive way of finger-picking the guitar. This and his clean background vocals blend with Ken's powerfully coarse yet precise lead vocals and backing guitar to produce something truly unique. Ken's voice can best be described as having taken the church choir bus through the bad part of town, which was hijacked by rockers smoking cigarettes in Seattle.

After starting off as musical "scruffs", our journey has taken us through changes in sound, discipline in song writing structure, polishing of physical image, extravagance in show making, and nit-picking in details.

High Rise West is a stripping down of theatrics, a cleaning up of make-up, and a return to raw basics.

Come join us in a place where rhythm, strings and voice will tell you all you need to know. Are you ready ?