The High Perms
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The High Perms

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The You; Tickets to Ride - December 28, 2005"

Earlier this year, [Josh Verbanets] recorded tracks for an upcoming album with studio musicians and producer Brian Deck, of Iron & Wine and Modest Mouse fame, though the sessions didn't quite meet expectations. "I thought I would waltz into Chicago and get incredible spontaneous input from seasoned session veterans, that we would cut these smokin' tracks! Someone should have reminded me that I'm a dumb kid and I don't know nothin' 'bout nothin'," he says. "I really wanted to make a nice, slick, accessible record. There's nothing particularly challenging about our music, well, not in the sense that prog-rock bands would use. To me, the challenge of music is tapping into that stuff that human beings learned to like over millions of years of evolution. Like, how do you try to write 'Time of the Season'?" The national-release record will likely contain a mix of studio tracks and demos, some recorded in Verbanets' basement, and others with Jeremy Diehl... - Pittsburgh City Paper

"The You"

New York City got a fresh taste of the new lineup of up-and-coming, Pittsburgh, indie rockers The You. The group came to town to play at Sin-e on April 10.

But NYC is lucky they're getting the chance to catch this band at all, as lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Josh Verbanets, without a band, nearly quit music a few months back.

"I've had the band for a few years, with different friends, kids I went to high school with, and we'd come home to play over college breaks," he said. "But I would always lose band members to college or they'd get mad at me." Verbanets found himself alone with a newly recorded, full-length album, ready to give up music.

Then he decided to put together a band for one final show. He brought in his friends from the Pittsburgh three-piece, The Quiver, and the band hasn't stopped ever since. This, what he calls the "professional version of the band," seems to be the final lineup, said Verbanets and "so far this version of the band is going really well."

Aside from Verbanets, the lineup consists of Mike Paschka on guitar and backing vocals, "a real folk rocker, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, who plays a great chunky guitar," Verbanets commented. Next is Dave Schewe on drums and backing vocals, described as "brilliant, a real power pop, jazz drummer." The quartet is evened out with Chad Mikolaicik, a "really, really, really good" bassist.'

The group is currently sitting on the full-length album that Verbanets was lucky enough to have Brian Deck, who's worked with Modest Mouse, Iron and Wine, and the Secret Machines, to produce. The group's record label, Pure Tone Music, sent his demo out to every big producer and according to Verbanets "everybody wanted to work on it."

Deck wound up being the guy for the job and Verbanets went out to Chicago for a month during the summer of 2005. Without a band behind him though, the rest of the instruments were played by older, session musicians. As a result there are two very different sounds on the album.

"One half is lo-fi, basement demos, mastered for the album, and the other half is lush and overly produced by Brian Deck and featuring session players," Verbanets laughed.

Now all the band needs is to find a company to distribute their album, and they're optimistic it will catch the attention of a major label to do so. That's part of what they hope to achieve at the industry showcase they're playing at Sin-e.

"Everyone who hears the record seems to like it. The label wants to get the best release deal they can get," Verbanets said. "It's really accessible music that's not that complicated. It's music everyone will like."

He describes his sound as relatively straightforward, rough, garage pop. He does acknowledge that most people who hear his music, particularly the older demos, get a very British feel from his songs. "I don't want to be a fucking revitalization!" he said. He maintained that the "vocals sound rough," and his music has a very British quality to it "because that's the way it came out because [he] doesn't know how to record music."

"The Brian Deck songs are not quite as old British garage rock. They sound more like 50- year-old men playing," he laughed. "The songs I recorded sound like 12-year-olds."

In fact, Verbanets might cite British influences on his song writing, such as Syd Barrett, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Belle and Sebastian and the Kinks, but he also is influenced by an equal amount of American musicians, such as Kurt Cobain, Wilco, Alice Cooper, Joni Mitchell and the Ramones. The influences are all over the place, helping him to form his own unique sound that's hard to place in any other band.

The You also hope to find themselves in New York City more often now that there's an actual band. They used to play in New York every few months or so, but stopped when Verbanets was left solo. The Sin-e show is just the first of many to hopefully come.

The band is working out a deal to play at Vicious NYC, an underground club "where all the beautiful people go" and is known to host bands that break within a few months of playing there, such as the Secret Machines and the Killers. If all goes well, The You will be back in town playing on May 16 and they could find themselves as the next big band to break.

0 4 . 1 7 . 0 6
- Perpetual Toxins


Nobody pays for independent music.

Past Shows:
NYC – Sin-e (The You)
Washington DC – Black Cat (The Quiver)
Boston, MA - The Kendall Café (Walker Roamer)
Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place (Walker Roamer)
Pittsburgh, PA – Club Café (solo, The Quiver, The You)
Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater (The Quiver)
Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox (The You)
Pittsburgh, PA – Shadow Lounge (The You)



Mike Paschka = The High Perms = Mike Paschka

The High Perms is not a hair-style. It’s also not a band, either. It’s Mike Paschka singing and playing guitar. There's other folks in the band, too, it’s just that the drummer is in Burma and the bass player is in Chicago studying computer science. Sometimes things don’t go as we plan.

Spring of 2006, signing the record contract, the NYC showcase at Sin-e in April, everything seemed possible. Technically different from the Sin-e that Jeff Buckley played, but the same owner, same name, literally the same physical bar- it seemed to matter at the time. But within months it was all gone, the contract, the band, even Sin-e, soon enough. All vapors.

Before that, Mike was ½ of the acoustic duo Walker Roamer, then solo shows around Pittsburgh, then fronted a three-piece called The Quiver which became The You, fronted by Josh Verbanets (Meeting of Important People), signed to PureTone Records, debut album recorded by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, etc.) the vanity label of veteran A&R man Pete Ganbarg (Santana, and other folks you wouldn’t believe if I told you). Best band in Pittsburgh it was said, and they probably were. But then a showcase to a mostly empty Sin-e on a cold Monday evening and as quickly as it happened, it un-happened. It’s a long story, but I suppose it can be summed up by: it’s a very common disease to sabotage something when you’re scared of what it has (may) become. Chad moved to Chicago, worked midnights at a trading desk. Mike and Dave played as The Ipswich for a while until Dave moved to Burma. Mike turned his attention to his growing family and a house in constant need of repair. You’ve heard all this before, same basic outline and shape, just with different details. He worked in a steel mill for a while, one of the formulations was called “High Perm.” That about covers it.

Now settled in Cincinnati, Mike has found an easy stretch and he’s enjoying it. Old enough to know this doesn’t happen all the time or last when it does, he’s following things where they lead. Hearing new songs and the old songs in new ways, he’s found that what he’d thought had evaporated was merely hidden- and has realized that it’s time to have another go at it.

First it was Bob Dylan, early solo acoustic folky-for-hire Dylan and then power pop from Big Star through The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet, then solo Westerberg, and of course Wilco mining Woody Guthrie ore along with Billy Bragg, whose early reverb drenched socialist distortion is probably the real wellspring for this current phase. He's working on a new album, currently titled All-Bright Knocks. He's hoping Dave comes back from Burma soon, and he knows that Chad's only a few hours north.