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Interview // HIGH TYDE

HIGH TYDE on new EP, change, having a crush on Paolo Nutini and suffering from shorts phobia. 

Yep, this one is going to be very interesting!


I caught up with Brighton four-piece before their show at Dingwalls Camden in London last week. I remember getting to the venue rather early at 6ish and there were people queuing already! Crazy. As the band say:

The tour has been so good! The turnouts have been unexpected and it’s been crazy really. We’re still feeling quite fresh. If you ask us maybe like 10 days later we’ll probably be a little bit more tired. 

The beginning of the tour but these lads have already some great stories to share.

Southampton was pretty rowdy – Cody Thomas-Matthew (vocals / bass) starts. We got our first nose bleed ever at the show!

And two guys flew over from Spain for tonight’s show! – Connor Cheetham (guitar) adds.

But moving on to music. High Tyde released critically acclaimed Safe EP last week (April 8th) with their single Dark Love getting many plays across the radio, like BBC Radio1, and here’s what they had to say about it.

It’s just like a collection of three or four months of our work – the singer explains. We like to change things quite a lot but now we’re really happy with the final product. 

It’s about compassionate love songs really – Spencer Tobias-Williams (guitar) says. This EP holds a lot of depth in it, it’s ferocious in a way with the guitars against the vocals which are quite meaningful.

Let’s talk some more about the songs then. Any faves?

I like them all – Louis Semlekan-Faith (drums) states. I like every single one of them as much as the next one.

Personally, at the moment out of the new ones – “These Nights”Cody says. It’s about a trip to Amsterdam we had last year and it’s fun to play live.

I still like to look at people’s faces when they hear “Dark Love” though – the drummer adds.

Because obviously, on this tour, this is the first time we play it to people who actually know it – the frontman explains. It’s been received so well. The same as the nose bleeds at the shows, I guess [laugh].

At this point Louis recalls the time the band were playing in Bristol for like 4 people last year. And now it’s crazy. It’s good to be coming back to many places – they all admit.


We’ve found a sound of High Tyde

High Tyde formed in 2012. They’ve grown up – a little bit let’s say, not too serious – their views have changed, their inspirations and plans, they have evolved.

You know, we were 14 when we started a band – Louis begins. And when you’re at that age you write songs at the time. You write songs about being 14. As you get older you do the things you don’t really want to do to make things you want to do, like working in places you don’t really want to work, starting to pay rent, finding a new relationship, new friends and girlfriends.. So you write about them.

All of our lyrics now are based on things that are actually happening in our lives now – Cody continues. Whereas when we were writing music back then we hadn’t much done. We would still be in school. But now there’s a lot of things going on and much stuff to write about. That means a lot more to us.

I think this progression since we were 14 has been very natural – Connor adds.

It was never forced – the singer says. Like this whole songwriting process has just evolved over time. We used to write songs a lot differently than we do now but we’ve found the process that really works for us and we stick to it now.

Your influences also change a lot – Louis mentions. When you’re 14 you find like five different groups that you constantly listen to.

So what about now? As the band start a vivid discussion I hear that the pre-show playlist is all about Will Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Beastie Boys and a lot of Foals. But essentially they say:

We listen to loads of different things. We love jazz at the moment. All the stuff that we listen to now we’re emerging into one sound. We’ve found a sound of High Tyde. It doesn’t sound like any other band.

It’s been four years since they started this band and when you actually think about it.. they’ve spent most of their teenage years on this life project. We’ve already talked about the musical growth but what about their relationship? Any fights?

When we were younger yes – the singer admits.

We’re tight, we’re like a family – Louis states. That’s our whole mentality behind this band. We just want to work with each other and have fun at the end of the day. Some people get lost in that and come too serious.

As it turns out the only fuss there is it’s only about who’s drunk whose drink, fights over beds in hotels but no musical quarrels like Liam vs Noel. No egos in this band – they highlight.

We talk some more and I find out the guys are fans of The Walking Dead (on the season 5 though), The Office, Cara Delevingne, they’re picking their unanimous celebrity crush – Emily Ratajkowski who’s always welcomed at their shows – they repeat. However, Louis’ first choice is Paolo Nutini. Fair enough.

So what happens next?

After this tour we’re doing a lot of festivals over this summer – Cody says. And then who knows? Maybe some more music to come. Oh and we’re going to Spain but I’m just scared of wearing black jeans man. I’m not gonna wear shorts, am I? 

He hates his legs showing – Louis explains.

When have I ever said that to you?

Shorts or no shorts I bet it’ll be amazing.

Look below for some live shots from High Tyde‘s show and keep an eye on these guys. There’s a bright future ahead of them.











Photo: Kasia Osowiecka