Alt-rock superstars-on-the-rise Highly Suspect, who were nominated for two Grammys this year, were still catching up on lost sleep from the prestigious awards show when they embarked on their nationwide wide tour last week.  Drummer Ryan Meyer and I chatted while the band’s bus was pulled over at a truck stop, as he stood by a field of cows and enjoyed a much-needed cup of coffee.

Meyer, along with his bandmates, brother Rich (bass, vocals) and Johnny Stevens (vocals, guitar), is headed to Nashville to perform at The Basement East tomorrow night, February 23rd. “I like the town; the last time we were there I got a really good taste for it,” Meyer recalls.  “We played at The Basement, and it was off the chain, so much so that I couldn’t talk to anyone after the show.  I had to go jump in the back of our van and sit and catch my breath.  It was insane. It’s a great music town.”

While some bands may be slightly intimidated to play in a town of music buffs and musicians, Meyer says their many years of grinding in the New York City music scene was good preparation for playing in the Music City.  “ People in Nashville show up to watch you play and they’re like ‘ok, whaddya got?’ and you’re lucky to have people in the room.  You know how people always try to clap along to a song but they always get the rhythm wrong? That doesn’t happen in Nashville!  They sing along and it’s like a choir with all the harmonies,” says Meyer with a laugh.   “Last time, we had a full room, and they were going bonkers, jumping around, screaming, it was awesome.”

Though they call New York home, Meyer admits the band was only there for a grand total of three weeks last year.  “I like where I live.  Will I stay there forever? I have no idea,” he says.  “I want to keep traveling around the world falling in love with places.”  He and his bandmates will certainly have that chance; after years of playing together, the band’s star is skyrocketing, and their Grammy nominations and recent late night television appearances certainly have added fuel to the fire.  “It was an amazing time and an amazing experience.  It’s the cream of the crop as far as musicians go.  Everyone you’ve ever looked up to, your heroes, they’re there floating around with their bands or whoever,” he recalls.  “I looked up, and there was Adele, like two feet from me.”

Highly Suspect’s Mister Asylum was nominated for Best Rock Album, and their single “Lydia” was nominated for Best Rock Song, the video for which has garnered over 3 million views on YouTube and may or may not inspire a mild panic attack.  “With “Lydia” being the first single we put out, we wanted to have something to really capture the essence and feeling of the song instead of focusing on us,” says Meyer. There are a lot of bands that come out swinging with image and look and sound and everything, but what really counts is the music.  We went through 30 or 40 different concepts, and most of them were garbage, you know, like the band playing in a shitty old house with concrete floors and there’s water on the floor and the lights flash.  We thought that was kind of overdone and not what we wanted to do.  We were presented with this concept, and it was the one,” Meyer says. “What could cause more anxiety than being trapped under water?”  Not much.

The trio is on tour through May, are planning to start work on their next album this May, and have no intentions of slowing down.   “We’ve been doing this for so long.  We’ve wanted had the same mentality our whole lives, we want to play music, and it doesn’t bother us if we don’t make a lot of money,” Meyer declares.  “We just want to enjoy our lives.”

For tickets to the show:


Can’t make it to the Nashville show? Go see them when they head to your neighborhood:

2/25 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe @ Old National Centre

2/26 – Chicago, IL – Double Door

2/27 – Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall

2/28 – Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlie’s

3/01 – Washington, DC – Black Cat

3/02 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage

3/03 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s

3/05 – New York, NY – (Le) Poisson Rouge

4/03 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubador

4/05 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop

4/08 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile

4/09 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall

4/11 – Boise, ID – Neurolux

4/12 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room

4/15 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge

4/16 – Tuscon, AZ – KFMA Day – Kino Veterans Memorial

4/18 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

4/20 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep

4/21 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater

4/23 – Lincoln NE – Bourbon Theatre

4/24 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room

4/26 – Springfield, MO – Outland Ballroom

4/28 – Little Rock, AR – Metroplex Live

4/29 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada

5/01 – Austin, TX – The Parish

5/05 – Destin, FL – Club LA

5/06 – Orlando, FL – The Social

5/07 – Gainesville, FL – High Dive

5/11 – Savannah, GA – The Jinx

5/12 – Charleston, SC – The Pour House



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