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An Interview With Matt Galbraith of The Highdives - Eternal Scene Rising
An Interview With Matt Galbraith of The Highdives
Underground is cool. Local music scenes are totally an underground world. You gotta keep your ear to the ground to keep up with the sounds. I love that about bands on a smaller scale.


Matthew Galbriath is the current bass player for The Highdives , and was one of the founding member of Attention Anyone 


So, to start with, can I ask why Attention Anyone broke up?

Mostly just differences of musical direction in the end. Kind of a bummer since we had a ton of new material that never got recorded and were definitely the strongest tunes we had written to date. We're all still friends. Two members went on to pursue careers and myself and the drummer actually formed a new punk band called The Highdives. We are still a very active band with 3 releases to date and lots of new material in the works.

I listened to your latest album, Ocean Blood, and it’s really good. I didn’t know that the drummer of The Highdives was also from Attention Anyone. How did you first meet?

That's awesome man! Thanks for checking it out! I actually met Shawn through Warren who was the singer and guitarist in AA. But we both grew up in the local Barrie scene watching Shawn play in a punk ska band called The Agency. Oddly enough, Murray, our vocalist and guitarist in THD was also in The Agency. I always really admired them as musicians and am lucky enough to currently write and record with the both of them.

And would you say that the Highdives is a continuing of Attention Anyone?

Not really. Very different music. AA was more of a 90's pop punk direction and THD is more of a current rock punk band with some hardcore undertones. Warren and Matt Sergi were the primary writers in AA for song structuring. Where Murray and I both write the main structures for THD. With that said, Shawn has always been the back-bone of both bands. His dynamics on the skin's really brings the two bands to where they needed to be.

For both bands, was there any goal besides making music? like where you wanted the bands to go?

As for direction. I don't think AA really had any direction except that we all wanted to play some throwback pop punk stuff. We had noticed that pop punk was booming at the time, but we found a lot of it to be too poppy. The 90's stuff we grew up with had a bit more edge.

As for THD, musically, we all just wanted to start a straight up punk rock band. Lyrically, all of us wanted to talk about social issues stemming from mental health. We've all dealt with anxiety and depression to some degree and this project is definitely an outlet for us.

Can you tell me about the names for the bands? was Attention Anyone or The Highdives inspired by any life event or experience a band member had?

AA didn't have much meaning. Warren just liked it. I always hated it. Hahaha.

The Highdives is actually a name taken from the venue “The High Dive” in Florida. It was the last venue the late Tony Sly, of No Use For A Name ever played. We're hugely inspired by his song writing. It was kind of a paying homage name.

Speaking of inspiration, what bands do you think have inspired you most, and helped you develop your sound?

Personally, the bands that influence my personal style of playing are Anti-Flag, Strung Out, Lagwagon, The Flatliners, etc. But as a band I think THD is mostly inspired by Off With Their Heads, Alkaline Trio, and The Flatliners.

I noticed that THD has two music videos, can you tell me about those? are there any stories behind them?

The first one we did was for Cold Sheets, off our EP. I had never really done a video. It was a cool experience. We found a creepy abandoned house and shot Murray's scenes there. The rest of the video is in our jam space of us just rocking out.

The most recent video for our single Sophomore was such a blast to shoot. We worked with Adam from Kontakt Films in Toronto. We had the idea to do kind of a Garden State party scene. He took that and just ran with it. All of the ideas you see in that video are his creation. We threw a real party with all our friends, and Adam got the video sponsored by Sneaky Weasel Beer. They provided all the beer you see in the video. Lots going on in the background of that video. It's the kind of video you could watch 100 times and notice new things going on every time. If you watch closely you can even see me skateboarding, hahaha!

There was one scene in the middle where you were cutting coke as I recall. was that strictly for cinematic purpose?

That was a cinematic. If truth be told, I didn't really want that scene in it but we do talk a lot about mental health and addiction in our songs, so it's not out of place by any means.

totally understandable. And What would you say is the craziest memory you have related to the band

Craziest memory? That's a tough one. Probably the entire video shoot for Sophomore. That was like a 6-hour shoot. We drank the whole time. Everyone was blasted and partying hard. Lots of wild stories from that night! From what I remember. Haha!

From what I can see, the band has gained a bit of following lately, how does that feel?

Yeah man, been a really cool year for us. First full length, first time in a lot of cities, first time playing fall festivals, etc. The band definitely had a lot of new experiences and I think any following has just come from playing hard and making friends.

It's definitely very motivational to see the band growing. I'd say we're in a very inspired state currently. We have a ton of new songs that I think are the best songs we've written to date, and we have a lot of festival and show goals for 2020!

That’s awesome. And that’s a Pretty sick Album Cover too. Are there any songs that just really stand out to you from the new album?

Thanks man, the album art was actually done by Jason from Iron Chic. He's an amazing graphic designer so we knew we wanted to hire him for the album art. I think Paper Pusher stands out to me because it's the first tune I sang all of for our stuff. It's pushed me to work for at taking the reigns as a vocalist. Next album will have a lot more of me. Still lots of Murray, but definitely more of me than Ocean Blood.

Do the band members still have regular jobs?

We all work full time jobs. We have mortgages and bills to pay. That's why we play weekend shows and festivals as much as possible. We would like to get some longer tours in the future but it's not always easy to plan with our schedules.

And the obvious question, do you have any material coming out soon?

We are releasing our first 7" that was exclusive to vinyl for the past 2 years for the first time on streaming platforms this month. That will give a lot of people a couple new tunes. We are currently still working out the new songs for the next album. Not sure how many it will be, but we currently have 10 new songs in the works that are all unheard.

That’s awesome. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing those.

Glad to hear it!

I’m personally from Florida, But you’re from Ontario?

Yeah man. Barrie, Ontario. It's about an hour north of Toronto.

Man, I remember when all the best ska punk was coming out of Florida. Florida rules for punk bands!

how big would you say the music scene is in Ontario?

 Barrie's music scene has been rebuilding for the last 10 years and is currently at a really solid place. Lots of local bands again, and great turn outs at punk shows. Being in the Greater Toronto Area though, the scene is huge. There are so many amazing punk scenes in Ontario. Every city seems to have its own characteristics. That's why we love playing around Ontario so much.

Are there any bands you wanna give a shout out to?

 We love playing with all our friends in Ship of Fools, Heavy Petter, Audio Visceral, No Big Deal, Letterbomb, The Penske File, Cudbear, The Mad Murdocks, Trashed Ambulance, The Anti-Queens, The Hysterics, Frank, I could go all day with the bands we've been lucky enough to play with and make friends with.

Awesome, and is there anything you wanna say to the readers before we wrap this up?

 Thanks for taking the time to read any of this. Your support of blogs like this and bands like ours is what keeps local music scenes in motion. Support your local bands and venues and we hope to catch you at a show!

Like what you've read? You can check out matt's Eternal Scene Rising profile HERE or check out the Highdives page HERE 

Ocean Blood By The Highdives is avalible for purchase via bandcamp!