NJ alternative rock band Highwind has been busy in the NJ music scene since their first EP release in 2019. “How’ve You Been” was recorded by the two-piece, Chris Russo Jr. on lead vocals and guitar, and bassist Dan Synn, and the band has been busy ever since.
Chris describes the band as their “own take on alternative rock” with newer material leaning more toward pop rock. Chris cites bands such as Paramore, Anberlin and The Band Camino as influences for Highwind’s material, as well as others in the same genre. “I personally really love bands like As It Is, Yellowcard, and The Downtown Fiction, and always end up being inspired by those kinds of bands. Flor definitely inspires the poppier side of my writing,” said Chris.
The band’s first release and single, “2023,” is raw and emotional, so real in fact, that most would never guess it was based on an anime. “2023 is about episode three of ‘Sword Art Online.’ I first wrote the song a few years ago after I was hanging out with (producer) CJ Rarela and another friend of ours before Highwind was even a thought,” explained Chris. “CJ decided to show us the show. I was so sad about how episode three ended that I ended up writing the single.”
For fans who loved “2023,” new material is here. Highwind just released the acoustic version of their song, “Afterlife (How’ve You Been?)” on April 3. “CJ and I recorded this version of the song almost a year ago, so I’m really excited to finally put this out for everyone to hear. It’s definitely our most transparent release yet, I think,” said Chris. He describes it as “a raw version of an already open, honest and transparent song.”
While the band loves playing to NJ fans, touring has been one of the fondest experiences for Chris, especially their tour last summer with Shallow Pools. “We had so much fun with every show that we played. Our home show made us feel so loved and so appreciated and when we played in Boston for the first time, we were welcomed with open arms,” said Chris. “Playing a show with really close friends of mine every night was so much fun, and the memories we made on that show are really precious to me. I’m so thankful for that run and still think about it a lot to this day.”
With the current state of the country, Chris says he’s not sure what’s up next for Highwind, but he does plan on finishing and releasing new music this year. He’s still at work thinking of new ideas for content he can create while in social quarantine.
“ I just want to thank anyone and everyone who has ever supported this project. Whether it’s by listening to our music, attending a show, buying a shirt, talking to us online or in person, whatever it may be,” added Chris. “Your support is more appreciated than we could ever begin to express. And never forget: it is okay to be open and honest with yourself and others.”