High On Fire’s Jeff Matz Discusses Mayhem Fest and Album Differences

High On Fire has six albums under their belts and plan on hitting the road this coming summer being a part of this year’s Mayhem Festival so the band is excited and stoked about it. Bassist Jeff Matz spoke to me about them taking part and how their latest album is compared to their previous works.

1. For those who may not know who High On Fire is can you give us a brief summary?

Jeff: High On Fire is a 3 piece metal band in 1998 from Oakland, California and we released a new album on this summer’s Mayehm Festival which should be fun.

2. Do you ever feel any pressure to being a 3-piece act?

Jeff: Ya know being in a 3 piece you have to learn a way of being unique. A lot less when covering up your mistakes especially being in a band like ours, we try to go for a massive heavy sound so having 3 members you have little tricks and techniques along the way.

3. What was it like to work with Converge's guitarist Kurt Ballou as the producer what did he bring to High On Fire?

Jeff: We were pretty excited and wanted to work with him on previous albums but he’s been on our radar for a while now. I really liked the raw and tight sound so he brought our band justice. He comes from a punk rock background and he’s not afraid to get dirty because he knows what he’s doing and we’re all on the same page.

4. How is this album different than your previous albums?

Jeff: There all different it just reflects on the music and what we’re feeling at the time. But with this one it goes back to our roots and has a psychotic stoner vibe to it. Our last one was straight ahead rock metal songs. While this one was more experimental and loose when we were in the studio and we didn’t have all of the songs finished so we had finished up a lot of stuff in the studio but it’s a High On Fire bearing our style and stamp and it’s being well received and we’re all stoked on it.

5. This is your sixth album did you ever think High On Fire would have gotten this far?

Jeff: I joined the band 6 years ago and they’ve been playing since 98, I’ve been a fan since the band started but ya know when I jumped on board I didn’t know what the future would hold but it’s amazing.

6. You’re going to be parts of this summer’s Mayhem Festival how excited are you to be a part of this event?

Jeff: I’m pretty stoked the line-up is legendary just the fact that I get to see Slayer and Motorhead everyday that doesn’t suck. I’ve been friends with the guys of Motorhead for a while and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to see how it works out for us but still very cool and good and help us win some new fans.

7. How do you describe your music to people?

Jeff: Heavy, pumping, a lot of elements of classic heavy metal, rock, jazz, classical, it’s a big mish mosh of everything we grew up listening too but I usually tell people it’s just heavy!

8. What more can we expect to see from you guys for this year?

Jeff:  We’re doing the Mayhem Festival then not sure possible U.S. headlining tour in the fall and then Europe later on but we’re still figuring it all out.

9. What is it about High On Fire that really attracts people to your music?

Jeff:  That’s a good question people love to get punished I guess? I think it’s well crafted with volume of heavy metal played with passion by guys who are good with their instruments. I know I was a fan for sure and loved how heavy it was.

10. Anything else you'd like to say or add?

Jeff: Come see us on Mayhem have a good summer.

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