The High Dials
|The High Dials|
The High Dials, March 2006
|Origin||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Past members||Max Hebert
George Donoso III
The band started out playing a brand of pop music strongly influenced by 1960s British mod styles, but their sound has evolved to incorporate power pop, psychedelic music, shoegaze and folk rock. They debuted with A New Devotion (2003, Rainbow Quartz Records), a concept album about a boy named Silas attempting to escape from a nightmarish city of the future. The release made a fan of Little Steven Van Zandt, who began to play them on his Sirius radio show, and later invited them to perform at the Underground Garage Festival in NYC, which featured The Strokes, Stooges and New York Dolls among other major acts.
In 2005 they released their sophomore album War of the Wakening Phantoms, which marked a departure from the overtly retro feel of their first album. Produced by Joseph Donovan and mixed by Dave Bianco, the songs featured lusher, more varied instrumentation and Sam Roberts as a guest violinist. The new direction in sound was generally well received by critics, with the album dubbed a ‘latter-day psychedelic classic' by NME. It reached the number one spot on Canadian college radio charts. The High Dials toured the album extensively, including support act slots for Brian Jonestown Massacre and Neko Case.
Two further albums followed: Moon Country (2008) and Anthems for Doomed Youth (2010). The latter received airplay from influential KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. “Bedroom Shadows”, also from Anthems for Doomed Youth, featured prominently in an episode of the SyFy series Being Human. In 2014 the band's song "Uruguay" featured in season two of the Netflix series House of Cards. Though the band has toured less frequently since 2009, notable concerts include support for Echo and the Bunnymen at SXSW in 2009 and the Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal, 2011.
The High Dials penchant for 60s melodies and instrumentation has led to collaborations with luminaries from that era. The Holy Ground EP (2007) featured a guest appearance by Rod Argent of The Zombies on keyboard. In 2011, they worked with original Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham on a cover of “She Smiled Sweetly” for The Andrew Oldham Orchestra and Friends Pay The Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 2. Al Kooper is also a professed fan of the group.
In 2012 the High Dials began work on a 5th studio album in Montreal with producer Marc Bell.
The band released their 5th studio album, In the A.M. Wilds on February 3, 2015.
The High Dials have had a fluctuating line-up since 2003, centred on founding members Trevor Anderson and Robbie MacArthur. Band members have included drummer George Donoso III (ex- The Dears) keyboardist and backing vocalist Eric Dougherty, drummer Max Hebert, bassist/sitarist Rishi Dhir and Robb Surridge (drums).
- Fields in Glass EP (2004)
- The Holy Ground EP (2007)
- Yestergraves EP (2013)
- Desert Tribe EP (2014)
- A New Devotion (2003)
- War of the Wakening Phantoms (2005)
- Moon Country (2008)
- Anthems for Doomed Youth (2010)
- In the A.M. Wilds (2015)
- "High Dials Biography". All Music Guide.
- Rashbaum, Alyssa. "The High Dials: Profile". SPIN.
- "High Dials Prep New EP, head to Little Steven's Garage Fest". ChartAttack.
- Sisario, Ben (Aug 11, 2004). "Little Steven's Big Crusade". New York Times.
- Sendra, Tim. "War of the Wakening Phantoms Review". All Music Guide.
- Cramp, Nathaniel. "High Dials: War of the Wakening Phantoms Review". NME.
- "National Campus and Community Radio Report (July 12, 2005)". !Earshot.
- "High Dials Kick Arse in Austin, Release New EP and Tour With Neko Case". ChartAttack.
- Porter, Christopher (April 11, 2006). "High Dials Standing Tall On Their Own". The Washington Post.
- "Rodney on the Roq Playlist, 10-25". KROQ.
- "Being Human Music: Season 2". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "High Dials Biography". Maple Music. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Echo and the Bunnymen and Musebox at SXSW 2009". Synthesis.
- Duguay, Denise (July 29, 2011). "Osheaga 2011: A Schedule For Your Convenience". Montreal Gazette.
- Stevenson, Jane. "Rolling Stones First Manager Would See 2013 Tour If On Same Continent". Jam!.
- Kooper, Al. "New Music For Old People". The Morton Report.
- "Work Begins On New Album". High Dials Official Website.