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FREEDOM HIGH WITH TERRY PARSONS INTERVIEW BY MEL

 

 

This band caught my eye last year on Myspace and I've been waiting to interview them since the web site began, they've been so busy it's only now I've managed to catch up with them. It's time we gave these guys some credit and in the process find out more about them.  

FREEDOM HIGH are young guys who are part of a no nonsense rockin band with heavy guitar sounds based in London, these guys are bursting with energy. Lyrically they have their fingers on the pulse, sexy and timeless, with titles such as 'Touchdown' 'Give It Up', 'Radiate', 'Hot Women', and 'Broken Lullaby'. Their live sets are amazing, they've played at 'The 100 Club', 'Punk' and '93 Feet East' to sell out crowds. They are beginning to form a wide following, and if you haven't heard of them be sure to check out the bands Myspace page.    

 PHOTOS BY ED ROBINSON    

 In discussion with Terry Parsons the Bass player of Freedom High. 

Mel - Hi Terry I'm glad you could make it, we finally caught up with you, for the people who don't know you could you tell us more. Who are you and what are Freedom High all about. 

Terry - Terry Parsons, Bass player the other guys are Stuart Marshall on Drums, Richard Forbes on Guitar, Michael James Taylor on Guitar, and last but not least Arron Sans Vocals. 

The band musically has a really simple philosophy, we just want to write great tunes, we never let anything hold us back from that.   

Live we approach the show with a slightly different attitude, we present a more punky, harder edge, its easier to grab a crowd’s attention, we’ll play the ballads but we give them a bit of bite!  

 

Mel - I'm really looking forward to catching one of your shows. It's an unusual name Freedom High where did it come from?

 

Terry - The name comes from Martin Luther King so we should thank him for that one. It’s a phrase he used to describe the protest marches the black Americans were going on.  The “Freedom” was what they were marching for and the “High” was in the inevitable fight that happened whilst they were trying to get heard!

 

Mel - Hey I actually stood on the spot where Martin Luther gave his famous speech in Washington that's cool. How would you describe yourself as a band and who would you compare yourselves to?  

Terry - Comparisons are all to easy for other folk to come up with, like I said before we’ll just concentrate on writing good music and if we end up getting compared to some band past or present that’s really not for us to worry about right now? If it helps people recognise what we’re trying to do then great.

 

Freedom High playing live in Leicester Square

From the bands press release:

"You may have seen a band plugging in and rocking out in London over the last few months. Nothing strange about that. Not unless you take away the 4 walls of a dingy pub and replace them with a spot under Camden Lock, a show on top of Primrose Hill, a place amongst the protestors at Speakers Corner and a traffic-halting performance in the heart of Piccadilly Circus.

 

These are just a handful of the myriad ‘Generator Gigs’ that Muswell Hill-based rock n roll band FREEDOM HIGH have played over the Summer, performing to estimates of well over 100,000 people across the most unlikely of London locations. This is no busking, this is the full live show with amps turned up to 11. 

Having made their name on the standard live-circuit, FREEDOM HIGH now storm the streets of London town, rocking up in their battered old Police wagon (ideal for avoiding those irksome parking fines!), owning any stage they inhabit and claiming every ‘venue’ as their stomping ground."

Mel - You seem to be getting a lot of crowds coming to your street gigs but who might like your music?  

Terry - I think from the latest shows we’ve been doing, and I’m talking about the gigs where we’re just turning up on street corners and playing 5 or 6 songs and moving on, I'd say everybody and anybody, you see, most people don’t want to check out a new band at their local live music venue these days because when they’ve been in the past they’ve been let down. The unsigned music scene is a bit of a joke you’re being asked to pay £6 to £8 to go watch 3 or 4 bands you’ve never heard of and most of them will be shit with no idea how to put on a show and actually entertain anyone? The way we’re doing it now is we’re taking our music directly to the people, we set up on the street and start playing you’ve got a choice you can either stick around and watch a great show or fuck off to starbucks? Good for us we end up with about 300 people jammed around the band enjoying a street party! 

 

Mel - I wish you'd come jamming around Manchester, show em what they are missing. Are you currently working on anything right now?

 

Terry - At the moment we have an album ready to go, we don’t want to have to put it out independently but if that's the case we won't just sit on it!

 

Freedom High Live at The 100 Club.  

Mel - Do you have a working title for your album? and what should people expect from a Freedom High show? 

Terry - We have a working title, but I'm not telling you what it is. Its as iconic sounding as ‘Definitely Maybe’ and 'Appetite For Destruction' or any of the classics you care to mention and it'll stand up to all of them!

The concert is a high-energy punk rock show.  The songs come at you fast and they’re played with a true love for what we’re doing.  Its not just about the 40 minutes you’re up on that stage, we’ve got a appreciation for anyone willing to take their time and come and watch us so generally there will be a lot of drinking meeting and greeting and more drinking! 

 

Mel - Your a bunch of social butterfly's! 

 

Well sounds like you had some good musical influences there. I was also into the Soul music of the late 60's.  Where do you all find influences for your songs? What inspires you, what do you write about? Who writes the lyrics?   You use the term Punk rock show, do you mean that it's raw and loud or have you been inspired by punk music at all? If so who rates amongst the best bands live you've witnessed? 
 

Terry - Musically we all write, ideas can spring up from anyone and can be finished by anyone.  Lyrically, again everyone can do it, it depends on who’s telling the story because we all live together and all write about each other and our lives. We’re all involved in the songs and that’s why it's easy to know what each other are thinking and trying to say.

 

The live show's definitely raw and yeah, I'd say we have been inspired by Punk music but more so by the spirit of the movement, its hard to argue with a band like the sex pistols who're just gonna keep coming at you! 

 

Mel - Too right. What kind of music do the band listen to and who are your major musical influences?

 

Terry - Well I can only speak for myself and say I grew up listening to my parent’s records; my mum was into Mowtown and all those great old soul singers.  My dad was into the old American blues and all the 60s bands that sprung from that.  That was my first taste of music I went on to get into all those classic bands that anyone worth their salt would’ve heard of Guns N Roses, Oasis, Primal Scream, The Black Crowes. I’m not gonna do a big list but you get the idea. 

 

Mel - It's really one big happy family, living and working together, don't you ever fall out? Who would you love to perform or record with, past or present?

 

Terry - You're right, it is really one big happy family, like every family you go through your ups and downs but we have enough respect for each other to know I'm always right.

I'm not really into the whole “lets pretend” and make a song with another musician or band at the moment I’m focused on getting us the attention we deserve and then, if that kind of thing happens yeah, I’ve got a huge list of musicians I would love to do things with but right now if I rang up to try and get Keith Richards to play on the latest Freedom High record he would probably tell me to “go fuck off” whilst he goes off and gets high on his dads ashes! 

 

Mel - Hahahah hey you never know!! So finally what's the news touring wise any plans?  

 

Terry - We have a big industry showcase on the 30th October. We’ve hired HMS Belfast on the Thames that’s gonna be a great night!  We have a warm up show at carling academy in Islington on the 24th other than that keep an eye out in Camden, brick lane and any other street in London for that matter if the mood takes us we’ll just set up and play! 

 

Mel - All the best with that it sounds an absolute blast, sorry I couldn't be there to rock n roll down the Thames in style with you guys.

Cheers for your time and the rest of Freedom High, wishing you tons of luck and success, and look forward to hearing your new album and getting out to see you live when you finally hit our Northern shores.

 

FREEDOM HIGH "GIVE IT UP" @ 93 Feet East (24/07/08)

 

  

CHECK OUT FREEDOM HIGH ON MYSPACE:

 

http://www.myspace.com/freedomhigh  

 

OFFICIAL FREEDOM HIGH FACEBOOK:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/FREEDOM-HIGH/7623641684

 

 

Interview by Mel 01.10.08