For nearly twenty years, Milwaukee’s Cactus Club has been among the finest live music venues in the Midwest, featuring such acts as The White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, Interpol, Death Cab for Cutie, The Sword, High On Fire, The Faint, Bright Eyes, Eyedea & Abilities, Red Fang, Sylvan Esso, Redd Kross, Sharon Van Etten, Polica, Russian Circles, King Tuff, and countless other national, international, and local bands.
“We all moved to Charleston (SC) on the same day, and there was nothing else in our minds but forming a kick ass touring rock band”, says frontman, Luke Mitchell. With some extensive tours under their belts, as well as some opening slots for notable acts such as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Delta Spirit, Shovels & Rope and Drivin N Cryin; The High Divers are steadily becoming exactly what they’d envisioned since day one.
Riverlust, the group’s debut record, released fall of 2015, found it’s way onto many “best of” lists and was warmly received up and down the East Coast. The band has quickly gained a foothold in the Carolina music scene as well, starting to sell out various venues in Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. “We’ve been touring non-stop” says Mitchell, “We feel so static whenever we’re home for more than a couple of days”.
The history of the band stretches all the way back to childhood for frontman/guitarist, Luke Mitchell, and bassist Kevin Early. “Kevin was just a little kid trying to learn how to ride a bike, and he ran straight into my Dad’s van”, laughs Luke, “That’s how Kevin and I started to find out about one another, and slowly we became friends”. Luke and Kevin played music together in various bands for years before The High Divers were formed. Fate slowly brought the rest of the band together when Mary Alice (keys/vocals) and Julius DeAngelis (drums) jumped into the mix. Mary Alice and Luke had been dating for years when they decided they needed to sing together. “Mary Alice was a classically trained pianist but never made a big deal of it. It was actually when we sang a song at her Grandmothers funeral that we had the epiphany that we just had to play music together. We sang in this really beautiful big church, and our voices sounded so nice together. It was a sad and beautiful moment for both of us.” Drummer, Julius DeAngelis, heard the news that Mitchell and the rest of the band were leaving for Charleston, and having been unhappy in another touring band for about a year, welcomed the change. “We all collectively were really tired of our hometown, and needed an original music scene to be a part of”, says DeAngelis. Recording sessions for “Riverlust” started immediately after the move, and Wolfgang Zimmerman was brought on to Produce, Engineer and Mix the album.
The Band is quickly approaching putting the final touches on their Sophomore release which is due out mid-September. “There’s been a little bit of a departure from any sort of “twang” on this record, says Mitchell “We don’t really want that “Southern Rock” moniker to follow us around forever, as we feel we’re so much more versatile than that label” . A band that would have felt equally as comfortable in the 60’s Detroit Motown scene as they would hanging out in Topanga Canyon in the early 70’s, The High Divers are creating songs that nod towards music of the past, while pushing ahead all the time.