Higher Power: Hardcore without boundaries

Higher Power
(Image credit: Natalie Wood)

Leeds punks Higher Power are premiering their new song Balance exclusively with Metal Hammer. Taken from the band’s upcoming debut album Soul Structure, it channels the band’s influences of melodic hardcore but sounds like Perry Farrell is on vocals.

The band formed following a conversation between vocalist Jimmy Wizard and his brother (drummer) Alex about starting a hardcore band with clean vocals a la Life Of Agony. Soon after, more friends joined up and recorded a demo together, which was picked up by Neutral Words Records, and the hype began to grow.

On May 19, the band will unveil their first full-length Soul Structure, and there’s a little taster you can listen to below. To get a better understanding of what Higher Power are all about, we had a quick chat with Jimmy Wizard about the song and the band’s background. And yes, that is his real name.

What is the meaning behind the song Balance?

Balance is about trying to find the line between what you think is right, and what you are forced to do in the physical world to get by in life. The pendulum swings both ways, we all know what it takes to be a decent human, but not everyone comes from a place where they’re given that chance. I’m just trying to take knowledge from the advice I receive and do right in this world. It ain’t always easy, I’m just trying to find my balance.”

Where do Higher Power sit in the UK hardcore scene? What sets you guys apart?

“The UK hardcore scene is insane right now, with so many good bands coming out everywhere, it’s really cool and it’s hard to stand out with the quality of many bands coming through. The thing we’re trying to do is bring in influences from outside of hardcore and not adhere to a certain trend or sound, like a specific era or band. We’re just trying to show kids it doesn’t have to be a certain way, just make what you want to hear and don’t be scared to step outside of the box.”

What bands did you grow up listening to?

“When I was a kid I was exposed to a lot of metal because my dad was a metalhead, so I have always listened to heavy music. I was also into punk – Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves changed my life, alongside a lot of Green Day, The Offspring and Minor Threat. Oasis is a band I have always listened to. A lot of the stuff I listened to then, I still listen to now, and try and incorporate into Higher Power in some kind of way. When I was a kid, alternative music was kind of all the same. If you skated you were a weirdo, there was no difference between a kid who listened to ska-punk and a kid who listened to metal, so I liked it all as long as it had energy. I could make a list but I’m sure you get it if you grew up as an outsider.”

Yorkshire has bred some of the UK’s biggest and best punk and metal bands over the past few years. Is there something in the water?

“It’s the question that’s on everyone’s lips. I dunno what it is, but I’m glad I moved here and got to be a part of it – although nothing lasts forever.”

What is your goal for the rest of the year?

“Get the album out and tour as much as we can. We have been given some real cool opportunities so far, and we have a few more in the pipeline, so we just wanna see how far we can push it.”

Higher Power’s debut album Soul Structure is released May 19, via Flatspot and Venn Records.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.