Interviews

Published on March 2nd, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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High Up’s Christine & Orenda Fink On “You Are Here,” Omaha Living & The Best Night Of Their Lives

High Up may be a relatively new band, but its lineup is full of experience. Orenda Fink is a singer/songwriter known for her work with Azure Ray, O+S and Closeness. Todd Fink has played with The Faint. Matt Focht has contributed to Bright Eyes and Head Of Femur. Josh Soto has played with Knife Time. Frontwoman Christine Fink — the sister of the aforementioned Orenda and sister-in-law of Todd — had moved from her native Alabama to Omaha to play alongside her sister. Meanwhile, producer Mike Mogis has helmed key albums by Bright Eyes, The Faint, Rilo Kiley, and Jenny Lewis.

You Are Here is the debut album from High Up, as released by the Team Love label on February 23rd. In support of the album — which sounds to have been simultaneously interested by Janis Joplin, Sam Cooke, The Birthday Party and The Dead Kennedys — High Up will be embarking on a tour, which includes a March 13th show at New York venue Berlin. I had the pleasure of speaking with both Christine and Orenda Fink about You Are Here and the future of High Up, and the highlights of such are below. In the meantime, more on High Up can be found on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Is High Up your first band together? Had you played together as kids?

Christine Fink: We never played music together as kids, but we did silly little movies and other projects together. We’ve always had a great relationship, and when I moved to Omaha we were able to start a proper band together for the first time. It’s never too late!

Where did the High Up name come from? Did you already have the band name when you were recording your album?

Orenda Fink: We toyed around with a lot of names. I think I came up with High Up in reference to the insane amounts of weed my sister was smoking at the time.

Around how many songs did you write for You Are Here?

Christine Fink: We wrote nine, there’s one cover — Bright Eyes’ “Make A Plan To Love Me” — and “Glorious Giving In” was written by our good friend and amazing songwriter Dan McCarthy of McCarthy Trenching.

What was the first song you wrote for High Up?

Christine Fink: “Before The Storm.”

Orenda Fink: I approached Christine with “Before The Storm,” a song I had written with her and her voice in mind to just see if the idea of the band would work. It was really fun to hear something I wrote sung by someone with such a good voice!

Do you have a favorite song on You Are Here?

Christine Fink: I’m partial to “Blue Moon,” but “Alabama To The Basement” and “Two Weeks” are super-fun.

Orenda Fink: I agree. And I have to give props to Morgan Nagler of Whispertown for co-writing “Blue Moon” and “Alabama To The Basement” with us.

For someone coming to see you live on your upcoming tour, what should be expected? Entirely songs from You Are Here?

Christine Fink: You’ll hear the whole album, plus a couple of swell surprise covers.

Is High Up going to be a full-time band? Are there plans for a second album?

Orenda Fink: Depends on what you mean by “full-time.” We all have “day jobs,” so it’s not as full-time as we’d like it to be. That would be awesome, though. Already thinking about the second record! We’ll probably start writing after the March tour.

When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?

Christine Fink: I work a lot, spend time with my husband and animals, occasionally socialize. Lots of sleeping and Reddit.

Orenda Fink: I write a lot, play a lot, work some. My husband and I just started a hat company — Recapitate Headwear — so that has been on our plates a good bit lately! Different than music but really fun!

What was the last concert you attended for fun?

Christine Fink: Orenda and I went to see an Eagles tribute band and apparently had “THE BEST NIGHT OF OUR LIVES” if you believe what everyone around us said — we were toasting loudly all night.

Orenda Fink: You can take the girls out of Alabama…..

For someone who has not yet been to Omaha, what is it that keeps you there all these years later?

Christine Fink: I have dreams of living out the rest of my life in Margaritaville, but I really believe in High Up and will stay in Omaha until its pried from my frostbitten hands.

Orenda Fink: There are a lot of great people here. I have a handful of friends who are like family here. That’s what keeps me. Still, I dream of warmer weather…

Finally, any last words for the kids?

Christine Fink: Delete your Facebook accounts.

Orenda Fink: Delete your Facebook accounts.


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About the Author

is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He has been a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.


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