Young hard-rock band Highly Suspect rose to national attention in 2015, when the relatively unknown trio from Brooklyn was nominated for two Grammys for the 58th Grammy Awards held in 2016, for Best Rock Song for “Lydia” and for Best Rock Album for Mister Asylum. The trio has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song for “My Name is Human” for the 59th Grammy Awards being held on Feb. 12, 2017.
The band consists of frontman Johnny Stevens and twin brothers Rich and Ryan Meyer. They started playing in the Cape Cod area, where they went to high school. Here are five things you didn’t know about Highly Suspect.
1. It took them several years to become an overnight success,
Like many bands, they played at local clubs and bars for several years before they came to national attention. They started playing in local clubs in the Cape Cod area in 2009 and moved to Brooklyn where they found an edgier vibe, per NME.
2. They worked construction jobs in Brooklyn.
They moved to Brooklyn and shared a studio apartment for years, according to Rolling Stone. To cover living expenses, Rich converted the floor above them into loft spaces, and they got more carpentry jobs. Stevens commented, “That’s what paid our rent so long. We come from blue-collar backgrounds; building houses and landscaping. Sh*t like that. The whole being -able-to-support-ourselves-on-music is relatively new.”
3. They throw naked parties
Since then, Highly Suspect's time on the road has been a non-stop celebration. When Rolling Stone asked about the highlights, Stevens answered, "For me, it's been the travel and the naked parties…We have naked parties. And I feel like no one would want to have naked parties with us if we weren't successful. That's a mind-blower."
4. They traveled to Bogota, Colombia to record their second album
It started as a joke with their producer Joel Hamilton, who spends time in South America, as reported by Rolling Stone. The band quickly saw that there would be fewer distractions there. They rented a studio surrounded by 20-foot walls. The studio was across from a hardcore ghetto and the dangerous vibe was kind of exhilarating for them.
5. Their music is inspired by real-life experiences
They have made no secret that their music is inspired by life experiences. Stevens talked to Billboard after their release of “Little One." The second single off The Boy Who Died Wolf is based upon a relationship with a girl “he fell madly in love” with, but he sabotaged the romance. The song “Chicago” is also based on a messy relationship with a long-time girlfriend, per Stevens in a Rolling Stone interview. Most famously, their Grammy-nominated song "Lydia" was also based upon an old girlfriend, per at statement Stevens made to NME. The real life stories behind the music include the emotions of love, desperation, drug abuse and depression.