High Waisted Preps for New Album & Is Staying Strong

High Waisted are party rockers through-and-through. But now they’re getting deeper.

Their debut album On Ludlow came out in 2016, filling everyone’s ears with confetti and glitter. Now their sophomore album Sick of Saying Sorry is slated to release May 22 and shows a more emotional side of the NYC surf rock band.

High Waisted has had members come and go, but the two permanent “waistoids” have always been frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye and drummer Jono Bernstein. The two met while dancing the night away on NYC’s Ludlow St. and have been inseparable ever since, even if both have been working on separate projects lately. Berstein says through it all (even the current worldwide pandemic creating panic and chaos) the two continue to work on their craft and always learn from each other as well as challenge each other.

Listen to their newest single “Drive,” out today, and read the entire interview with High Waisted.

BTRtoday (BTR): I’ll never forget the first time I interviewed you over the phone and you were at some taco joint on the side of a road and it was so raw and beautiful. So many things have changed since then! I know my perspective of the wonderful High Waisted evolution, what has yours been like?

Jessica Louise Dye (JLD): It feels like growing up while trying not to. It’s a delicate balance to keep things fun, positive and responsible. I hope High Waisted, as it continues to grow and change can remain an escape for listeners and concert attendees. What’s the point if people don’t leave with confetti in their hair.

BTR: Is there something since we last chatted that you’ve done that stands out to you and makes you feel really proud?

Jono Bernstein (JB): We were invited to take part in 27: The Most Perfect Album by WNYC Studios and chose the 8th Amendment. Working with Jad Abumrad’s team, especially Nora Keller, was a dream. Big thanks to Holly MacDonald for connecting the dots.

BTR: How have you personally grown since the beginning of HW?

JLD: I’m less afraid to try new things. I take more time to treat myself.

JB: I guess we’ve grown up while playing music together–through all the hardships, even the latest worldwide developments. Jess has transitioned from playing guitar and writing music, to hosting more parties and DJing. I’ve spent more time engineering and touring with other bands. We’ve continued to work on our craft. Always learning new things, always challenging each other.

BTR: Tell me about Sick of Saying Sorry, can you describe what your strongest emotional connection with it is like?

JLD: Have you ever shot an entire roll of film of good times, friends, beautiful places and got it back from the developer to find out only one shot came out? That’s what this record feels like, special. So many obstacles got in the way of us releasing this album but we didn’t give up.

High Waisted, “Boys Can’t Dance”

BTR: HW’s mottos in the past have been uplifting colorful things like “vomit glitter” etc.—which I love, but this album sounds a lot more personal. What do you think Sick of Saying Sorry’s motto is?

JLD: I love to vomit glitter as much as the next gal, but this record is more about a mantra to be your best self without sacrifice.

BTR: I know we were supposed to chat about SXSW when we first arranged this interview, but since that’s over—tell me about how you’re dealing with everything that’s going on with COVID-19 and being a musician.

JLD: I have the same sob story as every other creative and freelancer right now. Instead of dwelling on things I can’t control, I’m making art. I organized my closet and donated clothing to a shelter. I’m cooking new recipes. I’m learning bass guitar. I’m reading. I’m collaging. I’m calling people I haven’t talked to in a while. I’m snuggling with my cat. I’m taking bubble baths. I’m doing my nails. I’m collaging art. I’m sewing (or trying to, still learning). I’m lucky to have a safe home, food supplies, and a big imagination to keep me busy.

I’ll be hosting a digital dance party this Friday night for my event series Femme Fatale. Everyone is invited to tune in, dress up and shake their tail feathers. Now’s the time to celebrate each other, being alive, and finding joy where we can. Find log-in info on my Instagram @hellolightfoot.

BTR: I love you, and I miss you and I hope you’re doing well in quarantine! LMK what to keep an eye out for in the future of HW and anything else you wanna shout out! Maybe a little of that HW inspo we all are in desperate need of rn!

JB: We’ve got more music videos coming out and are planning to get into the studio in the coming weeks to work on new ideas. Fingers crossed that we’ll be coming to a stage near you soon enough! Until then, we love you–stay sane and safe. And remember, beans go a long way 🙂

JLD: You’re only as stuck as your imagination. Build a pillow fort. Make up a dance. Have a tea party with your cat. Throw confetti at your loved ones.

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