Chatting with The High Strung


Over the years, Detroit has produced its share of great musicians.  Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Iggy Pop all hail from the great state of Michigan.  The list goes on and on and the tradition has not stopped.  Michigan is still producing great new talent.  This fresh crop of Michigan based bands that are getting recognition now will be the legends of tomorrow.  One band that certainly is going to be in that category is the High Strung.

Playing together for years now, the High Strung has really found their place in the Detroit music scene.  Hailed as an Indie Rock group, the members are Derek Berk on drums, Chad Stocker on bass, Stephen Palmer on guitar and Josh Malerman adding the vocals.  All original Michiganders, Malerman, Berk and Stocker have played together since they were kids.  However, it was the addition of Palmer about a year ago that really brought the whole package together.  The group has diverse influences in their own musical tastes.  From Pink Floyd to Motley Crue, Iron Maiden to Frank Zappa and The Cars to Goblin, the boys certainly have interesting musical influences.  It is this diversity that shines through in their own musical catalog.

The High Strung is a singularly unique band.  Their songs are often short stories, composed around interesting or fun happenings in their own lives and sometimes even made up on the spot.  There is an energy, a spirit that draws people to them and makes you want to hear more. As Malerman puts it, “We’re a ‘songs-first’ band. Not all our songs express one mood because we don’t always feel one singular way. We’re varied, we truly have a sense of humor, nothing is as exciting as the spirit of things, and our least favorite word is boring”.  Boring is the farthest thing from what this group is.  They have played all over, touring for about 6 years when they were living in New York.  However, now back in their native state of Michigan, things have really come together.

The High Strung’s work has recently been showcased in The Metro Detroit Chevy Dealer’s advertising campaign and “The Luck You Got” is the theme song for Showtime’s new series, Shameless. This success does not detract from the passion of the band or what they love to do… and that is to entertain their fans.  Described best by Malerman, “The energy the audience makes, the return energy from the four of us, and the weaving of all that together. It’s just so fun. We’ve maintained the enthusiasm of teenagers for rock, drums, songs, all of it. So it’s hard to beat playing your songs for a room of people who are out to have a good time”.

Having a good time, entertaining, keeping a great vibe and staying true to the spirit and energy of the music… that is what the High Strung is all about.  There is indeed a beautiful madness to this group and make no mistake, they are here to stay.