Highwind is a new alternative-rock project founded by Asbury Park singer/song-writer, Christopher Russo. The project draws inspiration from bands such as The Dangerous Summer, As It Is, Yellowcard, Anberlin, From First to Last, Selfish Things, among many others. Instead of sticking to one singular genre, Highwind’s sound pulls from multiple influences.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Chris Russo - Creator of Highwind. In the studio, I played and sang everything. Live, I play guitar and sing.
For starters, what bands were you a part of prior to Highwind? How long has the band been around?
I played in a pop-punk band called My Lonely Heart before this. I played guitar and sang in that band for about for years before leaving and starting Highwind. I also do fill-in and session work on the side. Highwind has been my project since May of 2018.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name is actually a Kingdom Hearts reference! While you’re on Destiny Island, you race Riku to name the raft you’re using to potentially leave the island. If you lose, he names the raft, “Highwind.” I lost the race, saw the name, and thought it was perfect for the project!
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I write everything for the project. Almost every single song I write is about something I have felt or a situation I have been through. I want these songs to encourage the fact that it is okay to be open and honest with yourself and others. I like writing because it’s a form of therapy for me in a way, so I don’t think that what I write about will change for the most part. I may stray from this here and there, and write about a TV show or a video game or something like that.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
The Dangerous Summer, Anberlin, As It Is and Selfish Things have all been major influences for me going into this project. There have been some other influences as well, and you can kind of hear what I was listening to at the time in each song on the EP. Deaf Havana, Holding Absence, and James Arthur were also in my rotation while writing a lot of these songs.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
The first time I heard The Dangerous Summer was a life-changing moment for me. It was the moment I heard their music for the first time, back in 2012, that made me realize that I want to write and play alternative music.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
I have a set of vocal warm-ups I learned while taking voice classes in college that I do before every show. I also sing “Without You,” and, “Hangman,” by Selfish Things before I sing anything else.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Putting out the first music video really meant a lot to me. I had written, “Afterlife (How’ve You Been?)” almost two years before Highwind was even thought about. So watching that song come together in the studio, and putting together the music video, was such an amazing process. I was so happy to finally share that with the world.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I have such a long list of bands that I would love to tour with. As It Is, Waterparks, Selfish Things, nothing,nowhere, Teenage Wrist, Can’t Swim, Grayscale, Set It Off are all on that list. If Anberlin or Yellowcard ever do reunion tours, I would love to be apart of those as well. All of these bands have inspired me in some form, and I would love to tour with the band that inspired me to do what I do today.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m really grateful to anyone and everyone that gives this project a chance. I was extremely nervous starting a brand new project from the ground up. So seeing that people actually care about what I do with this project, as well as want to listen to the music that I put out, means the world to me.