Tonight Chicago based lo-fi indie rockers NE-HI will hit the stage at the Hi-Ho. The group’s sound springs from a bit of a do it yourself aesthetic informed by the post and art punk movements. They are poised to launch their second record Offers in February. Earlier this month, I was able to speak with frontman and guitarist Jason Balla about the trajectory of the band’s current projects and the nature of their live performances. I asked Balla about the difference between the process creating their first record and the way the new album came together. “The new record is kind of like a big culmination of just this weird period…We put a record out and then we sort of started getting a bunch more attention then we were ever really anticipating. It kind of started from humble means and just jamming in a bunch of DIY shows. You know, we were just having fun with the project at the beginning and then it kind of started gaining steam to the point where it had grown further beyond ourselves. We had been touring and people started to know us in other places…The record was made through that growing up and stretching time for us. It was like, sort of like the pressure was on at times because it was just … now people are actually listening.” Dave Vettraino who produced NE-HI’s first record reunited with the band for the production of Offers, this return offered them a continuity between the space of their previous work and the sound they wanted to create. Balla talked a bit out the separate growth that the band and Vettraino did in their time apart, “It was nice transitioning time but it was also like we had just met each other…he had been recording for a while but I feel like really within the last few years he's been working more and really growing as an engineer and we had been playing a lot more and also growing as a band together. It was kind of like this nice little parallel motion where when it was time to make this new record we've both learned a whole lot and it had this totally new finish.” This is a great reason why Offers presents a clear connection from the band as they were to the band as they are.

NE-HI Find Their Place at the Hi-Ho

Finally, I asked Balla to talk a bit about their live performances, “We just try to put on a good show. It's certainly energetic and it's like we try to approach it without pretension and enjoy ourselves and the act comes out what we're doing with our instruments.” Sounds like the ideal approach to me. Check out NE-HI tonight at the Hi-Ho with the outstanding American Wrestlers.


To Do This Week

Tonight make sure to hit the American Wrestlers and NE-HI at the Hi-Ho. Also tonight begins The Radiators annual three night reunion stand at Tipitina’s. On Friday hit singer/songwriter Benjy Ferree at Siberia or Honey Island Swamp Band at The Maple Leaf. Saturday the outstanding TV Girl will be at Siberia with Poppet. Monday the George Porter Jr. Trio will be at the Maple Leaf and Charmaine Neville will be doing her thing at Snug. Tuesday you can catch Lettuce at Republic.


To Listen This Week