B&E: Introduce yourselves! Who are you?
JB: We are Alex Otake, James Weir, Jason Balla and Mikey Wells. Together we form the rock outfit NE-HI. We’re all Midwestern transplants who now call Chicago home. We’ve been making music together for the past few years and have been touring for about as long.
B&E: Your new album, “Offers” will be out soon. What was the experience of making this record like?
JB: We’re so excited for the record to come out! We set to writing songs to follow our first s/t release and in the process met the fine folks at our label Grand Jury. After two stints in a studio in Humboldt Park, with some revision, some excision, and the help of our friend/engineer Dave Vettraino we had a finished record on our hands.
B&E: Are there any bands/styles that influenced this record?
JB: I would say post punk, or the idea of post punk was a big influence on the making of this record. We wrote and recorded the record in the winter and I think the darker tones and angular melodies really complimented our surroundings and head spaces. The band Wire was on repeat especially often.
B&E: You guys are on a long tour after the record is out. What do you look forward to most about touring?
JB: Aside from performing every night, I most look forward to waking up at a friend’s house the day after a concert and sharing a cup of coffee and some chat. I’m a total sucker for most morning rituals and it’s made all the better by spending the time with old friends who live far away and we don’t always get to see.
B&E: Being relatively close to Milwaukee, do you ever get to check out some of the music scene here?
JB: I definitely get out here a couple times a year. Our buddies play in a few groups around town. My favorite places to catch a show are Riverwest Public house and High Dive. A highlight of visiting MKE for everyone in the band is the routine stop at our favorite tiki bar, The Foundation. They got blue drinks and puffer fish!
B&E: Lastly, you’re coming to Milwaukee from Chicago. Do you abandon Old Style for PBR (or another Milwaukee beer) when you’re here?
JB: If it’s cheap we’ll drink it.