Highly Sedated Interview: The Talented Band Talks New Album “Symphony”

Recorded live at The Palace of the Grand Dukes in Vilnius, with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra providing full backing soundtrack, comes the astonishing, beautiful and beat-laden new album ‘Symphony’ from GRAMMY-nominated four piece Highly Sedated, out now on SIZE Records.

Reminiscent of iconic electro-analogue bands like Massive Attack and Hybrid, ‘Symphony’ is a luxurious, elegant piece of work from band members Patrick Ray, Hannes Söderlund, Leonas Somovas and Verner Westlund. Personally signed by Steve Angelo to the SIZE family in 2015, the Swedish-Lithuanian collective were given creative carte blanche by the hitmaker – and it shows, in spades.

From the Alabama 3-esque opening single ‘Wasted Youth’, with its restrained, controlled orchestral opening, to the dangerously driving ‘Got Some Water’, bristling with pace and energy in the minor depths of the musical scale like some kind of ominous James Bond theme tune, ‘Symphony’ is unlike anything else that’s previously been released on SIZE.

Combining rock with classical, electronic with analogue, the LP builds and moves like a living creature, the dynamism of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra a spine-tingling addition to the band’s performance. Strings soar and strut through ‘Make Love’, brass roars to life on ‘Highly Sedated’, the entire orchestra coming together with guitars and vocals to reach truly soul-stirring heights on singles ‘Existence’ and ‘Last Call’. Through the swelling, stirring euphoria of ‘We Try’, to the gentle strains of ‘Slip Away’ that erupt into a loaded, spine-tingling, dance floor call to arms, vocalists Ray and Westlund charge the atmosphere with unrelenting energy, their toplines weaving, dipping and rushing up through the composition and production. 

Simply put, ‘Symphony’ is  the stuff audiophiles’ dreams are made of. Mature, complex and layered, the album should put Highly Sedated firmly on the international music map and on the 2019 playlists of qualified tastemakers everywhere.

Viralbpm had the chance to talk with the talented guys for a second time, after their exclusive interview back in 2017. This time they are commenting on this excellent album called “Symphony”.

V1. We’ re really happy to have you featured on our website once again. Where are you currently at?

Highly Sedated: There are four of us to here you go: the pill factory, the Baltics, the warehouse and the hospital. And who is who is not for us to tell actually. Some privacy is important in this online society

V2. Two years ago, we talked about your debut album called “All We Have Is Now” and now you’re ready to release your second LP “Symphony”. What differentiates this new album from your first one? Would you call it a reimagining of the first one with a live orchestra?

Highly Sedated: Yes, that’s exactly what it is actually! An amazing new live rendition of our first album, also featuring the first ever single. It was recorded at The Palace of the Grand Dukes in Vilnius, Lithuania, in front of a live audience so you can imagine how electric the whole show was. We definitely think it’s something that fans whether they’re new or old are going to be blown away by.

V3. Your first album was embraced by your fans and the music fans in general. We also had it on our Year’s End list with the Best Albums of the year, since we really appreciated that deep work. Did this put on your more pressure regarding the release of :Symphony” or did this motivate you to push even further in order to top your previous work with this very unique approach?

Highly Sedated: Thanks so much for all the support, we really appreciate it! Did we feel any pressure? Not at all, we just recorded a live show and that show was so special for us and so unique, we wanted everyone to hear it.

V4. Aside from the fact that you’re a pretty special band when it comes to the music you create, you’re working again pretty closely with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. We had the chance to witness them live in Thessaloniki couple months ago and we’re really curious what makes this collaboration between you and this orchestra so special.

Highly Sedated: The orchestra is one of Europe’s top orchestras so we are so humbled and proud to have the possibility to do this with them. You’ll know from seeing them live just how good they are, so having them as our backing band for the show was just mind blowing, from a creative and also from a musical angle. Doing something like that album, on that scale, it isn’t something you get to do every day. We think the end result does the orchestra justice as well as our music.

V5. We have to admit that this album feels really special, because we still have in mind this awesome footage from your live performance at The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania together with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. You also described this performance during our previous interview as “the best musical experience anyone of us has ever had.” Was this the breaking point where you decided that you had to release a full LP with that kind of artistic approach?

Highly Sedated: Yes, that’s exactly what it is. It’s that show. We all walked away from it knowing we’d done something absolutely spectacular, something that we really needed to share with our fans, something that could really make an impact for us. And yep, the videos are awesome 😉

V6. I really liked how you treated “Got Some Water” in this “new” version. Was it difficult for you to do this type of rework, to transform the older tracks into this orchestral version?

Highly Sedated: We actually worked with Liutaruras Janusaitis, who helped us to put together an arrangement of classical on top of our electronic production. Glad you enjoyed the end result!

V7. What should your fans expect from you in the future, not only from this new album, but also in general. Having heard “Symphony” and your previous album, you’re really setting the bar pretty high.

Highly Sedated: We are working on something really, really special and huge. We can’t tell you at the moment but we assure you, it’s worth the wait.

V8. We’re really happy that we had the chance to talk to you for a second time and we wish you all the best for “Symphony”. Any final words for our readership?

Highly Sedated: We really hope you like this album. It’s so special. If you have any other questions readers, please call Verner, +46734712852

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