On a list of metal bands who can do no wrong, High On Fire are damn near the tip top. The Oakland trio, led by sandpaper-voiced stoner god Matt Pike, have been consistently making some of metal’s most challenging, interesting, and entertaining music over the course of the last twenty years. Now, it appears that Pike is taking things in a personal direction, with a full-length solo album in the works.
The project was revealed by High On Fire bassist Jeff Matz, who posted a picture of him and producer Billy Anderson in the studio, writing, “Had a great time recording some elektro bağlama tracks with @everythinghz for my brother @mattpike1972 ‘s upcoming solo album”
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For those of you who don’t know, a bağlama is a folk instrument commonly found in Turkish music. Learn something new every day, huh?
In any event, we’re stoked to hear what Matt’s got in store for us on his solo debut. Will it be more kinetic, hard-hitting stuff a la High On Fire, or will it be more long-form stoner-doom stuff like he plays in Sleep? Only time will tell.
While High On Fire have been in the metal game since the release of 2000’s The Art of Self Defense, it’s only in the recent past that the band have been recognized for the cultural force they’ve always been. In 2019, High On Fire won the Grammy award for Best Metal Performance for their track “Electric Messiah,” thus landing Pike and Co. in the halls of music history.
“Wow, what a trip,” Pike enthused in his acceptance speech as High on Fire claimed the award over fellow nominees Deafheaven, Trivium, Underoath and Between the Buried and Me. “We never really needed an award for doing what we loved. Twenty years later, [we] finally got this.”
Words by Chris Krovatin