Monday 16 July 2018

An Interview With Mona Miluski from HIGH FIGHTER and ALL NOIR PR


High Fighter have a come a long way since their inception back in 2014. As the band released their acclaimed debut EP – The Goat Ritual back in 2014 and their debut album Scars & Crosses back in 2016. High Fighter have played with artists such as CONAN, Mantar, Downfall Of GAIA, Elder and Brant Bjork over the last few years.

The band are very hard to define as they include a wide range of different sounds. Punk, Sludge, Doom, Stoner and Heavy Metal riffs allow High Fighter to create their distinctive sound.

I’ve been a fan of them since their inception and I’ve promoted the heavily over the last few years and lead vocalist Mona Miluski has been one of my biggest supporters since I started the blog back in August 2015.

High Fighter will be going on a UK Tour in August 2018 and I wanted to catch up with Mona. As it’s been a long time since we spoke. Mona has kindly agreed to do this interview.

Hi Mona. Thanks for doing this interview. Long-time no speak. How are things with you today.

Hi Steve, thanks, am well! We just came back from our last show with Mantar, we had the honor to support on a few selected club shows of their recent summer tour in Germany. Except our guitarist Shi, he broke his leg right before one of our Mantar shows few weeks ago, but still rocking the stage with us and it's all going well in the High Fighter camp. Indeed, long time no speak, thanks for catching up with us again!

So how are things with High Fighter. Been a while since we last spoken. Almost three years. What have you High Fighter been upto since then.

A lot has happened since the last time we spoke. After the release of our debut album 'Scars & Crosses' we got the chance to tour again a lot, with bands such as our friends in Conan, Downfall of Gaia or Elder to name just a few, and played at festivals alike Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, Desertfest Berlin and Antwerp, Up In Smoke and a lot more.

You know we're all about having a good time on the road and within the band, and we had. Appreciate the support and chances we got over these past few years, which got us even stronger together as a band as well as in our live performances.

You’re about to embark on a UK Tour in August. Can you give more details on what people can expect from these gigs.

Yea we're super excited to return to the UK again! It's been back in early 2015 and on our first European tour ever we hit the UK alongside our friends in Sunnata. We got invited to play this year's Riff Fest in Bolton, so we booked a tour around it and it will be one of our last tours in 2018 and before we will hit the studio to record our second full-length album. We will of course play a bunch of old songs but also trying some brand new material live on this tour!

You’re taking Tuskar and My Diablo along for the ride. How did you become aware of those two bands.

Our tour has been booked by our friend Ryan of Desert Storm who is running Buried in Smoke Promotions. They recommended My Diablo and Tuskar to us, and we can't wait to hit the road with them. Love this heavy package, and am sure it will satisfy a lot of people live!

Will you be performing anymore European Dates in the future

After our UK tour and we are currently still booking shows around it such as in the Netherlands and France, we will be playing a few more gigs in Germany at like Keep It Low Festival in Munich. Besides we are heavily writing our new album.

It’s been a couple of years since you released your debut album Scars & Crosses. Which was warmly received by the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community. Did it surprise the attention and praise the album originally received.

We never expected the attention and such heavy support we got for 'Scars & Crosses'. As you know, we mix quite a few styles in our music, which didn't make it really easy for us in the beginning. People need to categorize, it's our human nature. You can't put us into one category only, and we even may have confused people with that in the beginning. Is it Metal? Is it Stoner, Doom or Sludge? What is this band about. We never cared about one style or tried to fit into one scene only. Being the open-minded spirits we are, we just kept doing our thing.

So we really appreciate that nowadays it seems to be okay for people that we like to mix genres, that you may even find several different styles happening in one song. Our debut got us on a lot of various shows, we could play Wacken but also a Desertfest, we toured with Black Metal bands such as Downfall of Gaia, heavy Doom bands such as Conan, and the other time with Elder or played a show with Brant Bjork. The various our music may be, the more various we are when it comes to play live and receive attention from more than just one heavy music scene.

Photo by Peter Kupfer

Looking back would you change anything about it.

Me personally, no. I love this album, as well as our first EP 'The Goat Ritual', although both are very different sound-and recording-wise. We just wished we could have taken a bit more time before and in the studio while recording 'Scars & Crosses'. A few songs, such as 'Blinders' we wrote just a few days before we hit the studio, and recorded all songs live. A few songs weren't that prepared as they probably should have been, and in the end I just had 1-2 days to record all vocals as our time in the studio was running out.

On top me and our guitarist Ingwer had been sick with a flu to that time, it made it even harder to focus on the studio recordings. Nowadays I may sing a few parts live different to the album version as all our songs start to grow just live, but the record is a momentum and every production could go endless, so me personally I am very happy with the result.

Thanks to Jens Siefert at Rama Studios as well as Toshi Kasai ( Melvins, Big Business ) for the excellent mix & mastering. Looking back, there are always some things you may could have changed in the production or songwriting, but we're happy about any of our records and they got us so many great opportunities to play and having a good time on the road. So no, I wouldn't want to change anything, and looking back or complaining about things you cannot change anymore doesn't really help.

Are you releasing any new material in the future. If so can you give us any details when will this be released.

Yes, we are heavily writing the new album, and we plan to release it by Spring 2019.

Will you be performing new songs on the forthcoming UK Tour.

We will. Make sure to visit a show and let us know what you think! ;)

Has High Fighter’s sound evolved from your first two releases. Or are you continuing down the same destructive Doom/Sludge Metal path.

We always try to evolve our sound, but never write our songs by what people may wanna hear or expect. Our sound won't change that much and we will always continue to let a various mix of styles happen in our music. At this state I'd say, a few new songs may go a bit more progressive, while others may even have a punkish straight forward sound. Still under our Sludge, Doom and Stoner Metal flag, we just let it happen, no matter what genre you try to name it.

Slightly away from High Fighter. You’ve just formed your new PR Company. All Noir. How did that come about. As you had a previous PR Company.

That's true. I have been working for Napalm Records more than 4 years, long time before I started working for Napalm I was already running an independent PR agency called Platinum PR. In early 2018 I made the decision to part ways with Napalm to start my own company and going new ways in the music industry. Times have changed, and so did I, and it was just the perfect time to launch my own agency ALL NOIR. An independent music PR agency, I also do a bit of booking and artist management.

Photo by Peter Kupfer

Did you want to start over again. New challenges and all that.

I am a very colourful person when it comes to music and my work. It's been about the right time to launch my new company and start under a brand new name, where I can also take new and also more colourful challenges in my work. The music and label industry is under a constant change, and I wanted to offer more and that goes with the time instead of being kind of stuck with one record company only.

I have learned a lot over these past few years, and I am very grateful for my time at Napalm, worked with many artists I admire and to grow my network and experiences in this industry. Today I can offer more and what I am very passionate about: Album and Live Promotion, Festival promo, Booking and Management. ALL NOIR feels like the best step I did in a long time. And I would not change a thing about my past and present.

What are the main aims for PR Company.

To offer some various and colourful service for the music and bands I admire, if it's an album or tour promo, festival promotion, booking or management. I am lucky enough now to stay true to the colours of my favourite tunes, from the Heavy Psych and Desert Rock sounds, to Doom, Sludge and Black Metal. While the music industry is under constant change, bands, labels as well as booking agents do need loyal, experienced and passionate PRs that are able to go with the time and industry changes.

You’ve already started working with some pretty awesome record labels – Heavy Psych Sounds and Argonauta Records. Congrats on that one. Will you solely be focusing on record labels. Or will you be working with bands as well.

Thank you! I am really stoked about my current roster, when I have launched ALL NOIR in May 2018 I would have never dreamed of to be working with such an excellent and high class list of artists & companies like I already do. To my roster not just belong record labels, but also independent bands – from underground to bigger acts, as well as various labels or live & tour promo clients. For more info feel free to visit:

Before you go Mona, Do you have anything to say to your fans.

To all of you Outlaws of the Sun, thanks a lot for the rock support. We hope to see a lot of old and new faces at our upcoming tour in August! Thank you for having us again Steve and for all your support since day one.

Words by Steve Howe and Mona Miluski
Thanks to Mona for doing this interview. Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging this interview.