Local band hi-ker is a self-producing, experimental indie and collage pop trio. The band, native to Grand Rapids, describes itself simply as “comfort food.”
hi-ker is composed of three high school friends whose talents and passions collided. The band consists of Kohl Sprader on vocals, synths and samples, Chris Ryan on vocals and samples, and Spencer Gordon on drum machine and samples.
“It was kind of a natural progression from being close friends with similar interests to being in a band together. We’ve all known each other since high school, so there is definitely some shared history that helped make a comfortable environment,” said Sprader.
hi-ker’s unique sound encompasses an experimental synth and post-new wave bizzaro pop vibe.
Early influences led each band member to his musical talent and aspirations.
“I had taken piano lessons from second grade through high school, and picked up several other instruments along the way,” Sprader said.
“Growing up I always wanted to play the drums. I’m not sure why. It was just always my number one goal when I was young. I spent a lot of time exploring that, and I’ve since gained quite an interest in electronic instruments,” added Gordon.
“I’ve always really enjoyed listening to music, so I think I naturally just had an urge to learn how to play instruments,” Ryan said.
As an independent band, hi-ker self-produces and self-records its songs. This allows it to shake up its producing methods and always keep things interesting.
“We tend to change up the production and the process with each release. The last release was heavily influenced by electronic artists, but we like to experiment a lot with different sounds and concepts,” Kohl said.
hi-ker has released two full-length albums, an extended play record, and an ambient single. Lippe, the band’s most recent album, was released in December of 2017.
With its last album released less than two months ago, the band doesn’t have any new projects set in stone. However, Kohl said, “We are always forward-thinking, and hoping to release more tracks as soon as we can.”
The band has a serious passion for making music, but above all, hi-ker keeps its eyes fixed on what’s most important. “Times are a-changin’. Keep your loved ones’ close. Cherish those who mean the most,” Kohl said.
hi-ker is performing on Jan. 18 at the Chaffee Planetarium as part of the Grand Rapids Public Museums’ series Concerts Under the Stars.
The concert will also feature visuals by Nate Eizenga, a video artist who focuses on accompaniment for live musical performances.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments, beer and other beverages are available for purchase. Purchase tickets here.
*Photo courtesy of hi-ker