How Highly Suspect, A Band Who Gives Zero Fucks, Scored Two Grammy Nominations

Lasts week’s Grammy announcement included two for newcomers Highly Suspect, the rock group comprising of Ryan Meyer, Rick Meyer, and singer Johnny Stevens. Making their way into the competition for both Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song for the track “Lydia,” this is the first time the group has been eligible for this sort of accolade, which could easily do away with their current “up-and-coming” title and turn the band into a household name.

In listening to their album Mister Asylum, you’ll understand the respect their receiving from the industry’s largest tastemakers. In seeing a live performance or even just photos of the band, you’ll understand the absolute pandemonium that surround the devilishly good-looking group, whose fans can’t get enough of their modern-day rock idols. Interested in the group’s undeniable fashion appeal, Galore talked to Stevens about his hatred of fedoras, painting his nails gold, and what a girls look sexiest wearing.   

Who are some of your fashion icons?

I think that focusing too much on fashion or style icons becomes almost counterintuitive to becoming one. I never would have expected this from myself when I was younger, but now I figure, what the fuck? Why shouldn’t I set the bar and start the trends. I guess if I had to pick, I’d say I start with a basic James Dean and work my way up from there.

When it comes to tattoos, do you have any that you regret? Are you thinking of getting more?

I regret the fact that I have color. I’m working towards fixing that. And yes, I plan on continuing. I’d like to be an example of someone who can be successful even with face tats. I get off on putting on a suit and confusing the squares at the country club. Have you ever seen a man as heavily tatted as me in a pair of white Bermuda shorts and a 9iron? It’s a sight.

Where’s the best place to get a tattoo?

I don’t have a favorite. It’s important to collect from different artists so you don’t become just one person’s canvas. Sometimes I seek out the most reputable shop in whatever city I’m in. Other times you have a friend tape a needle to the end of a pencil while your holding the bottle of whiskey.

What are your favorite brands to wear?

I always give more attention to fit than I do brand. I’m pretty easy going when it comes to brands because there are so many good ones out these days. Some day’s you’ll find me in a Jon Varvatos jacket that costs more than I’d like to admit, Some days I’m in the $25 coat I found at Walmart last month.  For shoes, I stick with Cole Haan, Frye, Doc Martin and Converse, all depending on what the situation requires. Goorin Bros hats for dress or Mitchell and Ness for flat brim occasions. RVCA for the red and black lumberjack flannels. DeadBuryDead make the best t-shirts ever. Ray ban or Versace for shades. I have a few pieces from boutique shops in Pittsburg and LA. But those are my secrets. I have to have some gear that no one else can find! We’ve launched our own brand too called MCID. Only the people that really get down with my band know what that stands for. Right now, we only have one print on a hoody and they are sold exclusively at our shows. It’s really exciting actually. Never thought I’d start a clothing line.

How do you dress onstage versus off?

I like to be comfortable on stage. I applaud any artist that puts on the costumes for live performances, but I just wear whatever I feel like I can move in when I’m up there. I don’t feel like we need any smoke and mirrors when I’m playing. I really want people focusing on the music. I actually dress weirder when I’m off stage. Recently I’ve been doing this thing where I put swimming trunks on over long johns and then wear a bunch of hunter centric camo and orange pieces. Which is weird because I’m vegan.

What do you plan to wear to the Grammys?

Oh my god, stop. I’m having fucking anxiety about that! No clue. Part of me wants to look like James Bond and the other part of me says fuck it, just rock some sweatpants and pretend like I’m watching from my couch like I’ve done every year of my life. I know I’m not supposed to care about stuff like that because I’m a rocker right? But come on, this is the Grammys! Shit is stressful as fuck!

What do you think girls look sexiest in?

Girls are sexy in whatever they wear. Whatever makes them feel sexy is usually what works best. When a girl feels good about herself, she’s gonna glow, and a glowing girl is the sexiest. I’m a sucker for a girl in sweats though, and high tops. If a girl has a nice smile and a fresh pair of white Air Forces you might as well just call me in the morning dog, because suddenly I have plans.

Do you ever wear make-up, or has that ever been a part of your look?

I have in the past but I’m just like, too lazy to make it a thing. It’s fun here and there to do something small but I don’t really need to and I hate the process of taking makeup off. I look weird enough as it is with the Sai on my face. Might put another little banger on this mug soon too. I do paint my nails gold, though. All of them. Channel Le Vernis. Always, always, always, got to have my gold nails. I feel naked without them.

Is fashion something you think about actively or is it not too important to you?

It definitely is. It wasn’t always that way but I think that’s because I grew up in a place that didn’t support the idea of a straight man that didn’t own a Red Sox hat. You had to have the same blue jeans and sweatshirt and chinstrap beard or you weren’t getting served at the bar. Fashion is an art, the same as music, film, etc. It’s another form of creative expression that more people should embrace. I wish more men were more secure with who they are and less worried about what their homies think. I can build a house from frame to finish because I grew up as blue collar as it gets. I like UFC and basketball. But I paint my nails and like going to see plays too.

What’s a deal breaker for you on dates when it comes to fashion?  

No deal breakers. Who knows, I might be the one to show up with the Uggs! If a girl feels good, she’s gonna look even better. Except fedoras. No fedoras. A fedora would successfully end the date, so I guess there is one deal breaker. Now I’m thinking about fedoras. Yuck. •

Don’t forget to follow Mathias Rosenzweig on Instagram 

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