HIGHLY SUSPECT has announced its third album, "MCID", with two new singles, "16" and "Upper Drugs". The project is an adventurous new chapter for HIGHLY SUSPECT and spans across rock, hip-hop and pop, and includes features from Young Thug, Tee Grizzley, GOJIRA and NOTHING BUT THIEVES.
"MCID" is based on inconceivable true-life experiences (and perceptions) narrated by frontman Johnny Stevens. In his own words: "The themes include self-loathing, substance abuse, image issues, addressing my past and changing my future, with a sprinkle of anti-Trump, false social media worship, heartbreak, hope, depression and suicide. There are also a few references to the pressures of fame and how I won't play into it.”
The lead single, "16", is about a first love and a moment of instant heartbreak. The lyrics describe the true story of Johnny Stevens falling in love at 16 years old, fostering a relationship for seven years, and feeling elated when she told him she was pregnant with their baby. The song describes his instant devastation the moment of the birth when he found out that the baby wasn't his; the baby was a different race. Though a wild story, the lyrics capture the gut-wrenching feeling of first love lost, betrayal and regret.
"MCID". This is the slogan tattooed on bodies across the world, four letters that hold so much meaning, a mystery to anyone who is not in the know. HIGHLY SUSPECT members Johnny Stevens and twins Rich and Ryan Meyer had not only been playing music for eight years before topping radio charts, garnering Grammy nominations, and selling out tours — but they also had been gradually accruing a cast of comrades that orbited their star, friends and chosen family that would travel the world with them, move cross country with them, and become pet parents with them. The growing community of companions have a name, and it is "MCID".
Originally from Cape Cod, the three bandmembers played covers in dive bars and moved to a studio apartment in Brooklyn together. In 2015, they gained national recognition after the release of their debut album, "Mister Asylum", on 300 Entertainment and their singles "Lydia" and "Bloodfeather" topped the rock radio charts. The next year they performed at the Grammy ceremony, receiving two nominations for "Best Rock Album" and "Best Rock Song". In 2017 the band traveled to Bogota, Colombia to record their second album, "The Boy Who Died Wolf". It was released in November 2016 and the success of hits "Little One" and "My Name Is Human" earned the band a third Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Song."
And now the band is ready to release album three, a manifesto full of lead Johnny Stevens's private confessions, packed to the brim with themes of self loathing, body image issues, substance abuse, addressing his complicated past and trying to change his future. It's not surprising that his most vulnerable collection of songs is addressed directly to his chosen family, his followers, and his comrades — the title of the album is "MCID".
"MCID" is packed with surprise major hip-hop features, a collaboration with the metal band GOJIRA, some Swahili verses, and a lead single, "16", that is completely guitar free. Other standout songs are his collaboration with Young Thug on "Tokyo Ghoul", and "Canals", which captures his frustration with the Trump presidency, saying that his rage feels like "someone took a crack pipe, lit it with a torch light, and threw it on a gas line — there is fire everywhere."
"MCID" is not just the third full length project from three guys who approach the rock genre with a hip hop ethos, but it's a family meeting and an apology from singer Johnny Stevens whose lyrics demand accountability from himself and urge him to be more honest and to conquer the demons that made him who he is.