The Rock 2000 is far older than Highly Suspect, but since their debut album, the boys from Massachusetts have been placing alongside their legendary contemporaries.
Twins Rich and Ryan Meyer teamed up with Johnny Stevens back in 2009 to form a cover band, playing in pubs across their hometown of Cape Cod. Six years later, the band released their first studio album ‘Mister Album’ which was Grammy nominated, and widely celebrated by the people.
Since then, Matt Kofos and Mark Schwartz joined the band, they released three more albums and are a favourite of Rock listeners. There are still a few tickets available for their shows in Auckland and Wellington later this year, proudly brought to you by The Rock.
The following list delves into data from across every single Rock 2000 countdown (including Rock 500, Rock 1000, and Rock 1500 countdowns), to explore Highly Suspect’s 10 most successful songs, as voted by Rock listeners.
NB: This list does not include stats from this year's (2023) Rock 2000 Countdown.
THE 10 BEST-PERFORMING HIGHLY SUSPECT SONGS ACROSS ALL ROCK 2000 COUNTDOWNS:
10. Upperdrugs (2019)
Released in 2019 as a lead single from the band’s third album ‘MCID’ (My Crew Is Dope), 'Upperdrugs' is about.... drugs.
Johnny told Billboard that the track “is pretty self-explanatory, lyrically, but it’s a really good rock song. It’s really fun to play.”
Rock listeners also find the track fun. It’s never left the countdown since its release, peaking at #233 in 2021, placing at #505, and #509 in the two years before. Last year it fell to #1185.
9. Bath Salts (2015)
For Rock listeners, 'Bath Salts’ from Highly Suspect’s debut album proved an instant hit. It’s appeared in the top 1000 of every countdown since it was released, peaking at #152 in 2019 and holding an average ranking of #466.
The track is about Johnny's drug overdose. Rich told Kerrang! that the music video is “symbolic” and the band only spent $600 on it.
8. For Billy (2016)
‘For Billy’ from the band’s second album ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’ has struck a chord with Rock listeners, tending to land around the #357 mark since it debuted in 2017, including a peak of #179 in 2019.
The ‘Billy’ in the title is the band’s friend Billy Gile, who, in 2016, committed suicide.
“We had the song laid down the next day within a couple of hours,” Johnny told Rolling Stone. “It's sad, but we wanted to put together an anthem. This dude was a wild man."
7. Canals (2019)
‘Canals’ from ‘MCID’ contains a bridge near the end with 28 lines in Swahili. It’s just two phrases repeated: “Basi aende” = ‘Let him go’, and “Nakupenda wewe” = ‘I love you’.
It’s also appeared in every Rock 2000 Countdown since its release, reaching as high as #122 (2021) and placing at #602 in 2022 and #376 in 2020.
6. Bloodfeather (2015)
In an interview with Interview Magazine, Johnny shared that ‘Bloodfeather’ from the band’s debut album is inspired by a Western book and Quentin Tarantino.
“When I was writing the song, I was actually thinking more along a James Bond theme,” he said. “But then I read a really great Western called ‘Anything For Billy’ by Larry McMurty and we decided to go all Tarantino on the song”.
The track debuted at #40 (2016) on the Rock 2000, staying in the countdown ever since, never dipping out of the top 900 and holding a median ranking of #351.
5. Little One (2016)
‘Little One’, the second single from ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’, has never fallen below #233 in the six years it’s placed in the countdown, peaking at #77 in 2017 and tending to place around the #204 mark.
During their first album tour, the band noted that fans would absolutely rock out to the song, despite it being unreleased. So, they decided to record and release it.
4. Serotonia (2016)
Named after ‘serotonin’ and ‘California’, ‘Serotonia’ is about Johnny moving from East to West to find happiness after a period of growth.
“I’m leaving my twenties and I want to head towards the sun so to speak,” he told Vice when the song was released. “I’ve done a lot of growing in this past year and all I’ve learned is that there is so much more to learn.”
It’s certainly grown to be a favourite of Rock listeners, slotting itself into the upper echelon of Rock 2000 songs each year since its release. It peaked at #63 in 2017 and holds an average ranking of #156.
3. 16 (2019)
Johnny's girlfriend of seven years left him pretty shocked when she gave birth to a baby of an entirely different race, outing herself as a cheater and giving him some great fodder for a song.
From that, one of the band’s most beloved songs ‘16’ was made. The hard-hitting track has placed in the Rock 2000 every year it’s come out. After debuting at #206 in 2019, it placed at #53, 66, and #83 in the three years since (in that order).
2. Lydia (2015)
‘Lydia’ is the first single the band released and boy, did they kick things off with a bang. It’s stayed in the top 85 of the Rock 2000 Countdown since it was released in 2015 and peaked at #19 in 2017, ending up with an average ranking of #44.
The track’s hectic music video was shot underwater in one take and features the Russian actress and freediver (what a combo) Marina Kazankova.
1. My Name Is Human (2016)
A track never leaving the top #50 of the Rock 2000 is a surefire classic, and that’s the case for ‘My Name Is Human’.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Johnny said it's about how “some of us aren’t human at all”, and how the “aliens aren’t coming, we are here”. Trippy, but an absolute tuuuuune.
It peaked at #10 in its debut year (2016) and has stayed in that final stretch since, holding an insane median ranking of #27.
After making such a sudden and massive impact on the shaping of the Rock 2000 Countdown, I will not be surprised if the band holds a few #1 spots by the time it's done. In fact, if they don’t, it will be highly suspect.