I prefer to call them Sunday Fundayz, actually. Not for any reason other than, I think, that’s what they were called when I first discovered them – two full years ago, in 2013, scrolling through YouTube looking for a decent, GoPro-high-def look inside The Pink Palace, the infamously infamous party hostel in Corfu, Greece.
(The place is pink, by the way.)
But now they’re called High on Life, because their company is called High on Life.
I interviewed the group – well, half of them: Ryker Gamble and Alexey Lyakh – last February, and promptly got up a Rolling Stone-length profile of the foursome, who all come from some area around Vancouver, B.C.
But they were featured by the Matador Network last week – that story has well over 7,400 shares now, so I felt it was important to piss on the fire hydrant a little bit, let the hoarders of Matador know I was there first. You feel me?
“It’s pretty simple, man. We like to make videos, we like to make clothes, and we like to party.”
Lyakh told me that last year. I liked that quote. So much, I put it right atop my article (link above) in italics, like it was the ‘quote’ that would stand for the next few thousands words, if you didn’t feel like reading them all.
So what’s the deal? Who are these guys?
They filmed a short YouTube vid called ‘The High on Life Dance’ and posted it in 2012. It went viral, at least in the sense you mean that now… viral. Currently, it’s got 3.3 million views on their channel alone – I’d bet it’s over 10 million total views, when you factor in how many times it’s been ripped off and posted somewhere else, or featured in another YouTuber’s own ‘What’s big on the Tube today?’ channel.
So, they started traveling. They quit girlfriends and jobs. They went to India – their friend was heading to a wedding there, and the family loved the Dance and wanted them to come do it all the way over there in the former British colony.
Then, Contiki found about them. And Contiki covered their trips for a few months while they trotted and plotted and filmed the whole thing – from Vietnam to Camboia to Thailand, then to Eastern Europe and Greece and Italy. Toss in a road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles. You’ve got a theme.
You’ve got a way of life, really. Because these guys found, good things started happening to them when they aimed at the bull’s eye and let the arrow fly.
If you can, you should.
That’s their slogan on top of their many slogans. It’s my favourite because I really think they may be the first to use it, formally, as their business’s tagline – an entire generation has been spitting and hashtagging #YOLO for the past three years, but If you can, you should is superior. Very superior.
(Personally, I don’t think I could keep up with them. The drinking, that’s no problem. But the backflips and the Parkour? Yeah, I’d break my neck.)
“We always want to push people to experience things they’re not used to… Travelling changes people.”
– Ryker Gamble