i put on some distortion, and at frets <12 they sound fine, but for the higher frets they sound super bright and when i played a solo with mostly high frets, my frd was even wondering if i had any gain on the guitar. can someone tell what is going on?
My guess would be the intonation or action is off but I'm not sure.
Truss rod might need an adjustment
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definitely sounds like a set-up issue. what happens when you play without gain? given that gain tends to mask detail, its better to examine issues on clean settings.

its probably an issue with neck relief.