"We all want to find peace and harmony" - You and I are gonna Change The World? HAREM SCAREM and their new record, "Change The World", the next logical step for the Canadians. After a five year hiatus, in 2013 the band reunited to re-record from scratch their milestone release "Mood Swings". Since then, the band have consistently released high quality studio albums, with "Thirteen" and "United" being shining examples of the band showcasing their trademark sound. "We really only have one goal when we start working on a record and that is to try and write the best songs we can,” says guitarist Pete Lesperance, I think we've finally found our stride (I should hope so after 30 years of being a band) and we just try to keep ourselves happy musically, but deliver something that we feel the fans will like". Indeed. It's just very professional and well executed rock from one of most trusted melodic acts in the business. Find out more about the album and band. Here's vocalist: HARRY HESS...


First of all. Congrats on yet another great album. #15? Did you ever expect to hit/reach those numbers?

H.H: Not really, you never know how long a career you will have in the music biz but I never pictured stopping either. I just like to threaten to quit almost daily but here I am. :)

I believe that Ozzy once sang, "I don't want to change the world and I don't want the world to change me". What's your take on the subject?

H.H: If you asked me a month ago I would have said it's pretty much impossible to change the world although it's a nice idea and song title but now look at us, we've been in isolation for a month now and have cancelled all of our shows for 2020 and that's our new reality. I should have looked at this before but in some ways musicians and songwriters are used to being isolated in a room (a lot of times by yourself) but you always know that it is temporary and will lead to the usual social events that surround playing in a band but it's hard to imagine that while in the middle of this global problem.

What inspired you to write "Swollowed By The Machine"?

H.H: Life can be overwhelming at the best of times and this situation certainly highlights how you can become swallowed up by everyday life and your situation.

Would you say that "Riot In My Head" has the rather punky attitude and punch? It's mayhem EVERY day??

H.H: Another lyrical theme of things spinning out of control, it's not cry for help, really!!! But my sub conscience must be telly me something.

"Mother of Invention" goes through the Queen and My Chemical Romance transformation before settling in at the Harem Scarem?

H.H: That's accurate... Queen was one of my favourite bands and Freddie has always been a huge influence so I'm sure that my writing would reflect that.

Do you find it more difficult or easier to come up with songs/titles/lyrics nowadays than 20-30 years ago?

H.H: Although I think I'm better at it now it is way more difficult not to repeat yourself and just do the same song/ record over and over again. It's a bit more of a craft now for me as opposed to the old days when I was just guessing.

Production-wise, how do you and Pete Lesperance usually divide the work? (any verbal/fist fights?)

H.H: We used always be in the same room when working on H.S records but over the years we've been able to work in our own studios for basic writing. We go to my studio to record drums and then Pete goes home to do guitars and I go home and do my vocals, we meet again at my studio to mix.


What's the secret behind a good production? 

H.H: Really songs are what matter the most and then arrangements and performances (good playing).
We came up at a time when you couldn't fix bad playing or tune vocals so we learned the hard way and that really helped us to be good at making records.

How did you hook up with bassist Mike Vassos, and what did he bring to the table?

H.H: Mike was a Toronto musician that we've known for many years and is a great player, he filled on for Pete (on guitar) when he broke his arm for a bunch of shows a few years ago and we really liked working with him.

'Harem Scarem'. Did you consider the name carefully back in the days? Typical Canadian moniker?

H.H: Not carefully enough!! It's a pretty silly name based on a Bugs Bunny cartoon so that tells you the high level of intelligence that was floating around in our heads back then.

If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do

H.H: As always, thank you to the fans that support us by buying our music and coming to the shows.
Harry Hess.

Interview by: Urban Wally Wallstrom

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