Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: Hey Harry, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions? How’s it going?
HH: Thanks Pete, it’s going very smoothly. Too smoothly, some would say.
PD: It’s been a few months since we last caught up, what have you been upto in that time?
HH: I’ve been prepping for this album release and playing with the band for the most part, with a little bit of summer holiday-making thrown in for good measure.
PD: You’ve just released your recent single ‘Urchins’. What’s the story behind that?
HH: This song came about at an intersection of two songwriting approaches. The first being the classic guitar driven song, and the second being a “manipulated in the mix” approach to writing. It’s a mash-up of styles really, which is what my favourite artists have always done.
PD: It’s also taken from your recently released debut album Summon It. Can you tell us a bit about that? Does Urchins fit into a wider narrative that’s at play?
HH: Lyrically, there’s no common thread between this song and the others on the album, but the song definitely eases the transition between styles and genres on the album overall. It’s a gateway song, for people that like guitar music but want to dabble in a modernised approach to production.
PD: You’ve got a show coming at Gullivers in Manchester in the next few weeks. What can we expect from that?
HH: This show should have happened a year and a half ago, so the band and I are, and I say this with no exaggeration, quite excited. It’s going to be a fun blend of old and new songs.
PD: You lived in Australia for a time. How do the music scenes between Aus and the UK differ? Do you have a preference?
HH: Australia is very good at nurturing a new scene or wave. It could be garage rock, electronica, or alt pop, when there’s a new trend that artists and audiences are getting into, Australia backs it all the way. The UK has the history and the community to accommodate the weird and wonderful artists in a bigger way. I think the UK’s the place to be if you really want to carve a unique path, and Australia’s where it’s at if you play the right kind of music.
PD: Similarly, when you were in Australia you played in a couple of bands. How does being in bands compare to being a solo artist?
HH: Playing in bands teaches you more than you’ll ever learn on your own. The two bands I played in, Arcade Made and Penguin Kings, had such different approaches to songwriting and performing. I don’t think I would have arrived at the confidence needed to pursue a solo career had I not learned what I learned in those bands first.
PD: Is there much more extra work that comes with being a solo artist?
HH: Oh absolutely. Creatively, you need to be disciplined enough to show up every day, and to get other people involved as often as possible. Behind the scenes, unless you have a professional team around you, you’re essentially cluelessly calling the shots on a startup business every day while also remembering to focus on the art. If you have to be a jack of all trades, and most solo artists do, you have a few options: be a master of none, recruit other jacks of specific trades to lighten the load, or stay in the game long enough that you master every trade that your career demands of you.
PD: Finally, with stuff opening back up again, what can we expect from Harry Heart as we get back to a sense of normality?
HH: I have such an incredible band behind me, I really can’t wait for us to get out there and play shows together. I’m also working with a couple of artists in Manchester on our label Kinda Grizzly at the moment which is really exciting. There’s always something on the go.
Harry Heart links:
Band/Artist location – Manchester England
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Check our page for Harry Heart
Check our review of Harry’s ‘Summon It’ album