With the recent release of EP, Andre The Giant, which features some guest spots from Natasha Hodgson and Stella Hervey-Birrell, Harry Harris has much to look forward to.
He took time out of his schedule to speak with The Fountain about the new EP, working with Chemikal Recipe and graphic novels.
TF: You must be ecstatic about the release of your new EP, Andre The Giant?
Very! It’s my first release since Songs About Other People which was January 2015, and my first independently since I can’t remember, so it’s very exciting. Even though this is my third release, it feels like a new start, and a nice one – I think these songs and the overall sound of the EP is a good introduction to what kind of songwriter I am.
TF: How would you sum it up in one sentence?
Happy-sad synthy alternative folk songs by someone who loves Carly Rae Jepsen as much as he loves Karine Polwart.
TF: What was it like to be working with Chemikal Recipe on this record?
Wonderful! The boys, Freddie and Alex, are good friends and have been for a while now. I’ve wanted to work on something with them for ages and I think they’ve done an amazing job here. We come from different musical backgrounds you could say – me from the folk world and them from house music, r’n’b, dance, electronic production – but what we share is our taste, on the whole. The whole process was really refreshing – I went into making these songs using sampling and my laptop for cost reasons, as much as anything, and it was really interesting to see how they worked with that, in some cases just augmenting what I had put down, in other cases really pushing the song forward, using their skill to create something new. It definitely feels like a collaborative EP to me and I think we’ll do more in the future.
TF: What more can we expect from you in the near future – you mentioned a graphic novel format, do you want to elaborate?
So the graphic novel thing. Basically, I didn’t want to put a CD out for this EP, because CD sales are drying up, as are CD players. I wanted to keep costs low and try something different, so came to my friend Gavin Day, a brilliant graphic designer and illustrator, with the idea of a book. I think I literally said “a lyric book with some illustrations” – he ran with that and produced a beautiful chapbook, bound back-to-back, with fifty-two illustrations that explore what the songs are about. We made 100 and each one contains a download link, they’ve been a real joy to make. I don’t know if we’ll do exactly the same thing again for the next release but I’ll definitely be exploring different ways to put the music out there in a physical format. In terms of what music is coming next, there’s a new EP on the horizon, a single too, and another EP with my band Greyhounds Greyhounds Greyhounds, which will be a scrappier, more punk-folk thing that I think people will really love.
TF: Are you going to be touring soon, any gigs on the horizon?
I hope so! I spent so much of this year not gigging, and just recording, and now I’m keen to get out there and play the songs for people. I’ll likely be up and down Scotland next year.
For more on Harry Harris click here.