Harry Hess | interview

Hey Harry. So the album is called Rubber then?

So the album is called Rubber - maybe that's what you are going to callyourselves nowforoutside Japan?
Yeah. We decided to change the name for everywhere except Japan, cause things are going so well for us in Japan, but we thought a good tie in would be to produce the same album cover and call the album Rubber.

Sure, that makes for a smooth transition then doesn't it?
Well hopefully, yeah..haha.

Love the Rubber ducky by the way.
Haha thanks!

Canadian release date?
Not until the New Year. They are going to be starting to go to radio in Jan - so either late Feb. or beginning of March release. It's going to be quite staggered because the Harem Scarem record isn't coming out anywhere but Japan. So we are really going to be concentrating getting things in motion for this release for Rubber and because it's a new thing they want to have a long build up time to get things organized. And we are also going to be working on other territories that we have let slip in the last few years. We are going to try and get a US release and things like that. There are a lot of things we are going to try and concentrate on that we couldn't do under the Harem Scarem name. We are also going to be touring in Japan for most of December. And there is going to be a ballads collection that we are going to be working on from mid October till the end of October then we will start playing in November. The rest of the year is kinda mapped out for us doing little things, so the first chance to get anything else going will be the new year. That's why we are waiting to release the album then.

And the Ballads collection would be released in Japan for your tour?
Yeah, in Japan.

And some new tracks on that also?
Yeah, 2 new ballads. You are the first to be told about that, I don't think anyone knows this yet!

Well thank you Harry! Now an important question! So what is the style of thenewalbum?
As far as the song writing goes, it is similar to Big Bang Theory. But the production style is a little different. It's more pop. It's definitely gearing towards - um, it is hard to use examples, because I don't know of many bands that are sounding like this these days. We just approached the production a little differently. When you hear it you will know what I mean, but it is really hard to describe. The guitar tones are a little less gainy - they are a little more in the background as far as any other Harem Scarem record goes. It's more about melodies and songs on this record and they are definitely the strongest songs we have ever written. It is all about vocals and melody on this album.

So even more harmonies on this album then?
No, not in the way of harmonies. Just n the way of vocal melody. Lead vocal harmony. There are less harmonies on this record than on any record. But it is all about the vocal melody. Chord changes are very simple, song structures are very simple. It's all about being just a good melodic song. It's a lot like the old Cheap Trick stuff.

Sure. They wrote the perfect pop songs. Something like Marvelous 3 then?
Exactly, it's a lot like that.

Any different tracks for the Canadian release?
No actually. There is one more for the Japanese release. 10 for the rest of the world and 11 tracks for the Japanese as they always want a bonus track and that's it.

That will please fans.
Yeah, I think Warner Canada are going to release an import version of the album - like a coupe of thousand units before the end of the year for those who want it. But other than that we have wanted to put a stop to different records with different track selections with different, you know, so people wouldn't have to go out and buy the same record twice. And I am happy with that because I was getting a little tired of all those releases coming out.

Yeah, I got a lot of feedback saying the same thing.
That's what the record companies rely on, you know. It's tough for the artists you know. You want give the label all the ammunition you can for them to be able to sell the album and the world market being what it is now, you can't stop all these imports coming in with different tracks that appear on one record and not the other. We just cut 12 or 13 tracks and let Warner decide what they want to do with those tracks. Essentially they pay for the album and they can market it how they like. Unfortunately the fans are in-between that. The label has said before - we don't like this track, or this track listing can we do this and we pretty much say, yeah do what you think is best. All these multiple versions of the albums is a pain for the fans though.

I thought the Big bang Theory Japanese release ran a lot better thantheJapaneserelease.
Well yeah, it did! That's our version - the Canadian one we can basically do with what we like and that was the original band version. That was our vision. Because the Japanese label sell the records for us there is no real good reason for us to say no to their ideas.

I can't believe they didn't include Wasted Time on that album!
Yeah, they hated it! They said this just doesn't fit and we were like well, OK!

I am beginning to wonder about their wisdom lately. How many units did yousell of thelastalbum?
60 maybe 65,000 units I think.

Wow, that is great!
Yeah, it is very hard to get over that barrier of 50,000 units. When you are catering just to that specific rock market, there are only so many people to sell records too. Some bands are selling 3 or 400,000 records there. More mainstream, which is why the new album is going to be more accessible than just to one specific genre of music. It's really tough to change people's mind that you are just a heavy metal band or something, some of the records we made like 9 years ago. The reality when you hear the new album is that it is just pop rock. It's a pop rock album.

OK Harry - thanks for taking my call and your time. Looking forward to thenewalbum!
No problem Andrew.

Interview by Andrew McNeice
Originally posted at melodicrock.com