Pete Lesperance | interview

Harem Scarem made a triumphant return to more of a hard rock sound with their latest album "WeightOf TheWorld", so we figured it was about time to question them about "then" and "now" and "future" too. You mightalso note that many of these questions are from the die-hard HS fans from the Harem Scarem mailinglist! So here's Pete Lesperance and his answers to our questions!

1. Where does the name come from? Even before I actually heard the band, Ithoughtit had a nicering to it!
Harem Scarem was the name of one of the first Bugs Bunny cartoons.

2. There's been a few people sending in questions about your live dates. Whathaveyou gotplanned? Any dates in Canada (Ken from London, Ontario would like to see you there and Toronto was mentioned too) or Europe besides the already announced gigs in Spain, UK and Germany? Paula from Holland is hoping to see you live in her county, I wouldn't mind seeing you in Finland either! :)
We are doing the few dates that you know of in Europe and then a short Japanese stint but for now that's all we have planned.

3. Here's a question from Dave from the HS mailing list: "I would like to know whythe band made the sudden switch back to their melodic rock roots? During the Rubber era, the guys said that they were "tiredof writing the same style songs and could write stuff like Mood Swings in their sleep". Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining, but I'd just like to know why? So many bands do this. They release an album or two of material that strays far away from what got them where they were, they put down the music that all their fans adore, then when it doesn't work, they go back to their roots and explain that they were just in an "experimental" stage and they don't know why they "wrote that crap in the first place". What gives? Sorry, I'm just a natural cynic, I guess."
Dear cynic....
The Rubber thing musically was where our heads were at the time and if you listen to the previous record I think it was pretty obvious that we were headed in that direction. That being said, The name change to Rubber was a way to get some people who had a preconceived ideas about Harem Scarem being a bunch of hair farmers to actually listen to the music and that did work better for us in Canada then Harem Scarem had in about 7 years since Sunshine was a top 40 single.
As far as the music we made as Rubber, it was in no way an experimental stage, I still think that the first Rubber record was some of our best work to date (in my humble opinion) so I know exactly why we "wrote thatcrap in the first place". So what's up with the name change ? Labels and fans alike wanted another Harem Scarem record so we gave them one... simple. H.S or Rubber or whatever... we only ever really have one goal and that is to write the best songs that we can and produce the best record that we are capable of. We just don't like to do the same thing over and over and over and over... So if we lost some fans along the way it was all for the sake of expressing ourselves musically the way we want to and since that is something that makes this job so great... I wouldn't change a thing.

4. Rob asks: "I am wondering if Harem Scarem might consider co-writing with another Melodic artist who would mold with their style real well. For example, guitarist Mike Slamer formerly of the band Streets is an excellent Melodic songwriter and tasteful guitarist. I can imagine the Melodic masterpieces that could be created if the Lesperance/Hess team were to join forces with Slamer to record a CD...or even just to write a few songs."
4b. I'd like to suggest a name too...what about Desmond Child? Do you think you could create something with that guy?

We would be happy to write with anyone that we respect as a writer. It's always great to expand your ideas and you always learn something from working with other people.

5. Jon from Ottawa, Canada has a question: "which acts have you enjoyed themosttouring with?Forexample, in the early days you played some gigs with Aldo Nova, Aerosmith?"
Way too many to pick just one but the Foreigner shows were always cool...we grew up on that stuff.

6. You and Harry are both profilic songwriters, and have written songs forprojectsoutside theband. If you could get anyone you wanted to record a song of yours, who would it be?
I'd love to hear Weezer do a Rubber song.

7. Is RUBBER now gone and forgotten, and will it be just Harem Scarem fromnowon?
stay tuned...

8. Has there been any talk about a Harem Scarem DVD? A live thing or a promo video collection would be a nice treat for the fans!
I think we are going to attempt a dvd from the european dates.

9. You've got some European dates lined up, incl. Gods & Nemelrock. Areyoulooking forward to them, and what kind of sets can people expect?
We love playing in Europe and the set will consist of a cross section of all the records and about 1/2 of WOTW

10. What did we miss? What is the question no interviewer ever asks but you'dliketo answer?Shoot!
was that you I saw out with Jennifer Love Hewitt last night? answer... yesssss!!!

Interview by Kimmo Toivonen
Originally posted at AOR-Europe