Harry Hess


Rubber - Harry Hess (1999)


Hey Harry. So the album is called Rubber then?


So the album is called Rubber - maybe that's what you are going to call yourselves now for outside 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 the new album?
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 than the Japanese release.
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 you sell of the last album?
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 the new album!
No problem Andrew.



Rubber - Harry Hess (Track By Track)





It's Gotta Be
Probably the simplest song on the record. Basically 4 or 5 chords in total. It's very descriptive of the new sound. It's bare bones rock.

Is a uptempo kind of Cheap trick thing. People have called it just that.

Coming Down
Is a ballad. It's got a bit of an Eagles/country sound to it, dare I say!
More of an Eagles / southern rock kinda of feel.
Stuck With You
Is the first single in Japan. It reminds me of old ELO. It's not necessarily sounding like that, but that's what it reminds me of. It always struck me as coming from something like that.

Is the biggest production number on the whole record and will actually be the first single here in Canada. That's more of a mid tempo number and the most production in terms of sounds and things like that going on.

Face It
Is the most uptempo song on the record. It has been described as a Cheap trick / Jellyfish type of thing.

Pete actually sung and wrote on this! That is something new for people to listen to.

Pool Party
Is different rhythmically than anything we have ever done. It has a different vibe to it completely -not only to anything on the record, but anything we have ever done before.

Is an uptempo song - one of the more aggressive songs on the record.

Everybody Else
Is a ballad and is kind of a dark sounding ballad. Pretty big production number with lots of sounds and stuff.
The rest of the record is very major uptempo sounding - very happy record except for Everybody Else which is a darker sound.

That's the Japanese bonus track and is more along the lines of Headache and Pool Party. Just an uptempo rock song.




Harem Scarem (Track By Track)


Harem Scarem's long anticipated return album Weight Of The World has already been confirmed for release February 21 in Japan and March 11 in Europe, via Now & Then / Frontiers Records.
Now, I am pleased to offer this exclusive preview of the album's tracks - with descriptions from vocalist Harry Hess.
The album is being mastered this week in Toronto.
At the start of November, I already detailed the involvement of ex-Harem Scarem drummer and part-time vocalist Darren Smith, who was asked by Harry Hess to supply background vocals for all the songs on the new album. The idea was to have the vocal feel similar to the first two albums.
Let's see what Harry thinks of the albums songs. (Comments in Orange)

Weight Of The World (Hess/Lesperance)
The tittle track of the record. This song encompasses everything that we have done as songwriters in the last 11 years. It's got everything in it. Big guitars, big drums big backing vocals, very melodic and a great solo. Lyrically it is about how the pressures of everyday life can sometimes drag you down, but to always stay positive. We try to convey an uplifting message in all of our songs.
Killing Me (Hess/Lesperance)
This songs is about the how some relationships can be so tough - it's like your constantly at war with the person your supposed to be in love with. This is also one of my favourite chorus's and I love the verse.
Outside Your Window (Hess/Lesperance)
This songs reminds me of the writing we were doing in the Mood Swing days. Lyrically it is very similar to songs like No Justice and Savours Never Cry. If I had to pick a song to play for someone from the new record this would be the one.
All I Want (Hess/Lesperance)
This songs has one of my favourite chorus's on the record. I think it is a great cross between hard and heavy guitars and a very melodic chorus. The song is about never being satisfied in love and life.
This Ain't Over (Hess)
A classic Harem Scarem type ballad with hints of Queen in the vocal performance and melodies. Having real piano, strings and other acoustic instruments makes this one a little different from the rest of the record but very necessary to break up the heaviness of so many up tempo rock tracks.
Lyrically it's about not wanting to say goodbye.

Internude (Lesperance) An acoustic instrumental song that links the two songs it sits between.
You Ruined Everything (Hess/Lesperance)
This song has light hearted and humorous lyrics with a very up tempo driving grove. With big gang backing vocals in the chorus this should be great to do live (so everyone can sing along).
Charmed Life (Hess/Lesperance)
This is a song idea that I started working on about a year and a half ago but didn't really suit the style of what we were doing back then. It's very up tempo guitar driven song that will be great to play live.
The lyrics are about lust / love and how life is perfect when it all comes together.

If You (Hess/Lesperance)
From a songwriting perspective this is the closet to Rubber that we got on this latest record. We decided it would need the heavy production treatment that the rest of the songs on the record would have. This kind of a song is all about melody and fun catchy lyrics. The lyrics are meant to be funny and not taken literally.
See Saw (Lesperance) A full guitar instrumental track.
Voice Inside (Hess/Lesperance)
Initially titled Overload. This song is probably the most classic rock song we have writing in a long time maybe ever. We approached it much like Change Comes Around in the production style and lyrically it's all 'Rock'. Cool breakdown as well.
End Of Time (Hess/Lesperance)(Japanese Bonus Track)
This songs reminds me of Stranger Than Love in it's grove and cord changes. Lyrically it is a love song about staying together until the 'End Of Time'.


Subscribe to Harry Hess