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.



FIRST SIGNAL Announce New Album ‘Line Of Fire’ Out May 17

Friday, May 17, 2019
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After two critical and fan acclaimed albums, First Signal are returning with a new studio album, "Line Of Fire". First single, "Tonight We Are The Only" has been released today with an accompanying video. 
First Signal is the musical union between Harem Scarem band vocalist Harry Hess and Swedish drummer/producer Daniel Flores. Of their third collaboration together, Hess says, "once again it was a pure pleasure to be working on these songs. Daniel made it easy on me...just concentrating on being the singer is a luxury that I enjoyed immensely." Flores adds, "as a huge fan of Harem Scarem, I'm still asking people to pinch me to see if I'm still awake. Harry and his band made some of the most classic AOR and rock records ever, so I feel a responsibility to give the fans as close as possible to the quality that Harry continuously delivers with either his own solo work and Harem Scarem. Something the audience has certainly come to expect by now. I think the fans will love this one.”
Of the song songs on the record, Hess tells "there were three songs that I recommended to be included on the record. The first was “Born To Be A Rebel," which was a co-write that I did with Stan Meissner way back in 1989 and the other two were Stan Meissner songs “Walk Through The Fire” and “Never Look Back”. I have always loved these two songs and thought they were perfect for this project. Between Serafino (Perugino, President of Frontiers), Daniel, and myself we chose the rest of the songs from many great writers, whose songwriting fit perfectly in the First Signal vision." Flores says, "once again Harry and I worked closely with Serafino to find the perfect songs. It took about four months to find these gems. The writers are from all over the world and they all gave us their best songs. Harry's legacy had everyone, let's say, working at their best.”
Flores concludes, "there is more depth and structure now. The feel was right on the last record, but we hadn't found our groove yet. On this one Harry sings, in my opinion, like he has never done before. The audience will be surprised and delighted with his range and charisma here. The overall sound is heavier, but at the same time more melodic and more organic. I'm for sure really proud of the outcome.”
First Signal was first brought to life in 2010 when Frontiers President Serafino Perugino presented Harem Scarem singer Harry Hess with some melodic rock songs he thought would be a perfect fit for Harry to put his inimitable vocals on. The tunes specifically harkened back to the magic of the Harem Scarem sound, who at the time were on a hiatus. The project's self-titled debut was greeted with excellent reviews and enthusiasm from the melodic rock crowd, planting the seed for this to be more than a one-off.
Harem Scarem started up again after the release of the First Signal debut, but Harry was still wanting to go back and sing some excellent melodic rock songs that he had from various songwriters under the First Signal banner. The idea of a second First Signal album started to become realized and with the help of Swedish producer Daniel Flores (FIND ME, THE MURDER OF MY SWEET, etc.), the second record, "One Step Over The Line" started to take shape. Once again, the album was greeted with enthusiastic responses and acclaim from the fans and press alike upon release. So, it was a no-brainer to decide to release a new record and once again Daniel Flores teamed up with Michael Palace (guitars) and Johan Niemann (bass) and provided the basic tracks which Harry Hess and Darren Smith (background vocals) completed in their studio in Canada.
First Signal's third album “Line Of Fire” is once again a total delight for AOR and melodic rock fans and a contender for AOR album of the year! And be sure to follow First Signal on the newly launched Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/firstsignalband/
PRODUCED BY : Daniel Flores
Harry Hess - lead vocals
Daniel Flores - drums and keyboards
Michael Palace - guitars
Johan Niemann - bass guitar
Darren Smith - background vocals

CORNERSTONE Redo Video From 'Reflections'

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Cornerstone released a new video: one of the titles of their latest album REFLECTIONS, "Nothing To Lose", has been visually upgraded. Actually, the video was taken for an Austrian TV-show called "Mulatschag", but the feedback was so good, that the band decided to use it for Promotion-purposes. While there are still single concerts on the schedule till the end of this year, the planning for the tour through Europe in 2018 has already started. Some dates are already fixed. Stay tuned! www.cornerstone.co.at


HAREM SCAREM - United (Review)

information persons: 
Produced By: 
Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Melodic Rock / AOR
Friday, May 12, 2017
I’ve always maintained that the writing partnership of Harry Hess/Pete Lesperance was the Lennon/McCartney of the melodic rock world and this, Harem Scarem’s 14th studio album, is not only further proof of that belief, it also proves that a long partnership can remain fresh, vibrant and exciting.
United is simply brilliant – a joyous celebration of the classic definition of melodic rock. Harem Scarem have never disappointed me. But I still have my favourite albums and I’m happy to add this one right near the top.
It’s just one glorious hook and chorus after another, but that isn’t the only thing that makes this album so extraordinary. It’s the intelligent musical bed that drives the songs and the contrast of unexpected twists and a quite varied palette of styles that all end up in the same place – melodic rock bliss.
The best aspect of this album is the diversity of the ways the anthemic choruses are delivered. Every song is different, yet every one is memorable.
And I love how the darker tone to many of these songs is seemingly cast aside for the many harmony drenched feel good choruses. It’s a contrast that’s almost impossible to pull off with such regularity.
Pete Lesperance shines with some of his finest riffing and soloing in years, Harry Hess is absolutely all over this record with what seems like a choir of harmony vocals and some really powerful leads.
United is essentially a 45 minute Harem Scarem history lesson. Fans will hear parts of Mood Swings, Weight Of The World, Voice Of Reason, Higher, Thirteen and Hope all in play.
There’s no track that doesn’t stand out on its own, but my personal favourites are the infectious Here Today, Gone Tomorrow; the fast stomping No Regrets; the moody modern rock brilliance of Bite The Bullet; the feel good stadium anthem Things I Know; another harmony drenched, lyrically brilliant The Sky Is Falling and the freeking fantastic bluesy-come-AOR anthem Indestructible.
Did I mention the great opening track and one of the band’s best ever ballads in One Of Life’s Mysteries? How about the hands-in-the-air Sinking Ship and the groove driven Gravity? Did I leave anything out?
How about the brilliant production and mix – among the best the band has delivered?
Jeff Scott Soto appears on backing vocals for Here Today, Gone Tomorrow and even more prominently, to great effect, on Bite The Bullet.

Why haven’t you purchased this already? What a wonderful, joyous, powerful statement from a band that just keeps delivering time and time again. Essential and perfect.

CORNERSTONE Debut New Video From 'Reflections'

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After a three-months rest, Cornerstone are back with their second single from the longplayer "Reflections": the song "Northern Light" was released on 03/31 and was mixed and mastered, like the whole album, by Harry Hess (SIMPLE PLAN, MUSE, BILLY TALENT) in Canada. The video for the song, which has been shooted the same time like the first single "Last Night", was produced by the well-proven filmteam THE COCKPIT and director Christian Enzmueller. "Northern Light" is already available as download on iTunes and in all other online-shops.

HAREM SCAREM 'United' For Latest Epic Album

Friday, May 12, 2017
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Frontiers Music Srl is excited to announce the release of HAREM SCAREM's highly anticipated 14th studio album, “United” on May 12.
The new recording offers up 11 tracks of trademark Harem Scarem music from Harry Hess (lead vocals, keyboards), Pete Lesperance (guitars, bass, keyboards), long-time drummer Creighton Doane, and backing vocals from original sticksman Darren Smith (who will be playing live drums for the band on tour dates). The band is back and stronger than ever!
Frontman Harry Hess says: "This year will mark the 30th year of Harem Scarem and I can tell you that we are just as excited about writing and recording today as we were then. The brand new " United " album is one of the best collection of songs we have ever put on one release and I can't wait for everyone to hear it!"
Harem Scarem make it clear they still have something to say right from the start with the title track, "United", a chunky slice of guitar-driven melodic rock nirvana that kicks off their strongest studio outing since the early 00’s. From there, the album lifts off with well-crafted songs featuring big choruses with simple and addictive hook-laden earworms. Each track carries a power-rock-packed punch, swaggering riffs, and hooks to die for. Hess and Lesperance without a doubt show the world that their partnership still works, that they indeed are still "United".
With sales well over a million records in 43 countries and 12 top 40 hits around the globe, 2017 will see Harem Scarem return and ready to dominate while touring the world in support of their 14th studio album, “United“!
“United” tracklisting includes:
1. United
2. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
3. Gravity
4. Sinking Ship
5. One Of Life’s Mysteries
6. No Regrets
7. Bite The Bullet
8. Things I Know
9. The Sky Is Falling
10. Heaven And Earth
11. Indestructible
Harry Hess - lead vocals, guitar
Pete Lesperance - lead guitar
Stan Miczek - bass guitar
Creighton Doane - drums
Darren Smith - background vocals, live drummer
TOUR DATES (More to be announced soon)
- 30 September – The Music Hall, Oshawa, Canada
- 6 October – Norma Jeans, London, Canada
- 14 October – The Brass Moneky, Ottawa, Canada
- 20-22 October – Trent University, Nottingham (Rockingham Festival), UK


FIRST SIGNAL - One Step Over The Line (Review)

information persons: 
Produced By: 
Daniel Flores
Running Time: 
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Melodic Rock
Friday, June 3, 2016
Harry Hess returns with a sequel to 2010’s First Signal debut. The lead role of Mr. Hess is about all that is in common from the debut to this album.
Normally I’d jump in and complain that if you are using a project name, you should stick to the original personnel of that project, as swapping musicians/producers/writers generally leads to a completely different sounding album (Sunstorm and Allen/Lande for example).
But in this case, I’ll let it pass as the results speak for themselves.
Daniel Flores (Find Me, Murder Of My Sweet) and his new buddy Michael Palace are the duo behind all the music, whilst the songs are provided by an array of the current artists within the Frontiers stable.
Flores produces and delivers results that sonically improve on that of the debut – even if the style is a little different. The Dennis Ward moody AOR debut is trumped by this bubbly, more keyboard driven 80s sounding affair with at times a more aggressive edge, but overall an improved sound that isn’t far from the AOR of the two Find Me releases.
Harry is of course in fine voice over 11 tracks that hold a pretty consistent sound and quality. At times the keyboards are a little “too 80s”, but there is no doubt that this is a very fine release.
Highlights include the punchy She’s Getting Away; the sentimental ballads Still Pretending and Weigh Me In; the early Harem sounding One Step Over The Line and Love Gets Through; the angst of Broken and the moodiness of Kharma.

Hess, Harem and fans of the First Signal debut shouldn’t give owning this a second thought. Why haven’t you got it already? Essential for anyone who appreciate fine vocals and some catchy traditional melodic rock.


CORNERSTONE Complete Work on Abum 'Reflections' with Producer Harry Hess

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Now the time has come: the new CORNERSTONE album 'Reflections', which was produced in collaboration with Harry Hess (SIMPLE PLAN, BILLY TALENT, MUSE, ...) in Canada, has been finished.
The new songs were first shown to the public on Friday 05/20/2016 in the Viper Room in Vienna, and the feedback was more than great: many long-time fans say that 'Reflections' is by far the best album of the band. The official release in trade and the media will take place in fall, because Cornerstone is engaged in negotiations with a major record label at the moment. You can find all other tour dates on the website at the tour-area.
More infos about the Tour: http://www.cornerstone.co.at/en/tour/


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