Harem Scarem is a Canadian band that formed in the late 80s. Today, singer Harry Hess joins me to talk about the band, Canadian music, the vinyl version of their second album Mood Swings and lots more.
He told me about starting the band as teenagers in Toronto in the 80s. He said the sound of the band changed with the advent of the grunge era. He told me how much he liked some of the bands that came out of the Seattle scene. “We could do whatever we want, because no one had any expectations”. He said the biggest representation of the sound of the band is the second album, Mood Swings. He also told me about their success outside of North America. “To this day they’re our biggest territory” – talking about the Philippines.
He talked about crisscrossing Canada in the early years and what a slog some of those trips were, as opposed to Europe where the towns are much closer. “Canada is about the toughest place to tour, getting from town to town.” As far as why some bands break the invisible wall and find success in America? He spoke to the fact that Harem Scarem really didn’t have a deal which allowed them to be released in the U.S. for several years into their existence.
Speaking of Canadian rock, we talked about that, too. The hair band era sprouted a lot of metal bands from the Toronto area especially. He brought back some memories of some acts I haven’t thought of in years. He also told me about a legendary musician who has a studio not far from his.
Great conversation with Harry!