Today we Spotlight – Harm & Ease. This Toronto-based rock band brings new vibrant energy to the scene. We sit down to chat about their music and the amazing new single Cut Me Loose which is out now. Check it out right now.
Hello Harm & Ease! Thank you for joining us today! To start us off, would you like to give us an introduction? Also if you would like to describe your music style in a few words to those who have not had the privilege yet of hearing your work.
Hey Hidden Beats, we are Harm & Ease, and for those of you who have not yet heard of us, we are a Modern Rock band creating the rock music of today. Our sound consists of bluesy elements and riffs combined with the modern production that the 21st century has to offer.
Harm & Ease has been making music under this name for over a decade. However, it is only within the last couple of years that there have been consistent releases. Tell us about that. What made you decide to go all-in?
Over the years, the band has been super dedicated from the start. Everyone in the band has always been serious about music and continuously pursued their dreams as artists. I guess in recent years the band has had a goal of releasing an album at least once a year, and in the early stages, releases were happening just not as often. I think it comes with perfecting the craft of songwriting and production that took years to develop before we could be consistently releasing music. We recently signed with our independent label Cosmo Cat Records who has helped push these releases to the forefront of our career as well. They have been a huge help when it comes to getting our music out there.
The band has a wide repertoire of covers that you have done. From Lana Del Ray, The Beatles, and Rage Against the Machine, very multi-talented across genres. What is it like to perform covers versus your originals? It alleviates the pressure of writing lyrics and chords but is it equal in the pressure of twisting it from the original?
Yeah absolutely! Performing a cover is something we definitely like doing. No matter what song we choose to cover we always push to put our creative spin on the song without losing the original essence of it. It’s super fun to reimagine something in a way that you would have done yourself. It’s equally as important to pay your respect to the song as well. I think we find a good balance between both of these elements and come up with the best possible version.
I have to ask about this picture. It is the first thing you see on your website and it is amazing. Who are your style inspirations?
Thank you very much. I think it’s different between each member and we cross over a lot of decades. Ry’s would be like a swingin’ London 1960’s vibe, whereas John is heavily inspired by the clothes and aesthetics of the 1920s and ’30s. Danny and I have always dug the classy bohemian style, I definitely like to rock the semi-formal look with an added flare.
Your new single, “Cut Me Loose” has a highly narrative lyric video. How does the story tie in and compliment the lyrics?
The song carries out themes of love and betrayal, so naturally, the story of the lyric video incorporated these elements. The story unfolds as the protagonist walks into a bar and immediately finds himself in a situation where he needs to rescue his love interest, gets stabbed in the back, and still saves the girl, but in the end, he ends up walking out on her anyways. We recently shot a live-action music video for the song where the story goes even deeper into what happens between these two characters. The live-action video is super exciting and action-packed, so stay tuned it will be out very soon!
Tell me about the writing process of “Cut Me Loose?”
John originally pitched the idea for the song early in the year, it was one that came together fairly quickly for him and he was really excited about it. We demoed the song a few times in our home studio before we took it to the Cosmo Cat Records studio. It was there that we really refined the song to what it is today. After it blew up on TikTok, gaining around 2 million views overnight, Canadian producer Tawgs Salter reached out to us and wanted to produce the single, so when we finished our touches on the engineering and production side of the song we sent it off to him for some further epic production and mixing. The final master was done by Tokyo Speirs.
Since the band’s first album in 2017, there has been no rest for the weary. 3 albums in 3 years with more singles on the way, how do you keep up the creative energy?
We are all constantly inspiring each other. It helps that we have our own home studio at Cosmo Cat records to always constantly be recording and writing. For years we have lived together as a band, and we really vibe off each other as friends. There is a lot of positive reinforcement that goes on with our interpersonal relationships, and I’ve always felt like we are idea machines. I’m grateful to work with such talented people.
The well never really runs dry, it just keeps filling up with more and more creativity. It’s also really important to take care of yourself for your own mental health and whatever is going on, so we like to do a lot of activities together outside of music as well. Whether it be exercising every day or just getting out into nature, making sure you have a positive outlook on life can only help your creative flow.
Over the last year and a half, the band has exploded in popularity on tiktok among other platforms. COVID gave many artists a chance to be more active on social media. Did this make you feel more or less connected to fans as opposed to live shows?
With the pandemic going on, it was extremely helpful that we live in a world where social media is so relevant. It gave us the opportunity to keep up with our fans online since we couldn’t be there in person or playing live. People were very responsive online throughout the lockdowns we’ve been through. It was uplifting for sure and helped our connection with fans. Of course, at a live show, there is a much stronger connection that can be made with people actually being physically in front of you, but we are thankful for social media especially because they give you the option to go live.
You’ve been described as ‘channeling the energy of ’60s and 70s rock superstars.’ Would you agree with this statement? How do you bring 80 years of history of rock into 2021 and keep it relevant?
Whatever Rock & Roll music really is, its essence has been present in different decades in several ways. Beyond all the stylistic approaches we may be influenced by, ultimately we channel the attitude of great Rock & Roll, respecting the greats that came before us, but also unafraid to push the style into a place for this day and age.
We all know the amazing story of Gianni Luminati discovering and immediately realizing the spark in the group. But is there anything that fans don’t know about the band’s beginnings? What’s the full story behind those first months that have remained undisclosed?
One of the things that are hard to put into words is the willpower and energy this band has always had. I spent time with the band back in the Argentina days, and we fully embraced creating music however we could, in subways and street corners long before anyone was actively listening to us. We’re thankful to be where we’re at, but we are still creating with the same love of music we’ve always had.
When does the group feel the most enlivened? While touring or are you more homebodies and enjoy writing and making music from the city?
For me, this feeling definitely comes from playing live, and over the pandemic, it has definitely been difficult to find other ways to live this kind of experience. I know when life really returns we will all feel enlivened once again. For now, we are working on our live performance to make it the most outstanding show we’ve ever put on, and there is a huge thrill in getting the show ready for when we return as well.
If you had to choose only 5 albums to listen, what would they be?
- Back in Black by AC/DC
- Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan
- R.A.M by Daft Punk
- Revolver by The Beatles
- Harm & Ease’s full next release because we’ve been working so hard on it.
Heard that for most of the pandemic the group has been living together. This certainly must have been to the benefit of your songwriting. Did the experience serve to strengthen the relationships of all the members?
Actually yeah, as I mentioned earlier the band has been living together for quite a long time. Not being able to leave our own house puts pressure on us to work even harder. I do believe that experience helped us come out of this stronger than ever before. As musicians and as friends, we’ve learned a lot about each other and music throughout the pandemic.
What is the next project for Harm & Ease?
We plan on releasing a bunch of new singles this year. There is a lot of really exciting new music coming out that is absolutely a progression of our sound. We can’t wait to get these songs out to everyone and can’t wait to get back to live music. As soon as we can we will start booking and announcing our next shows. Keep on the lookout for when we will be close to you!
Thank you for joining us today! Before you go, would you like to give a shoutout to any person, organization or charity of your choice?
Huge thanks to our label Cosmo Cat Records for always supporting the band, the team at Golden Carrot Records, our families, friends, and beloved fans.
Spotlight – Harm & Ease is a wrap. Big thanks for taking the time to chat!
Check out Cut Me Loose right now
Keep up with the band here
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