1.24.2011

A CONVERSATION WITH: Pete Harper of HARPER BLYNN

The holidays are over, the Snowpocalypse in GA has melted away, and I'm getting over a horrid cold. Have you missed me? Well, I'm back and with a long overdue conversation to share.

Pete Harper, J. Blynn, Sarab Singh and Whynot (yes, that's his name!) are the four dynamic guys that make-up Harper Blynn. For those of you who have been following this blog, you'll know I first heard of them back in November 2010. I haven't stopped listening or posting things about them since! Featuring them in blogs, tweets, and FB statuses. I was an instant fan, and one need only to listen to their music to discover why.
Harper Blynn (2010)
Just before the holidays really started to get crazy, I had the unbelievable, ├╝ber-fortunate opportunity to talk to Pete Harper. I know, right?! I couldn' believe it when I found out I my request for an interview had been granted! I gotta be honest...I was so ridiculously giddy when I called him. I wanted to be as professional as possible for the blog, but I'm such a fan that I couldn't help feeling a bit nervous. We got to talk for a bit, and I supposed it could've been longer. But seriously, between my excitement, trying to take notes, and pinching myself to check if this was really happening...somewhere around 15 min. was about all I could last. Jen the writer was totally being overwhelmed by Jen the fan! But then...that's what this blog is about right? Sharing stories, music, artists, that we are passionate about and love?!

Regardless, Pete was awesome. Patient and kind and really down to earth.
Talking with him didn't seem much different from listening to one of Harper Blynn's songs. Both in the music and in talking with Pete, I could feel the honesty and passion for the magic they create. And after our talk, just like after listening to their latest self-titled EP, I am left feeling good and grinning from ear to ear.

Harper Blynn by Su Byazit
L-R: J.Blynn, Pete Harper, Whynot, Sarab Singh
But if you're still not convinced, maybe a little more insight will win you over.
So without further delay...
Pete's responses in blue italics.
What's the creative process like for you guys? Do all four of you write together? 
J and I write the songs. Then we bring in the band and everyone contributes something. We write the songs that we can write, and everyone brings in the influences to make it part of their own.
Any comments on the Beyonce "Halo" cover? It's the first song I heard from Harper Blynn, and after that I was hooked.
We want to make music that we want to make. Then, somehow getting people's attention with it. So, it's nice to have those things like "Halo" that bring people to the band.
I LOVE the energy, the emotion, and the incredible vibe/charisma you guys have!  Though the band started with just two of you, it's obvious you have a strong collaborative vibe. What do you think makes you all work so well together in creating such awesome music?
Well, we've known each other a long tme. 10 years. We all just genuinely love and enjoy each other. We do what we do, the way we want to do it. Touring helps, of course... we all learn more about each other, etc.
I am a huge fan of singer/songwriters. Who would you say are the artists that influence you and/the bands music?
Wow...So all over the map... J and I grew up listening to classic rock, Stevie Wonder, Harry Chapin, James Taylor, Paul Simon... Those are just a few. But then there are more modern bands that we are inspired by too. Like, My Morning Jacket and The Killers.
I really love "Start All Over". The imagery in the lyrics, the soulfulness in the music, the intimacy of the vocals. I think right now it's my favorite of them all. Though I really enjoy the whole album so much, that it could be a different song next week. Last week, I would've said "Every Impulse" What is your favorite song on your self-titled EP? 
"Bound to Break"" is my favorite. Generally, I'm a bigger fan of the songs that I'm not singing. It feels the most distinct of all the songs, The drum part and the electronic part, especially. Of all the songs on the EP that I think really captures Harper Blynn, it would be this one.
Can you share a memorable moment of creating this EP?
We played this show in Philly and played right before the Walkmen. They were awesome. They blew our minds. They covered a Harry Nilsson record, and it was great.
So, in the middle of our tour, on our day off, we recorded Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'". We went to Ben Folds studio in Nashville. A month later, we came back and finished the rest of the album. It's the last track on the EP.
After the residency in NYC, will there be touring to support the new EP? I really hope you guys include Athens or ATL in it. I am dying to see you guys LIVE!
After those shows, we are back in studio and then another EP in February. All new songs. We'll do some touring some time after that. Yeah, we'd like to play shows in Georgia. Get in touch, when we're down there...come to the show, we'll hang out.
At this point, I am bursting at the seams, and I thank Pete so much for taking the time to talk with me. Hopefully sometime this year, they will play that show in Georgia, and they'll see for themselves the giddy fan that I am. Although, I guarantee that I won't be the only one... ;-)

No comments: