zondag 3 juni 2007

Harlem Shakes > interview

Jose, you had acute appendicitis last month. You were operated. How are you now? No complications?

Everything went well, all things considered. The surgery and subsequent recovery was actually really easy. I was only worried about missing some shows since we were on tour at the time. I actually had quite a lengthy argument with the doctor about performing the surgery; I wanted to go to New York to play a show as part of our tour and have the surgery a day later and he wouldn't let me leave because he said I would die. I laughed at him. I had a lot of morphine.

You are from Brooklyn, New York. So are, for example, The National, White Rabbits, Paul Duncan and Mancino. Can you tell me something about the music scene there? It seems a hopping scene.

Brooklyn is great. New York is so big, that there's no discernable "scene" but we have some great friends in bands and bands who are great friends. I actually just saw the National atBowery Ballroom two nights ago as part of their tour kick-off residency there, and it was fantastic. They're certainly one of the best bands in town right now. We love the Rabbits, too; we share the same producer, Chris Zane, who introduced us to them and to their music and it's been love ever since. Check out our pals Beat the Devil from Brooklyn, they have a talented, soulful singer, Shilpa Ray, and really super songwriting.

How did you guys met?

Most of us met through school, and Todd, our most recent member, was a friend of a friend. I lived with Lexy, our singer, freshman year of college.

Harlem Shakes released earlier this year the Burning Birthdays EP. There's a nice amount of blog buzz, positive reviews in magazines. Are you surprised?

It's always surprising to see other people write about the work that you do, and we've been so fortunate that response to our EP has been really positive. It's great to know that people as far away as the Netherlands (!) can find our music with as much ease as people here in Brooklyn.

My favorite song is Sickos. Really addictive. Who are responsible for the nice oh-oh's?

Lexy and Brent wrote that song a few years ago, but I'm not sure of the source of the backup vocal parts. With most of our songs, the backups and harmonies just sort of grow over time.

When can we expect a full length album?

We're going to get started this summer, recording with Chris Zane again, who we absolutely love working with. It should be out by early next year.

Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what in particular attracted you?

I'll never outgrow Talking Heads, or even the Smiths. The former excite my brain, and the latter, my heart. Last year, my favorite records were from Grizzly Bear and the Clipse. Lately I've been listening to Miracle Fortress, a great band from Montreal.

What is the last record you bought?

I bought my mom the latest El Perro del Mar record for Christmas last year, but most of my music listening is done digitally.

Do you know some Dutch artists?

We once played with this band Voicst, from Amsterdam, but I'm ashamed to say that I don't know much Dutch music beyond that.

Have you ever been in the Netherlands?

No, but I'd love to visit, whether with the band or just as a person! Lexy spent a week or so over there two years ago, but my European travels are few and far between. Hopefully we'll be there
before the year is over!

I hope to see Harlem Shakes here one day. Paradiso, Amsterdam is a nice venue.

Ooh, we should look out for that! Thanks for listening and taking the time to write a little bit about our stuff! Hope to meet you sometime soon!

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