A Q&A With The Harpoonist

A Q&A With The Harpoonist

Swamp music solo venture for Canadian…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
‘Good People’ – to me this is without a doubt my least self-indulgent or self-serving song that I’ve been part of as a humanoid. It’s a greater call to action, whirling, mantra-like, rootsy wake-up for all of us, but not preachy. It’s a call to get my ass to work as a singer and connective worker bee to be out and about reuniting people in the best way I know how to.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
We shot the video for this song in the middle of winter on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in the freezing rain and I had to physically beat myself up alone in the rain over 3 days. It left a mark on me that I’ll never forget.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
My friend and rock’n’roll big brother Gordie Johnson of Canada’s Big Sugar allowed me to live on his ranch for a while. We had this noon wake-up Espresso thing going, where we’d roll down to these painted shacks he calls “ the sugar shacks’ – one for guitar and drums, one for mixing gear, one for storage… and he’d operate like a Texas chamber band of sorts… all gusto and laughs… throw me a mic sometimes out on the deck in the sun and never allow me to indulge in more than 4 or 5 takes of anything. It worked perfectly and prevented any rabbit hole behaviour that’s common in a lot of record-making.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I want them to leave their “Day Job” approach to life for but a fleeting moment and feel quenched and also a desire for more satisfaction from this old world of ours.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
My most typical approach comes together like this. 1. I’m walking in the woods with my dog Pearl and a melody hits me just as my endorphins kick in from a good hill. I then take that idea to my piano and riff on it into my phone, and then take it down island to my buddy’s farm and he sits at the drums and me on keys, or bass and we workshop a hook for hours. We then come back to it the next day and develop characters and a story we’d both love to explore, emotionally, lustfully, romantically, whatever the mood calls for in that particular moment of our lives. A 2nd approach is far more humorous and could be heard in a conversation that gets carried into a jam or something totally hilarious like touring with a new bandmate who rides separately with his lady and their Pomeranian dog named Bobby… in the end, all that’s talked about on the trip is Bobby of course… then it’s open hunting season for me and writing a story about Bobby only seems logical for having to put up with this situation.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Tony Allen for his amazing collaborative approach to rhythm and Afrobeat, Parliament for their never-ending humour and party grooves, Brazilian music for playful background melodies, Damon Albarn for his wide pallet of styles and fearlessness.

A Q&A With The Harpoonist

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
I’d love to tour in Japan, and Korea, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia. I’d love to play the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Red Rocks Theatre in Colorado, and the Filmore West.

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
‘Good People’ – It’ll turn you onto traditional folk-soul, and ambient electronic swirls at the same time. It’ll mainly make you just feel good and you’ll pass that on to someone else.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
I’d love to get us over to the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, I want this music to be shared in Japan and brought into animation within younger generations of artists. My main goal is to inspire and keep learning and connect across generations of people who are really ready to engage in their lives, be it music, farming, sculpting, any form of human grassroots expression.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
“I may not have it together, but together we have it all.”

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