Harlott (Australia)

Metal-Roos: So I’m here with Harlott and I’d like to start off with thanking you all; this is my first whole band interview. Can you tell me who is in the band and what do you do?
Andy: My name is Andrew and I am the front man, guitar vocals.
Ryan: Lead guitar
Dan: My name is Dan I play the drums
Tom: Bassist and back up vocals (everyone laughs, except for Tom)

Metal-Roos: How did Harlott form?
Andy: Umm, it was kinda a high school thing, all wanted to play music. I was playing guitar, Dan was in high school with me with another guy called Pat who was our original guitarist. We started jamming together, playing battle of the bands that kind of shit. A mate of mine put me onto Tom and we met at a party, he said that there’s this bass player that knows Trivium (all laugh) and we said yeah that’ll do.
Tom: The next thing I knew I was playing bass in a band.
Andy: It wasn’t even a thrash band at the time.
Tom: We just had one or two early songs, we don’t play any more and it’s kinda evolved from there.
Andy: It has taken us a long time to get to the point that we’re at. We all had to develop and all had to decide which direction were gonna take. Shortly after our EP, hearing the sound we want: hook driven thrash. Then our guitarist left and I knew Ryan through our old band Mason.
Ryan: Yes, I knew Andy through our old band Mason, ah… I had been a big fan of their band, I had their EPs etc. The opportunity came up in January 2013 when the old guitarist left and me and Andy had been talking for a couple of months. I was very keen to join.
Andy: We had one audition and he played the “tornado of souls” solo and… (all laugh) you’re hired!

Metal-Roos: So you already covered my next question, how long have you been together for?
All: Too long for this shit, ha ha
Tom: Too long for what we’ve done.

Metal-Roos: What was the recording of Origin like?
Andy: Ridiculously pain free
Dan: Chris Themelco was the engineer, we went with
Andy: Recordings are horrible, recording is a really frustrating process. But with Chris it was really easy, he kinda made you feel at home and comfortable, nothing needed to done too well. He captured our sound as a musician. Rather than being like “I need you to hit these notes like this” he was was “well this is how you’re playing it, that’s how I’ll track it”
Ryan: For instance when I was recording Leads at Home: I had trouble writing and in my opinion is was all going nowhere but when I jumped into the studio with Chris Themelco it just flowed. Andy – He had a lot to do with how the song sounded. He produced the shit out of our album.

Metal-Roos: Do you write all your material yourself or is there one main songwriter?
Andy: I’m the main song writer on both EPs and the album. Officially all music and lyrics was written by Andrew Hudson laughing in the background I’m very happy to say that we’ve had some input for the new album from Dan. Our drummer Dan at least knows how to play guitar and has been writing music and its sounding pretty Harlottesque. I’m hoping to get some input for the next one cause I’m drained.

Metal-Roos: So there are plans for a second album?
Andy: Second album is scheduled for November this year, November 2014. We have studio time booked and the albums over half written. It’s gonna be ready and it’s hopefully gonna be good. There’s a lot of pressure for trying to follow up Origin, for some reason.

Metal-Roos: Is there a title yet?
Andy: Proliferation
Ryan: It actually is pretty scary to see how fast everything is happening like when did we start recording early last year.
Andy: March 2013. Released November 2013 and since November it has gone so well – so much better than I thought it would. I want to keep it going, get the next album out as quick as possible but I need to do it in a way that will do justice to what we have done so far.
Ryan: In other words Andy has been putting pressure on; good pressure, but pressure.
Tom: It’s one of those things for those who write music and they get writer’s block – at times they can’t write music. Andy’s like, well, we’re on a roll: we’ve release an alright album, we’ve had good reception from everyone, we’re now playing Adelaide – by no means our home city – this is our 3rd gig and had positive response. We have some good momentum right now, so why should we wait another 2 years before producing our second album.
Andy: I’m looking forward to topping it, I really am.

Metal-Roos: The band name Harlott doesn’t really scream out thrash metal, how did you get the name?
Andy: No it doesn’t all laugh I know, we should have picked a better name like Eviserator or Deliberator or something like that meaning something evil…
Ryan: Toxic death…
Andy: Killing men…or something
Tom: Harlott is something like wild..
Andy: I thought it was a cool word… ok, we formed when we were young. It was Harlot with one “T” at the start but people were calling us Harlow, so we added a “t” and we became Harlott. It has grown on me, we have a badass logo, we have made a name for ourselves.
Ryan: I think it looks better with 2 T’s, Andy – everyone like Tee tees…

Metal-Roos: Going on with the name theme, did you guys know that there’s an American band…
Tom: Yes we do…

Metal-Roos: … the lead singer from Asking Alexandria called “we are harlot”..
Tom: I didn’t know… did you just say “Asking Alexandria”?

Metal-Roos: … yep.
Andy: Do you know why I didn’t know that because that’s a faggot band. There was a Nashville or Tennessee hard rock band called Harlott with 2 T’s but they broke up or they re-formed under a new name. Which is good cause they kept on sending us cease and desist letters, and it’s neither of us are making any money so who cares!!

Metal-Roos: The tour with Mason, are you looking forward to that?
Dan: Excited…
Andy: I’m pumped…
Ryan: At the start there was a bit of beef…
Andy: … there was bad blood between us over absolutely nothing and I’m glad it’s sorted. We have taken the opportunity to tour with a band, that works so well with our music.
Ryan: There was a bit of Chinese whispering going on…
Tom: … that’s racist…
Ryan: … me and the dudes on Mason have been really good friends, so it was about time we all grew up and ended that stupid fucking shit…
Andy: They are great blokes, I just couldn’t work with them anymore and I moved on and I got blown way out of proportion. I’m glad that it got sorted and that we can tour with them. They are great to hang out with and have fun with.
Ryan: It’s kinda like the old Metallica and Megadeth thing… all laugh but it’s all positive because there are two awesome bands in Melbourne now…
Andy: I won’t make comment on who’s Metallica and Megadeth in that situation…

Metal-Roos: Any other bands you would love to tour with?
Andy: We were asked to play with Alarum which is pretty fucking cool. Look, Kreator came out recently and as far as inspiration goes Mille Petroza is my god – everything that man does is what I want to do and I would love to play with Slayer…
Ryan: Overkill…
Andy: Overkill…oh my god..
Dan: Havok…
Andy: … any Bay Area thrash band, I would be honoured to be a part of their tour. At the moment I feel lucky because we have a lot of talented Australian bands to play with, hang out with and get drunk with.
Dan: Soon we will get the chance to go to their cities and play with them… good time to be in music…

Metal-Roos: When I listened to Origin I could hear a German style of singing…
all laugh
Andy: Um, yep I’m not gonna lie when I did the chorus for Export Life, I did ask
Chris: Can you open up another track, I’m gonna Mille underneath… and if you can solo with vocal tracks, there is me doing my best Mille impersonation… it’s pretty rude but it’s pretty spot on as well. I love German thrash…

Metal-Roos: Finally, what do you think of digital down loading versus having a physical copy of something?
Andy: We were initially gonna release our album for free, you know, because people can get it for free if they wanted to. We released our album and a day later it was on every fucking torrent site you could find. Those of the type where people who want to pay for it can and people who don’t can have the album as well. There is no policing body over it and I’m very grateful for the support we get because it means we can do more with the band. But it’s just the age we’re living in… it’s happening in TV as well…
Ryan: It has a positive and a negative side. Not every kid can afford an album, so if they download and love it, they’re gonna support us, come down to the shows and buy t-shirts… you still can’t download t- shirts….
Tom: I look at is as it makes our music very accessible; we don’t charge an awful lot for our albums and for our merch in general. We don’t run our band like a business and we make it as cheap as possible for people to get access. But with that said, we don’t jump up and down and crack the shits when people download because they get to listen to the music…
Andy: Look, if someone gets to listen to our music and enjoys it. Who gives a shit.
Ryan: Being a band of our calibre we’re not out to make money, so the way we handle our so called business is just getting our name out and making sure everyone else is happy – with our a band and with our status. If you want to make money you should quit…
Andy: Get a job… There’s a reason why we handed outta stack of our CDs for free tonight
Tom: We’re doing it because we love to do it, we want to make people happy…
Andy: … our old CDs are online for that pay-what-you-want-thing; people can get it for free but still pay you something. I think it may only be this genre, I’m not sure about the others. There’s a big thing about having the physical copies, people love owning the CD…
Dan: … and the artwork, everyone wants to see what the artwork like, the logo and you can read the lyrics…
All: Lastly, we would like to thank Punishment 18 records, our Italian brothers, for distributing our album world wide. Hidden Intent are also on that label. Everyone should go and check them out – everyone from lovely Adelaide. Thank you for asking us some questions!

Interview Date: 2014-05-31

Interviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham