Tonight, Harper Blynn will be playing an album release show for their new release Loneliest Generation at Brooklyn Bowl (tickets). We had the opportunity to ask the band a few questions. Get to know these talented (and witty!) indie rockers a little bit better by reading the interview below and watching their performances of “25 Years” and “The Doubt” from The Gothamist and “This Is It”on Live at T.O.N.Y.
1. For those out there who arenâ€™t familiar with your band, how would you describe Harper Blynnâ€™s sound?
I’d say that we’re a band that believes in good songs. It all starts with a song. We also believe in good musicianship and great playing, and really good singing. All of these things excite us a lot. We try to do what we do at the highest level. Some of the kinder critics have likened our stuff to CSNY harmonies, MGMT hooks, Beatles melodies. So I guess there’s a start.
2. The band recorded Loneliest Generation in only 10 days. How were you able to finish your album so quickly?
We had the arrangements all pretty much done before we hit the studio. All of the basic tracks – drums, bass, guitar, keys – are just live takes. So all the basic tracks were done in one day. David Kahne is brilliant and our engineer, Justin Gerrish (who recently worked on Vampire Weekend’s ‘Contra’) is also fantastic. So the sounds we had were keepers. So we just did a couple takes of each tune. Same with everything really – lead vocals, backgrounds, guitar solos. We never did more than a few takes. So it moved along pretty fast.
Harper Blynn - 25 Years - Loneliest Generation (To download, right click on link, save as, etc)
3. What was it like working with producer David Kahne on this album?
David is really a phenomenal musical mind and a great guy. We all got along incredibly well. He is unafraid to give his opinions and tell you what he thinks works and doesn’t work. We’re totally open to that kind of dialogue. I’m sure if we weren’t then it would have been more difficult. Ultimately, we all agreed on how we wanted everything to sound before we hit the studio. And once we did, I’d say things just happened as they should, really organically. We had a blast.
4. Youâ€™ve mentioned before that you changed the bandâ€™s name from Pete and J to Harper Blynn to better represent the band as a whole. Do you feel that you accomplish that by renaming the band after Pete and Jâ€™s last names?
Definitely. For those who knew us here in New York it probably wasn’t a big deal. But on the road, we don’t have any more questions about who the “other two guys are”. We also don’t show up with people expecting two dudes strumming acoustic guitars. Harper Blynn has a nice ring to it.
5. Your CD release show is this Friday at Brooklyn Bowl. Whoâ€™s the best bowler in the band and will you be bowling after your set?
I’d say Pete is the best bowler, but he is also the least consistent. He throws the ball way too hard. J’s pretty good, too, but he is a prancer. It looks like the nutcracker. We don’t have many band bowling events. Actually, we’ve never all bowled together. My guess is that bowling won’t be on OUR list of activities for the night, but you never know.
6. The band tweeted the other day that Sarab was going to his high school reunion. What was it like? Did you make it a point to mention that youâ€™re in a band and your CD release show was this Friday?
High School reunions are always a trip. The rest of the band had a great time pretending we were all graduates that people couldn’t remember. They all pretty much knew about the band, and are often just really excited that we can be making our livings doing what we love. It’s really a great job, if you don’t mind all the driving and relative poverty. Everyone knew Sarab was a great drummer even then, so they weren’t terribly surprised to see that he was making it happen.
7. If there were a movie being made about Harper Blynn, what would it be called and who would you want to play you in the movie?
It would be called “Adventures of a Magic Schoolgus”
Gus is our “tiny bus” that we tour in.
The Caveman from the Geico commercials would be Pete (although he did just shave)
Gene Wilder would be J. Blynn
Fabio would be Whynot
Ringo Starr would be Sarab
Gus would be played by Gus.