Promotion for Harem Scarem "Human Nature" (2007)

Pete Lesperance Interview January 2007 (e-mail)

The new album Human Nature feels like a cross between Mood Swings & Higher. Is that something you would agree with? If so was that intentionally?

I think “Human Nature” is definitely more in the spirit of those records. Hopefully we have still presented the songs in a more modern way.

In the Harem Scarem camp how does the writing process work?

Harry and I generally start working on song ideas on our own and when we think we have enough to get going we and start piecing it together.
A song can start from a melodic idea, guitar riff or lyrical idea, it’s always different.

How many songs did you write and how many did you record for the new album?

We usually write just enough songs for the record.
The weeding out process happens for us before the songs are ever finished so we don’t end up writing 20 songs and keeping 12, we usually have exactly what we feel we need for the record.

How come Tony Harnell of TNT ended up doing backing vocals for the record?

Harry has been talking with Tony off and on for a while now about working together on a project.
We’ve always been huge TNT fans so we thought it would be great to get him to sing on the record.

What is your favorite lyric topic?

I think the best lyrics always come from some place real to the writer. Relationship songs are always a favourite because everyone can relate to heart ache in a relationship situation.
That’s what makes love such a powerful topic.

Is there any topic you wouldn’t want to write about?

Personally I don’t feel a need to write anything political in nature, I tend to stick to more base human emotions and questions that we all struggle with .

What is your favourite Harem Scarem album?

Probably “Voice Of Reason” I think it is the most interesting of our records.

What is your favourite Harem Scarem song?

I don’t know about my favourite song but if I had to pick one to play for a new listener that I thought was a good representation of what we do I think I would have to pick “No Justice” or “Human Nature”.

What song from Human Nature are looking forward the most to play live?

I think “Tomorrow May Be Gone” will be a fun live track. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing this record!

How do you decide what songs to be included in the setlist?

It gets difficult after 11 records. We generally try to pick 3 or 4 off the latest release and the rest are fan favourites from the last 10 records.

Are there any plans for a DVD featuring all your promo videos?

There is a DVD available with all our videos called “Video Hits And More”

There are some brilliant Queen-ish choir parts on Human Nature. Is Queen an old favorite band of yours?

Queen were always one of our favourite bands. They have so many great songs, incredible performances…brilliant music in my opinion.

What band or artist is the biggest influence on Harem Scarem?

Hard to say…there have been all different influences at different points in our carreer.

What band/artist would you like to tour together with as a great package?

Again there are so many great bands it’s hard to say.

Are there any regrets in your over 15-year history?

I don’t think there are any regrets but sometimes we do look back at certain things we’ve done and understand how we’ve confused our fans.
We’ve done some strange things like change our name and really change up our music,
the “Rubber” stuff was about a million miles away from where Harem Scarem started and
we are proud of all the work we’ve done but sometimes the path we’ve taken does seem a little strange.

What is the proudest moment so far in your music life?

Personally I think my proudest moment was when we first got our record deal in 91 or when Caparison made my signature guitar.
That’s the biggest compliment to a guitarist.

What is the plan for 2007?

Hopefully we will get out and do some playing. We are planning to come to Europe in the spring.

Since Sweden Rock Festival is the greatest festival in the world! Will we see Harem Scarem there next year? Or at least in Sweden at some point?

We have always wanted to come and play Sweden and hopefully you will see us there!

Thanks Andy


Pete Lesperance

Interview by Andy Flash for Artrock webzine.