INTERVIEW: Harmful If Swallowed

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Martin/Nieto/Pinfold – Amazing, fabulous and great, mate!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Blame”?

Martin – Sure. “Blame” is the first track and first single on our new EP Sleepless, due out this April. “Blame” delves into the darker parts of a tarnished relationship.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Martin – Yes, several that I have born witness to and have been part of.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Nieto – Oh yeah! We just finished shooting it last week, and we’ll be unveiling it on February 24, a week after the single comes out, so watch out for it…

Pinfold – Video is gonna be sick…you’re gonna love it!

The single comes off your new album Sleepless – what’s the story behind the title?

Martin – “Sleepless” is a track, as well as the title of our new EP. We felt it fit the best with the artwork and the tone of the EP.

How was the recording and writing process?

Martin – Long days and sleepless nights…but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I love being able to write a song and share it with the fellas, and then have them put their flavor on top of it.

Nieto – We have a system: we demo, then we go into pre-production, and then we lay it down as the final product. But one thing’s for sure…it’s not done until it’s recorded.

What was it like to work with Ryan Greene and how did that relationship develop?

Neito – Incredible. We have worked with a lot of producers and engineers before, and working with Ryan Greene was a total eye opener. He’s such a straight shooter!

Pinfold – Ryan is Yoda…or at least that’s what I call him. He pushed me to the limits, and then some.

Martin – I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Ryan’s work. So when we had the opportunity to work with him, we pounced on it! Ryan and I spent a lot of time together. If it wasn’t bouncing arrangements and vocal patterns off one another, it was consulting each other about life. I am proud to call him a friend.

How much did he influence the record?

Martin – This record would not stand on its own without his influence! It would just be another Harmful if Swallowed record.

Pinfold – This is his baby too, and he treated it like it was.

How did Bad Religion and Fugazi influence the writing and sound on this material?

Nieto – Fugazi has been flowing through my veins ever since I was a kid. Joe’s style was always something to admire. I’m always pushing myself to play and create like Joe. As for Bad Religion, they have been one of this band’s influences since the beginning. Their vocal harmonies are, for sure. I remember Greg and I driving to gigs and jamming Bad Religion on the stereo, signing along with Graffin and Brett, trying to match their harmonies… never really did though. (laughs)

In what way would this record showcase a more matured side of the band?

Martin – The more time we’ve spent together, the more we have matured as individuals and band mates. You will be able to hear and feel all of that in this new release. In addition to that, I think having more of an understanding on how music and lyrics can be structured. For example, the way a verse is laid out properly, a smooth pre-chorus transitioning into a face-melting chorus!

What aspect of love and hate did you get to explore on this album?

Martin – Having lived through both, I feel the hate is something that the listener will identify with lyrically in songs like “Blame,” “Sleepless” and even “Dream Killer.” Whereas the love portion of the EP is given to you in a beautiful composition titled “Forever.”

Any plans to hit the road?

Pinfold – Yes! We love the road and the sky and the stinky bus smell that we miss so much! We are making plans as we speak to tour our new EP to a town near you.

 What else is happening next in Harmful If Swallowed’s world?

Neito – We’re in the midst of our new EP release and exploring tour options, and we are already back in the studio writing new tunes for a future release. With all this momentum, who can stop now?!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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