Pic by Sebastian Mrugalski
Hi Harry, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Montaigne”?
Sure. This single’s been a long time coming. I think it’s a big track. All energy and emotion. I’m really happy with it to be honest.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Two things really. I’d written a song called About the Author back in 2014 with peculiar guitar tuning. I loved playing the song live, but it took up too much time to change the tuning just for the one song, so I thought I better write another in that tuning. Lo and behold, Montaigne did appear. The other reason is in the title. I love Montaigne’s essays, they encourage you to be honest and accepting of who you are, how you think, what you feel. That sort of message is more necessary than ever in the social media age. You don’t have to pout for a photo, you know? It’s okay to just look like yourself.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Something along those lines, yes. Couldn’t have a single without a video now could we!
The single comes off your new EP Hands In The Hive – what’s the story behind the title?
I wrote a song two years ago called London Embankment, which had the lyric “hands in the hive always get the bee-sting”. I didn’t release the song, but I knew I wanted to use that line.
How was the recording and writing process?
The EP was built around the track Montaigne. I knew I loved that song from the moment I wrote it. I didn’t really sit down and write an EP, I sort of waited until I’d accumulated enough tracks that fitted the tone of Montaigne before releasing anything. I wanted a very earthy, raw feel to the EP, and I think we achieved it, between myself, my drummer Gordo and my good friend Vincent Nydam.
What role does London play in your music?
It’s strange, I haven’t lived in London for a little while, but it undeniably influences the way I write. People always identify a UK element to my music, and it’s never been intentional, it’s just there. I’m drawn to music made by Londoners too, again, totally unintentional. There’s an artistic edge and down-to-earthness to it that doesn’t exist in other places. King Krule, Bloc Party, that kind of thing, real innovation and energy.
What other artists have influenced your writing recently?
Real Lies, Mitski, The Japanese House, Willy Mason, Spoon, The Stone Roses, I’ve been on a reggae binge for a good 12 months now too, all the Trojan stuff.
What are some of the things you are being honest about and coming clean on on this record?
Admitting my insecurities and weaknesses. Mostly the song just takes inventory on everything about myself that I could improve on.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
It all comes from books, personal experiences and self-analysis. I wouldn’t know how to pull a song out of anything else really. Books are great way to explore a new discourse, and if you can articulate that emotionally, then you’re on the right track.
Any plans to hit the road?
It’s definitely on the cards for 2019. I won’t promise anything prematurely!
What else is happening next in Harry Heart’s world?
I’ve been in Australia for a while and I’m just settling in to England again, so this is a big year for me. New music, new collaborations, new challenges, can’t wait to sink my teeth in. I’m home baby!
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