The new album from Harmony was released a little while back via Poison City Records. This week, we caught up with Tom from the band to tell us a little more about it via our On The Record questions. Expand this post to check out his answers and give the album a stream if you haven’t yet given it a listen. The band will be touring in April to launch it, dates also below.
Listen to the album while you read about it…
Tell us about the release title.
‘Carpetbombing’ was the only title I was interested in from the outset when I began writing this record 3 years ago. There are few images bleaker than those napalm runs by the US Airforce during the Vietnam War. The whole idea seemed to work on multiple levels for me so it stuck, as unusual as it is.
Tell us about the artwork.
To avoid the obvious we took a divergent path with the artwork and went with all the girls of the band lying face down on the floor. This was my bad idea and was widely panned by everyone else who thought it was a pretty weak concept. They were right but I reckon it suits the mood of the album.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
Gatefold LP, CD Digipaks and digital download. All physical releases will be accompanied by a bonus album containing the entirety of ‘Carpetbombing’ reworked by friends like Spinning Rooms, Batpiss, Adalita, Mick Turner, Heinz Riegler, TV Colours, Summer Flake and more.
Who will it be released through, and when?
Poison City Records are releasing the on Feb 7th.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
The studio was our house and any other houses people would let us occupy without too much grief from the neighbours. I record everything myself and we look to capture ‘a band in a room’ type of sound. Its simple easy and lets us get first takes down so that the songs are about as organic as you can possibly achieve. In most cases I would finish writing a song on the couch and 10 minutes later we would bash it out in one or two takes upstairs before Jon (bass) and Quinn, Amanda and Erica (vocalists) would add their parts later on. It’s all about the shaky foundations and the tension that comes from committing to something that is in its absolute infancy.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
I am at the stage where I am sick of talking about music so explaining to someone else the fractured data in my head is a complete waste of time. Instead I like to just dive in and find what I want myself. Total dictatorship and a lot of work… But I couldn’t be happier with the end results. ‘Carpetbombing’ is a good record and if you can allow yourself to concede that most music sounds like a shiny digital advert these days and that this by comparison sounds like people in a room, then I reckon you will agree.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Not really. I don’t give a fuck what is happening around me, I only focus on the songs that I stumble upon. Once I have the majority I might write for the record to complete the album as a collection of complementary songs.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
Not really, unless you can hear a shitload of metal and hip hop in those songs.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
If you can find another record that sounds like this then great. I don’t think anyone could recreate all the production mistakes that I make on my way to producing such a clusterfuck of idiocy.
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
This record took about two years on and off to finish, including mixing, but we’ve been living in our house for four years… If that helps with your calculations.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
We aim for first takes for guitar and drums. From there we usually get Jon Chapple to play his bass parts when he is available and finish off with vocal overdubs with the girls. That last part is painstaking and requires significant amounts of time to write and record.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
This system… or non system is exactly the same as the debut album but the execution is a lot better. I had recorded a bunch of stuff for other bands and had improved my critical ear slightly. So hopefully things sound better. Also we had John Golden in the US master it quite beautifully.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Alex’s grandmother walked in on one recording session so we turned up the interjection and it features somewhat prominently on the song ‘Vapour Trails’. Apart from that… ah just living legend and national icon Don Walker (Cold Chisel, Tex, Don and Charlie) contributed the bleakest prose on the whole record. It’s so dense that we had to open the album with it. It’s insanely heavy and beautifully delivered in Don’s laconic drawl.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
I taped a bunch of contact mice to pots and pans and percussion and then fried the signal with delays and pitch shifters. They are background issues but you’ll notice them down the line.
Any memorable studio moments?
Dog threw up while the girls were singing… and it was a surprisingly large deposit considering its stature. The mass sat wobbling and vibrating while the girls nailed their part while gagging.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
It took three years to pull these together. There were superfluous guitar intros and solos that got cut out but no other songs worth pursuing.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
We are playing half the record already and despite people not knowing the songs, seem to get a pretty good response. The second half will be challenging to learn to say the least. There’s some weirdness there that’s unquantified.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Better on every level. People seemed to like the first record but this one has better songs and is a lot more intense.
Anything else you want to say or about the release?
Come and see us live when we launch it in April for the full effect / both barrels.
3rd – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane [18+] w/ Gentle Ben, Per Purpose.
4th – GoodGod Small Club, Sydney [18+] w/ Day Ravies, Angie.
5th – The Phoenix, Canberra [18+] w/ Hoodlum Shouts, Sex Noises.
12th – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart [18+] w/ Native Cats, Naked.
26th – Howler, Melbourne [18+] w/ Deaf Wish, Tyrannamen, Laura Imbruglia, Bj morriszonkle and more
—> Tickets available now.
—> For more information, visit [Here].