Harry Hess, best known as vocalist with Harem Scarem, expands on his singing career and what the future holds with regard to new music and live gigs.
Who were your influences in the early days and have you always wanted to be a singer in a band?
I started playing in bands around 13 years old and began writing songs. I was listening to whatever was on the radio until that time but then Rock/ Metal became my biggest influence. Freddie Mercury is probably my all-time fav. But Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickenson were huge influences in my mid-teens. I cared more about writing songs and recording than being a singer but it seemed to go hand in hand to creating music.
Have you ever auditioned for the vocal spot in any other notable bands?
No, I’ve jammed with other bands growing up but nothing serious other than the bands I started.
You have recorded with many bands/artists over the years. Do you have a favourite recording and why?
I’ve been producing records and writing since the beginning which is close to 30 years now so I can’t pick one but I’ve been lucky enough to make records in many different countries so I would say that those are some of my favourite memories.
Production work appears to be a large part of your life these days. Do you prefer this over recording your own music?
I still like both for different reasons. Making your own records is really a ton of work with a lot of responsibility but working with another band can be really cool because they are bringing songs and an established sound/vibe to the party.
Harem Scarem have released some very strong albums in the past few years. Can we expect more of the same in the not-too-distant future?
We have all been off doing our own things for the last 2 years so we would need to get in a room and actually do some work. Up until now I go to Pete’s and we go out for lunch…
Some vocalists are on strict dietary regimes or gargle with special liquids. How have you kept your voice in tip-top shape all these years?
Nothing special these days, the only thing that would kill me on the road was no sleep and constantly getting a cold from someone. Maybe I’ll keep wearing a mask long after covid is over (I haven’t been sick in 2 years).
Are there any musicians that you have not worked with, but would like to in the future?
As far as rock musicians I would say Glenn Hughes. There are many more but Glenn is one of the best singers ever!!
With the live circuit opening up again, is there a possibility that we could see you performing some live shows in the UK?
We usually do a festival gig to get things started and then add shows around that time. We were supposed to do a whole European tour before Covid hit and now it looks like there is some more trouble with regards to the Ukraine situation. I would think that we would do a new record before we look at any gigs.
Do you have anything in the pipeline at the moment that you would like to share?
I’m always working away on numerous things. A lot of my time is spent mastering records these days but I’m sure I will get back into writing mode soon.
Interview by Stuart Dryden