Face to face with Harlot


Stormy metal full of great energy, passion and fury; boldness and challenge – Newcastle-based Harlot offer all of these to you and even more than that. Their recently released single ‘Saviour’ is a taste of things to come ahead of the EP release, so you’d better do up your seatbelts. Harlot’s frontman/guitarist James McLackland talks to Rock Britain about the single, the EP, fun on the road and much more.

– What was the starting point in Harlot’s history?
– We all attended the same high school and after joining together, we basically learned to play songs together as a way to individually develop musically that was starting point for us. We played the music that we all loved and began playing shows here and there performing our own material. We wanted people to hear our music, we built a good relationship with promoters in Newcastle and it went from there. We just keep pushing ourselves to the limit, getting better and aiming higher.

– Harlot hail from Newcastle, which you called in your biography ‘the least metal Northern town’. How has hailing from a non-metal town influenced the band?
– When we say ‘the least metal Northern town’ we don’t mean that in a negative way. There are some amazing bands up here like Arcite, Digits, Enter the Lexicon, Nexilva, XISFOREYES to name a few.. It’s just up here Newcastle is known for its notorious clubbing scene and nightlife not for its booming live music scene, particularly not metal. There has been a recent uprising of rock clubs here like ALPHA at Legends which is really helping the scene!

– Looking back, what are the highlights of your career so far as you see them?
– There’s a few up there that stand out for us. Recently we headlined Legends nightclub for a Rock society night for the universities up here. It was packed out, the crowd were mental and it was probably the best reception we’ve ever had. People actually knew the words and this really does motivate us to do better. We also headlined Newcastle 02 academy 2 a few years back just as we started getting on the gigging circuit…that was a great feeling.

– Which bands are your biggest influences and inspirations?
– It’s not hard to see that we are influenced from bands such as A day to Remember, Asking Alexandria, Bullet for my valentine, Trivium, While She Sleeps and Avenged Sevenfold as well as having individual influences which vary wildly. This is all brought into the mix when we play together but it’s good to have different influences as it helps us to write unique sounding songs.

– You’ve recently released your new single ‘Saviour’. How does it feel to be finally releasing it?
– It just feels great to have something out there officially that people can listen to, buy, illegally download, whatever! Feels now like out hard work is paying off and we’ve received some cracking reviews already, which is always a confidence booster!!

– There’s an EP release down the line for Harlot too. How is the record shaping so far?
– It’s pretty diverse but we keep the theme of big melodic choruses, big production and try to maintain a good mix of melody with heavy parts! Memento Mori is a good example with an odd timing breakdown and a massive catchy chorus….we hope is catchy!

– What are your most and least favourite things concerning working in the studio?
– We love to be in the studio, we usually come in with a pretty good idea of how the tracks will turn out, but they always end up surpassing what we’d had in mind. The best thing is hearing the song take shape as all the layers get tracked, hearing what started as an idea in our heads becomes a fully fledged piece of music. The worst thing is definitely that we are perfectionists and we can spend a good amount of time getting perfect takes! Lots of Monster energy drink!

– Summer sees Harlot play shows with Verses, Flood of Red and Blood Command. Considering that these are you final shows until September, how are you going to make them memorable?
– We’ve added to our set in a few ways. We’ve got a new song that wont be on the EP that has already received a lot of good feedback, we’re a lot tighter since tracking the EP and we have Interludes between each song so there’s none of that awkward banter/tuning! Apart from that we’ll do what we always do, give 110% in energy, kicking the drum kit to bits and generally bringing energy to suit our music.

– What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you on the road?
– Our drummer Kam, if this career or his career as a chef falls through, we’ve told him he has got a shot at stand up comedy. He’s just generally a very funny guy, very unpredictable. He has this problem where he just has to throw food out of the car at passers by…a good example is a few years back we played a big Christmas show in Newcastle and we were paid in mince pies, hundreds of them….Kam decided to throw them at people in the street…on Christmas eve…we’re sorry!

– What’s your main credo in music?
– If we knew what credo meant we’d tell you! If you’re referring to our beliefs/aims in music, we just want to carry on improving our writing skills, making music we genuinely like to hear and play and we want other people to enjoy it too. I’m sure this stands for every band, but we wouldn’t do this if we didn’t just love music and everything that comes with being in a band, the people you meet, the places it takes you all makes it worthwhile in the end. Our next steps will be releasing our debut music video and getting a full UK tour booked up for the end of the year/start of 2014.

3 Responses to “Face to face with Harlot”
  1. Jamie says:

    Another interesting interview. Newcastle certainly is the clubbing capital of the UK so it’s good to see great bands getting the city known for something else.

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