Toronto-based rock band Harm & Ease recently talked to ai love music via email about the band’s beginnings, their influences, and the release of their new single “Cut Me Loose”. Originally founded in Burlington, Ontario in 2010, Harm & Ease are composed of Rylan Whalen (Vocals), Danny Lopez (Guitar), John Goodblood (Bass/Guitar), and Alex Hamnett (Drums). This line-up was formed in Buenos Aires Argentina after several reiterations revolving around Rylan Whalen, and Danny Lopez, the addition of John Goodblood and Alex Hamnett proved proficient in rounding out an already brilliant basis.
Continue to read on why Harm & Ease’s newest single is described as “love on the battlefield”? And, what inspired the band to write the song. Make sure to listen to Harm & Ease’s “Cut Me Loose” down below and let me know what you think in the comments!
Please introduce yourselves! How did the band come to be?
The band originally started in Burlington, Ontario back when Danny, Rylan, and Alex were still in High School. They all resettled in Argentina, where I was living working as a street musician playing my Dobro guitar. I got the chance to join the crew and in 2020 the band got signed to Cosmo Cat records, came back to Canada and many amazing things have been happening since!
What musical genres or artists inspire your music?
We dig all sorts of music in this band. We love the search for good music. I personally have a passion for the blues, I consider it the driving force behind a lot of what I create and it’s power has been a great muse to me. I’m also moved by things that aren’t necessarily musical, like watching Lionel Messi play soccer or seeing a great film can be incredibly inspiring.
What is the key to the band’s unique sound?
I think this band has the right amount of respect and knowledge for the Rock & Roll giants of the past, but we’ve also acquired our own modern touch, just because we are from this time and we know that is necessary for Rock music to thrive and be relevant in 2021. A great example of this would be the band “MR.BIG” (which I know is beloved in Japan). They had Blues infused rock flavor like all the greats from Chuck Berry to Zeppelin, but they pushed it further with their amazing showmanship and technique. I’ve heard people say similar things about us. We respect the tradition of Rock & Roll, but we know we gotta keep pushing it.
The band has a unique story of being international superstars of some sort. How was taking over the South American rock scene and being part of that country’s music scene?
In Argentina, people are incredibly passionate about Rock & Roll. There have been concerts by AC/DC and The Stones filmed down there and the sight is something straight out of a Roman Coliseum. We grew a lot together in the Argentine Rock scene, and my mind is filled with amazing memories of playing in packed smoky clubs at 3 in the morning, with everyone there having the time of their life.
Let’s talk about your latest single “Cut Me Loose”. What is it about?
“Cut Me Loose” is a song about love as a battlefield. Whenever you fall in love, in the back of your mind you know that it all may go wrong, but a lot of us still get into it even though we know that. That’s what the line “ I had it spit me out, I came back for more” means. It’s that whole “It’s better to have loved and lost” kind of attitude people sometimes have. I try not to analyze my lyrics too much, but I think as much as the lyrics “She loved me, then she cut me loose” sounds like a hurtful action, to be cut loose could also be interpreted as being set free.
Could you tell us what inspired you to write this song?
I guess it’s a combination of personal experience combined with the sort of picture we wanted to paint for the song to be right. I think what grabbed the band most was the heavy blues sound of the riff and the drums. Once we played it a little more sped up, all the fury and passion of the lyrics were expressed with total ease.
How was working with Tawgs Salter and Tokyo Speirs on this single?
Working with those two was something totally eye-opening. We had done a couple of sessions with Tokyo before “Cut Me Loose” and he loves music so much, it’s always really interesting to see what he’s hearing and how he does it. It was our first time working with Tawgs and his enthusiasm really got us going. He sent a message late at night super excited about the track and saying he needed a guitar solo. We laid down that solo that very night and he just kept working. Both those guys have amazing ears and I’d love to keep recording with them.
Your press release talks about this track being inspired by the “Rock & Roll giants of the 60s and 70s and passes through a modern filter”. Could you explain this a bit more?
Well, it has to do with that balance of tradition and progress that I mentioned in the “what makes the band unique” question. All the guys in the band are really well informed about music from all decades and we’re well aware of the huge rock acts that have come before us, but this isn’t a nostalgia band. We’re going to create Rock music for today’s time, with all the swagger and fire of the classics but pushed forward even further.
What do you want listeners to listen for in “Cut Me Loose”?
“Cut Me Loose” has generated a lot of different responses in people. The video got over 2 million views on TikTok and everyone seems to enjoy different things about it. Some people like the lyrics, some like the riff. You might have to listen to it more than twice to catch all the little easter eggs!
Any future plans?
We’re gearing up for live performances coming up. We couldn’t be more excited to get back on stage, doing what we do in its purest form.
Make sure to check out Harm & Ease at the following: