Heavy Paradise : Hello Harry and welcome to Heavy Paradise for this interview. It's really an honor to have you here!
Hess : Thank you!!!!
Heavy Paradise : So let's start this interview with your forthcoming album which is going to be released in August by Frontiers. How long did it take you for the recordings of the new album?
Hess : I worked on it for about a year off and on between other projects. The writing portion was longer because I picked songs from various writing sessions over the last 3 years.
Heavy Paradise : I saw that for your new album, "Living In Yesterday", you are collaborating with your old band members of Harem Scarem, Pete Lesperance, Creighton Doane and Darren Smith. How is the chemistry between you guys after all those years, Harry?
Hess : Great, we work together all the time on others peoples records that I am producing or some other connection. They are great players so I don't hesitate to call them when I need something done.
Heavy Paradise : In the impressive list of guests, I saw, also, the name of the Marcie Free! I had the pleasure to interview Marcie and I have to admit that except the great voice she is a great person, too. How so and you invited Marcie for some backing vocals?
Hess : When I heard Marcie was back in action I sent her a message on facebook and asked if she would be interested in doing backing vocals on a few songs and thankfully she said yes... I always loved Marks voice and thought he was one of the best rock singers ever and Marcie did not disappoint when she sang on my record.
Heavy Paradise : The "First Signal" album, in 2010, was a fine piece of melodic rock stuff. Are there any major differences, musically, between that and the new release? Is there going to be a follow-up release for First Signal?
Hess : Well I think the direction is very similar, if you like one you will like the other but I think my song writing style is really the only major difference. We did talk about doing another but the fact that I am releasing this record now will probably delay a follow up in the short term.
Heavy Paradise: A record deal with Frontiers is, without any doubt, a good deal. How difficult is for a band/musician to get a good record contract nowadays?
Hess: Doing this style of music there are not a lot of options. Fortunately we were able to come to an agreement otherwise I just would have released it myself. It is very difficult to take to time to promote yourself properly without a label and I was very impressed with the promo work that Frontiers did with the First Signal release so it was my first choice to do this way.
Heavy Paradise : Allow me to take you back in 1991 and especially in Harem Scarem's amazing debut album. I think that for everyone who is into this music this album is a big must have and till' now it is considered of one of the best releases in this gerne! After all those years and so many records, how do you see the situation in the melodic hard rock scene?
Hess : Its extremely underground I'd say but there are a loyal group spread out around the world that still love this kind of music. For me it's all about connecting with those people and letting them know what I'm up to because in the mainstream it doesn't really exist.
Heavy Paradise : Back in the 80's, early 90's it was MTV and the radio stations, nowadays is the net but, also, the illegal downloading. How this thing influences the music industry?
Hess : As I mentioned it's all about connecting directly with your fans, I don't mind not being a top 40 artist and being the flavour of the month as long as I have a fan base that supports what I do and for the last 27 years I've been able to find enough people that enjoy what I do so it really doesn't matter that you won't hear me on the radio beside Lady Gaga. I hope that people just pay for the c.d's or downloads of the artists they really like otherwise they won't do it anymore.
Heavy Paradise : If you had the opportunity to travel back in time with a time machine and change something, what would that be and why? Is there anything that you are regret of?
Hess : I would only want that if I could go back knowing what I know now!!! I look at it all as a learning experience that led me to where I am today and made me the person that I am now, so I don't really regret anything. It's been a fun journey and I'm the last person to complain about my life...
Heavy Paradise : With Harem Scarem, you have released some really stunning albums!! If you had to pick your three favourite albums from your entiry career, which would that be?
Hess : The first 3 were a lot of fun to make, it was very exciting and we didn't really know what we were doing but we worked so hard to make those records and I think back fondly of that time in my life.
Heavy Paradise : So, the question is, are we going to see the band back together someday with a new album?
Hess : No plans as of now, but you never know!!!!!
Heavy Paradise : Is there something else that you want to share with your fans Harry?
As usual I want to thank all the people that have supported my music over the years, I'm still having a great time doing it....
Heavy Paradise : It was a great pleasure talkin' to you Harry. I wish you all the best for your future plans!