Life on stage is backward from real life. Only in this crazy realm can coming home and working a nine to five be a vacation.
The Mitten is going through a musical revival that is sending out bands and sonic bombs with a pleasant frequency. Harlow, from Detroit, is no exception in this orchestrated rebellion against boring, auto-tuned madness. Lauren Weaver (Vocals), Kelly Weaver (bass), and Kevin Razlog (drums) make up the core for this hard working rock band known for jumps on stage and a mean brass knuckle love you don’t want to be on the wrong side of.
We think Lauren and Kevin are tired of talking to us, so they promised Kelly beer if he’d take some time to humor us. Well, whatever, we got him for a few minutes to talk up their return to Dirt Fest 2016, finishing up a new album, and answering the age old question of tequila vs. whiskey. Come with us and see what the band that has the queen of merch had to say. And, afterward, feel free to hit up our Facebook page for more artists or swing by our Twitter and let us know what you thought about the interview in general.
NRR: Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer, again, some questions for National Rock Review’s Dirt Fest 2016 coverage. What’s been going on with the band, Harlow, so far in 2016 since we talked to you guys last?
Kelly Weaver: Well, this year we have been focusing on playing as many shows as possible, hitting the areas we hit in 2015, and expanding out our presence into new areas like the Southeast and the South.
NRR: You guys are recently back from a nice little tour through the south. What’s the hardest part to readjusting to being back home and any plans to go back out soon?
Kelly Weaver: Itâ€™s not really an adjustment as we all have to make a living. You get tired and the grind of the road is a constant go, go, go when your covering four thousand plus miles in ten daysâ€¦ It’s really like taking a break being back home, (laughing). We plan on going back out in 2017 but for the remainder of 2016 you will see us more in Michigan and we are working on finishing the first album up and writing new material.
NRR: How important are the things outside of the canned light on stage to a band in today’s world, i.e. sponsorships, endorsements, fan V.I.P. interactions?
Kelly Weaver: They are huge if you work together and capitalize in a plan that pays off for each other. As for sponsorships we have been blessed, we were with Tequila Cabresto for the first two years and no matter what they are family and this year we have built the relationship with Coldcock American Herbal Flavored Whiskey, Dirtbag Clothing, and Pickguy.com where they support us and we are proud to represent them. Endorsements at our level are more like goals, we have endorsement for gear in the works but you have to earn that and their respect. As for fansâ€¦ everyone is a VIP, everyone is bandamily!
NRR: Tell me who all is in the band and do you guys still have fun with one another on stage because a lot of local bands have had lineup changes, or just stopped playing altogether it seems, lately?
Kelly Weaver: Itâ€™s the nature of the beast and we have had our fair share of personnel issues and changes. Joe Allen is more behind the scenes, working on the album for 2016. For the majority of 2016 we had Tomas Lopez on the guitar duties and as of late we have had Alex Neigebauer playing the Southern Tour and Dirt Fest. The core is still Lauren on vocals, me on bass, and Raz on Drums. This is always fun, there is always stress but we get thru and we focus on the band more than ourselves or we try our best to.
NRR: How does it feel to play a well-established festival like Dirt Fest when you can sleep in your own bed after the show being Detroit natives?
Kelly Weaver: Well we love Dirt Fest, we may not be the hardest act but we love to rage with the best of them. The best part of DF is the fans and Birch Run and the Flint/Sag crew held this down for years. I’m excited to see what the Metro Detroit fans can do to represent as the bar is high, but the fans make the festival and being able to go home and sleep and be hungover as hellâ€¦ yeah I like it!
NRR: Okay, the band’s equipment is over a pit of boiling lava, your answer determines the safety of it all. Tequila or Whiskey?
Kelly Weaver: BOTH!!! Can I haz it All!
NRR: Tell me about the video for “My Life. My Curse,” what makes this the standard for the band’s vibe on the new music and why this song for the video support?
Kelly Weaver: Well last year when we released “Shattered” as the first single and video we figured “My Life, My Curse” was the obvious choice to follow up and make a more narrative video. The story line was all about how life can become a curse and for no rhyme or reason it can all still fall apart no matter how happy you are or what you do. The song is more upbeat and pop punkish so it appeals to a lot of crowds which in the end will allow for them to make their own interpretation of the video.
NRR: If you were in the crowd after your set, and heard two people talking about Harlow, how would you hope the conversation might go?
Kelly Weaver: Well, the hope is that everyone walks away wanting more or saying, “Wow, that band just killed itâ€¦ lets go buy their merch and meet them!” Are we for everyone, we hope so but if not at least you will be entertained!
NRR: Is there a moment, that thinking back on it now, in the your time together, or with any band in the past, that you can’t help but still feel a tad bit embarrassed about, a situation that makes you laugh about despite yourself, or just still makes you shake your head in disbelief? A Spinal Tap moment if you will, that you’d be willing to share with me?
Kelly Weaver: There has been so many fun times and memories that we have built together over the past three yearsâ€¦ I donâ€™t think we are ashamed of anything that has happened or get embarrassed but we have fun, whether it be on the road or at home we like to have fun and you should come have fun with us!
NRR: So, we need to buy drinks to get the good stories told, huh? Got it. Are you guys still music fans outside of being on stage, and if so, is there anyone on the Dirt Fest bill you’re excited to catch since everyone plays on the same day this year?
Kelly Weaver: Of Course we are still fansâ€¦ from this year I am really stocked for Wilson, I love those F%$ks and not only do they represent us as Michigan Music but they are great people. We always support our SSN family with It Lies within, Crossing Rubicon, Ecclesiast and First to Sin. Mothertruckin KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, Asking Alexandria, Attila, Westfield Massacre, Psychostick, Saint Ridley and As Darkness Falls and moreâ€¦ IT’S DIRT FEST.. LETS GET DIRTY!