Young Australian thrashers Harlott are for sure one of the most prominent new names in this subgenre, due to their second album Proliferation which was re-released by mighty Metal Blade in order to give this album full exposure it certainly needed. We have to apologise to all of our readers since this interview is a bit date which you will notice by the questions; since the guys were busy touring Europe with mighty Annihilator we will forgive them, so read on and enjoy.
Greetings Harlott and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
We are doing quite well thank you! Having some quiet time over Christmas to get some writing done for album 3, and of course taking some down time after our tour in Europe. Playing some local shows and getting back in touch with the home crowd.
A lot of cool things are happening for the band right now but perhaps the biggest is the release of Proliferation for Metal Blade so how are you guys feeling about it?
Its still a little crazy to actually think about. We wont really know how to feel until we get that first paycheck haha! They have been incredible to work with, and its great to have such a bunch of dedicated and passionate professionals working to push our album and make sure it gets to as many fans as possible. Its just amazing all round really.
You are thrash metal band coming from Australia so please tell us was it hard for you to make the name abroad and be heard? What obstacles did you have to face in this process?
It’s very difficult to get any kind of recognition in Australia. We have always known that we would have to tour outside of our country to start to make a name for ourselves, which is half of the battle. Getting accepted onto tours when you are nobodies for down under can be difficult and the flight cost alone is ridiculous. We were lucky that the right people heard our music and were willing to give us a chance at the world stage, and its going quite well so far.
Your album Proliferation was released indipendently at first but Metal Blade is reissuing it for the international market. How did you come in contact with them and how does this coopeartion work?
They actually emailed us! A good friend of ours in Italy was kind enough to pass on our masters to someone he knew at Metal Blade, and shortly after we were offered a record deal. Metal Blade have a wealth of knowledge and experience and so far it’s just been a matter of listening to their words of wisdom.
I am mainly used to black thrash bands like Destryer 666 or Gospel of the Horns coming from Australia but Harlott is different story altogether – playing straight up Bay Area thrash! How do you feel about this statement?
It seems pretty accurate to us! We do have some more 80’s thrash bands like Mortal Sin, or Hobb’s Angel of Death, but a small country like ours doesn’t have too many big names in heavy music. Other than AC/DC…
While we are at it, what can you tell us about the state of metal in Australia, your favourite bands and conditions for gigs there?
Australia is a beautiful country and a great place to live, but it can be very tough playing music here due to the vast size of the country itself and its relatively low population. It can be difficult to get good numbers to an underground show, and the travel is either a huge expense or way too time expensive. Driving to the next major city from Melbourne takes over 8 hours. But if you get past those negatives you find a really passionate and dedicated scene with a real sense of community and respect.
New wave of thrash metal has been popular couple of years ago but now it is gone and only the best remained. How do you feel Harlott fits in this state of thrash metal nowdays?
We might have missed the boat on that new wave thrash metal thing, but that was never going to change what we do. Thrash metal is our passion and it’s what we live for, and we just hope that people enjoy what we do.
Metal Blade has changed the cover for Proliferation, what can you tell us about this new version? Also ad some words about the lyrical themes found on the album…
The new version was painted by Andrei Bouzikov who is responsible for a lot of the Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust work. He has that classic look in his work and the art he made for us not only tied in with the themes on the album, but also helped to market us as a modern thrash metal band.
The lyrics on the album aren’t so much a message as they are an observation. The world is going to shit, and those who can fix it, have now and will always do nothing. There is profit in evil. Be it through war, religion, genocide, you name it, someone’s making money. The world’s fucked, and our lyrics are just what we see happening.
Will you record some more videos for the promotion of Proliferation? Do you think that videos are useful at all in this youtube age? By the way, the video for Systematic Reduction was great, tell us something about the shooting of it?
We should really shouldn’t we… it can’t really hurt having more videos can it? And we’re glad you liked the Systematic video! We like to have fun, and metal clips have a tendency to be a little dry and dull and dark. So we made a film clip that literally cost $55 to make, and have a bit of fun with some toys we had left over from our younger years. It’s also important to pay homage to The Terminator at some point in your life.
I have read that Harlott is immense live act, what do you think that led the fans to give this statement? How does your live gigs look like?
It looks a lot like 4 guys with mostly short hair or no hair playing thrash metal. We have yet to spruce up the image with lights and banners and such, but we do give the show everything we have got and go as hard as we can. But when the crowds loving it and you’re having fun, it’s impossible not to go a little crazy on stage. We also like to tell a few jokes haha.
You have just finished tour with King Parrot and you will soon embark on European tour with mighty Annihilator. What do you expect from those gigs?
We actually just got back from Europe haha! And its pretty fun to now compare the 2. We did Regional Victoria, Australia, with King Parrot and played in a few packed out clubs and bars to mostly very drunk lunatics, and then we playing most of Europe in serious venues with some of the most respectful and welcoming audiences we have ever seen. Both of them were great times, and really good exposure, and the responses we got really do make us feel like we might be on to something here.
I am interested to know how did you get the band name, was it taken from song title of Iron Maiden?
We were young once! It was just a word we liked, and we modified the spelling so people would stop calling us ‘Harlow’. There is no reference to Iron Maiden in anything we have ever done, and likely anything we will ever do. They are too much of an institute to draw from.
That would be all for this time, I wish you all the best in your future career and life! We will see you in October here with Ann so give us your last message until then…
Thanks for your time! See you all soon!
- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic