So we are back at it in a new year. It is such a blessing to be here with a whole new year of amazing artists and music. Today we have the amazing Greg Harrison Band. Greg has an amazing story and incredible music to back it up. Before we do that lets chek on music news. First up, on Friday January 5, 2018, attorneys for Spotify made a chilling request of Judge Alison Nathan in the Ferrick vs. Spotify lawsuit intended to limit WIXEN MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. clients who opted out of that suit from having free and unrestricted communications with Wixen and Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, the attorneys representing them in the Ferrick vs. Spotify and Wixen vs. Spotify lawsuits. Next up, MusiComms, the leading organization dedicated to the future of music distribution, announced the results of its latest industry research. Most people get their music for free today. 52% of people indicated that they do not pay anything currently for their music. Of that number, 29% said their primary source is free AM/FM radio. That number was followed by 15% who listen to free Internet-based music services, and 7% referred to Internet video sites. 40% of consumers polled will never pay more for music. When asked what would motivate consumers to pay more, a whopping 40% responded that they would never pay more. Now lets jump right in with Greg Harrison Band. Greg chats about the album, his inspiartional story, life in West Virginia, and so much more!
Skope: Where are we talking from today and how are you holding up this winter so far?
Today, I’m at my home in Bridgeport, WV. Weather here has been a bit crazy. Usually is in West Virginia but I was born and raised here, snow and cold weather doesn’t bother me too much. Although I’m not going to lie, sunshine and warm weather means a lot more travel.
Skope: What are you looking to accomplish in 2018 from your music?
We’d obviously love for more people to hear us on Spotify and any other social media networks out there, that way we’d have a better chance of booking more venues and festivals around the country. We’ve played in many different states and venues on the east coast, including Manhattan in New York City and loved it.
Skope: Offer us a brief history into how music became more than just a hobby and you created the Greg Harrison Band?
When I was growing up I used to sing Jackson 5 and Elvis tunes as I would listen to them on a cassette tape in my walkman. My mom told me I should take piano or guitar lessons but I told her “No mom I want to play in the NBA”. Boy was that a mistake. So I just picked up a guitar and learned some chords when I was a senior and had a bad basketball game. I kept playing and learning many different songs of different genres.
I got a bit older and a local band had just lost a singer to another band and I thought “Go for it. All they can do is tell you no.” They liked it in the practice, so they went with it. I was so nervous playing that first show, kept my hat real low and it was really hard to look at the crowd. Then, we started playing our first show. I started singing and all of the sudden people started turning their heads. Confidence started growing so I just went for it.
Skope: You recently released ‘As Long as We’re Dancin”. How long were you working on that album from start to finish?
Some of the tunes for the album have been written for years and a couple were just written for the album. We kept playing some of the songs at shows and people were dancing. They asked who wrote the tunes and let us know they enjoyed them. So I asked the band members where we could go for a good recording and one of the spots we came up with was Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh. Once we booked the date to record, the full recording session took 3 days.
Skope: What would you say is your single from the album that you want readers to hear now?
Thats a tough question but if I had to choose a song in particular it would have to be “As Long As We’re Dancin'”. I feel like it does exactly what I wrote it for, gets people dancing.
Skope: If you were to make a music video for 1 song what would that be and how would that look?
I would have to say “Devil Woman”. How would it look? I think the title of the tune can make some imaginations run wild! Pretty straight forward lyrics, so it would definitely be a fun video.
Skope: Have you as an independent artist come to terms that streaming has surpassed buying music and is that good or bad?
Definitely. Times have changed and you just have to go with it. Music of all genres is at our finger tips with all the social media like Spotify and YouTube, so as an artist you just have to accept it and roll with the punches.
Skope: How did you decide to use your real name for the band and how did you find other musicians to join you?
After 2 near death experiences, I decided music was the best medicine for his soul. So after many months of mental and physical struggles I decided to make music my life. I started playing many shows but eventually got tired of playing alone.
So I went out and snagged up lead guitarist, John Bonnett. Greg and John had occasionally played shows together in the past so we knew we could at least have a good time jamming together. Show’s we’re going great for us but after a few gig’s we felt in definite need of some percussion. It just so happened we didn’t have to look too far, as good friend and multi-talented Zack Lilley, just happened to be free to join in on the fun. Not only does Zack keep the beats but he brings great writing skills to the band as well.
A few months go by and the three of us play a lot of acoustic shows and also some full band shows as well. For about a year we had a few bass players sit in with us, but none had really grabbed our attention or were already involved in other projects. Then one day John was sitting at his job at a guitar store and in walked an old friend, Sam Nesbitt. Sam is an exceptional bassist that can play many other instruments and he even has some nice vocals to jump on the mic with as well. So John couldn’t pass up the chance to ask Sam if he’d like to come play a show with the band. It just so happened Sam had been itching to get out and play so he gave it a shot and they all had a great time. Sam joined the band and we’ve been playing ever since.
Why we kept my name, playing so many solo shows, people in my hometown just knew my name and we just decided to keep it simple. We threw around a couple names but in the end we just wanted to play music.
Skope: I see you have some live dates coming up, how do you prepare to put on an amazing set?
I always tell people its a great set if you get people up and dancing. That’s really our goal, we’ll do what we love to do and hopefully getting the crowd dancing and singing along. Are we going to mess up? Of course! Do we care? Not at all. We are very lucky and blessed to be able to play music and we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Skope: What is coming up for Greg Harrison Band and where you @ online?
That is the tricky part of being an independent band, we really don’t know. That keeps my brain working and keeps me alive, I’m going to keep trying to get us into venues and we’d love for a booking agency or record company to hear our sound and flow with it. We just got to keep playing music, keep grinding and hope those opportunities come along.
Look for the Greg Harrison Band on Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, iHeart Radio and if you enjoy our tunes, please show us some support as we are available on all digital worlds like iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Music.