Meet – Harper and the Moths

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I tend to pay closer attention to a particular city if there are artist there who I play on high rotation. That is most certainly the case with Phoenix Arizona , home of The Love Me Nots. The interesting thing about that is Harper and the Moths bring a whole new sound to the party. It’s dancy, full of pop , soul, R&B, such an eclectic mix all put into 3 minutes of catchy tunes that you will be singing and grooving to it all on the 1st listen. Start your day off with some new kind of fun, play Harper and the Moths ,a band to add to any mix…..

Hi our name is…
Harper and the Moths

our sound is……

A fun, dancy mix of pop, rock and soul.

We are…..

Harper Lines, Kelsee Keys, Chan Schulman, Dave Campbell and Nick Ramirez

We are from…….

Phoenix, AZ

Who are some that have an influence on you…
Chan: I think what really helps to create our sound is we’re all really into what’s currently happening out there – Twin Shadow is a fav, Future Islands, Haim, etc. But we’re all huge fans of 60’s motown, 70’s disco, 80’s pop classics. If you walk into our practice studio you might hear Michael Jackson blaring out the sound system followed by Rolling Stones then right into some EDM, yup we love it all. We’ve even made a spotify playlist of favorites and influences. https://open.spotify.com/user/harperandthemoths/playlist/3MrMn1PyHiuWLAsZZ56yvx

How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band…
Harper is the lead singer, Kelsee is the keyboardist and singer, Chan is the guitarist and singer, Dave is the bassist and Nick is the drummer. All of us have had a great interest in music since a young age. Most of us were all in bands during middle/high school and playing in the local Phoenix music scene on and off since then.

Dave: myself and Harper used to play in a punk band in the late 90’s called Headfirst, and we actually used to play shows with Chans old band (Jedi 5) at the time, and Nick has been in more bands than any person we’ve ever met, and Kelsee’s been playing for years, so everyone of us has been around the az music for a while.

Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the songs out…
Harper: We all really love the way we write songs together. It is a truly collaborative process that everybody is involved in. A song usually starts at our practice space when we all start jamming together. Sometimes it’s organic other times somebody might have a part they wrote and want to try out. We all just start playing off of each other until we think we have a good idea. With that idea, we take it into our home studio and start creating a demo – working out the kinks, trying different parts, really trying to find the perfect groove and sound. We go back and forth between the home studio and practicing together until we have a product we are all happy with. After that, it’s into the studio, working with the producer and then release!

what are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome those challenges…
Chan: When you start a band you just want to be heard, once you show your songs to all your friends and family the real challenge comes; how do we get our songs in front of everyone else out there? Then you quickly realize it’s a combination of several things that come together all those bands you hear about. 1. You have to have great songs, not just good but great. There’s so many fantastically talented artists coming out with great stuff every day, sometimes you need to ask yourself if your songs actually compare, are they even in the same league? At that point you have to be ok with going back to the drawing board and you start thinking about things like, is the chorus good enough, do we need a better intro, should it be faster, slower, maybe your guitar riff that you think is so fantastic doesn’t need to be there at all, things like that. 2. Being in a band is expensive. Good equipment, studio time, a practice place, t-shirts, stickers, websites, gas etc all cost money so we walk that fine line of figuring out how to we keep our shows, merch and music cheap enough to get it out there but enough to cover the expenses of creating them. Right now we’re not making much, but more importantly we’re not losing much and we’re ok with that. We’re not strangers to credit cards or borrowing money when needed but we always make sure we pay it back fast, cause something else that costs money is right around the corner. 3. We divide and conquer, with so much that needs to be done in a band at all times we quickly realized who’s great at what and we let them do their thing. For example, a couple guys in the band are super social and pretty much everyone in the scene, they’re great networkers – getting us on shows, getting us on radio, etc. Others handle the graphic design, social and web, while others handle the home studio, we even have a team on stage show ideas, lights and merchandise, every one needs to do multiple things. But as a band we’re always trying to get out there together supporting the bands in our scene, because without a scene we’ve got no one to play to.

1st concert you went to and age….

Kelsee: Wow, that is a tough one! I was lucky to have some rad parents that have been taking me to concerts for as long as I can remember. One of the first concerts I remember seeing was at the Arizona State Fair, Blue Oyster Cult. I must have been pretty young, maybe 7 or so, I started getting bored after awhile as kids do. I started nagging my parents to the point of convincing them to leave when Blue Oyster Cult started playing “Godzilla.” Something about the guitar riff and the catchyness of the chorus must have caught my attention because I told them I decided I wanted to stay and I stuck out the rest of the concert after that.

Dave: one of the first concerts I remember going to when I really started to care about music was smashing pumpkins In the mid 90s, and it was fucking awesome. Shortly after I started going to a lot of unground punk rock shows around Tempe and Phoenix, it was hugely influential for me and one of the most amazing times to be around in music.

coolest band t-shirt you ever bought…

Chan: Kelsee always has pretty sweet band tees on I think she has about a million Glass Candy shirts, or is it Chromatics, or both, hhaha. I’m a big fan of some Norwegian rock bands that most people on the U.S. haven’t heard of, The Hellacopters always have great merchandise.

Dave: I’m a big fan of my Willie Nelson, and my the Police shirts

the most insane concert you ever went to or were a part of….
Chan: one time I went to see Hank III and there were a few moments that got pretty scary. I’ve been to hardcore shows, punk shows, I’ve even seen a few black metal bands and nothing has compared to the crowd at Hank III.

If you could open for any Band right now who would that be and why?
We always joke about how much fun it’s going to be when we’re going to be on tour with Haim, we’re pretty sure we’ll become instant best friends, hahha. When we’re not touring and running around town with the girls from Haim we’re on tour with Future Islands studying sweet dance moves and beautiful synth sounds, or maybe even Fitz and the Tantrums, that would be a fun show

My youngest son is 13 and in a Band, what advice would you offer him…
Kelsee: Practice and learn as many fun songs as you can in different genres. It really helps you increase you skills and understand how to write better music. Treat band mates with equal respect, write songs you love, get to know other people (your fans, other musicians), play shows and most importantly – remember why you love music and have fun!

Dave: Play and learn the music that you love first and formost, that makes it fun intead of something you have to do. Always try to network and meet other like minded people who are looking to do the same things you are, it can often lead to good friendships, better shows, and more opportunities in general. And when you’re playing with the right people, you will always be stronger working together than as an individual, and learn to respect and nurture eachothers unique talents.

your thoughts on the state of music in 2015…..
Chan: It’s such an interesting time to be a musician and a fan of music. There’s so much new material released each day and so much old material is available at a click of a button, combine that with the endless amounts of tutorials on mixing/producing software and the ability to learn about any piece of gear that is available, you’re pretty much drowning in creativity and that’s a great problem. It raises the bar, to standout nowadays you have to be even more fantastic than ever and that’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Next time when a friend sends you a link to a song they discovered, think about all it took for it to get from the musician’s brain to your ears, it was written, demoed, tweaked, recorded, released, promoted, listened to a ton of people who liked it enough to share it and somehow amongst millions of songs it made it’s way to you. To be heard at all with all the choices out there is a pretty big deal.


Our plans for the rest of 2015…..

Harper: In the next two months, we will be shooting a couple music videos and we are playing a some great shows and a festival. But what we are most excited about is heading back into the studio to finish our upcoming EP, set to release in late January, we’re currently planning our CD release show which will be followed by some national touring.

Harper and the Moths:
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Scott

From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife , 4 great kids and two granddaughters!! I’m a lucky guy!

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