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RHYTHM DON’T LIE

Jeremy and the Harlequins mix things up on their second album

 

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One of the missing ingredients in singer Jeremy Fury‘s latest project turned out to be a familiar entity some 3,600 miles away.

While Jeremy was in the United States cooking up some new music with guitarist Craig Bonich, younger brother and drummer Stevie Fury was in France, where after attending culinary school he became a chef in Paris.

Stevie developed a taste for the material in June 2013 while visiting Jeremy in New York. Roughly a year later, Stevie was back in America full-time and had a new gig playing with his brother and Bonich in Jeremy and the Harlequins.

Jeremy and Bonich had bonded from touring together as members of We Are the Fury and Head Automatica, respectively. When those bands broke up, they put in a good two to three years of playing music that Jeremy describes as “swaggery, a little glam.”

By the time Stevie (who’d been We Are the Fury’s drummer) entered the picture, Jeremy says he felt “completely frustrated. We had just blown a big showcase, and I wanted to do something drastically different from anything I had done in the past.”

So, from about 30 songs written over an eight-year period, according to Jeremy, 10 were selected — and in short order, they were recorded for what would become American Dreamer, the first Jeremy and the Harlequins album, which they self-released in 2015.

“When we started,” Jeremy says, “I didn’t know if we were making a band or a record. Stevie was still living in Paris, I had only met [guitarist] Patrick [Meyer] a day before beginning the record, and Nathan [Cogan], who played bass on American Dreamer, plays guitar on tour for Taking Back Sunday.”

For the Dreamer sessions, tracked in Detroit and New York, Jeremy and the Harlequins opted to “strip down everything,” the frontman says.

“The five-piece drum kit became a three-piece kit,” he adds. “Stevie vowed not to do any fills, and most of the beats on that album are just a kick and snare. He doesn’t even have a crash cymbal! The guitar distortion was gone, too. Craig started playing clean as crystal. As for the recording, we finished everything in two days. Previously, I had never spent less than three weeks making a record.”

Since making American Dreamer, Jeremy and the Harlequins have solidified the lineup with the addition of bassist Bobby Ever. And along the way, says Jeremy, “We became more aware of how we play with each other, what our influences were, and that led more to the vision of where to head for our sound.”

That sound, according to Jeremy, is “a little more grandiose in some respects” on the band’s latest album, Into the Night. Written over the course of eight months and recorded in New York in about two weeks, the 10-song Night was released during the summer via Yep Roc Records.

Like its predecessor, Into the Night is retro-leaning, but not in a singular way.

“Though we are heavily influenced by early rock, we don’t limit ourselves to the limitations of one genre, like rockabilly, doo-wop, etc.,” Jeremy explains. “I think that helps mix things up a bit. We aren’t stuck in 1959 — we’re also in 1962, 1966, 1972 and 1977. Most of all, we’re influenced by the best of rock ’n’ roll, and our favorites seem to be short, catchy, stripped-down rock ’n’ roll songs.”

The band isn’t overly concerned with labels or being pigeonholed.

“We don’t think of ourselves as a rockabilly band — and I actually think the rockabilly purists don’t like us,” Jeremy says with a laugh. “We just look different and sound different from the bands coming out now.”

— By Chris M. Junior  

Jeremy and the Harlequins will perform Dec. 22 at the Bowery Electric in Manhattan. For more tour dates and information, click here.

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