HARLEQUIN

HARLEQUIN is a thrash metal band from LA that rocks pretty hard. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

I tried looking for info about you guys but I found very little. Are you bad at promoting the band? Give us the lowdown on why you wanted to play metal.
-Not so much that we are bad promoters but more that we are musicians with a standard of music that we feel we have yet to reach. Because we love it, it can be challenging and it just helps release a level of repressed emotion that we can’t reach with anything else.

Whenever I see the name Harlequin I think of the books and movies with the same name. I guess that is not where you got the name from, is it?
-Far from it. We actually got the name from the Opeth song “Harlequin Forest” and took it to a deeper context. We see it not as the Batman villain “Harley Quinn,” but more of the origin she was created from, a Harlequin, a character from the Italian Commedia Del Arte.

How does an ordinary rehearsal look like for Harlequin? Is it loud music in a garage in some dirty back alley?
-We just go over songs, attempt to perfect them, create new ones, bicker. Anything and everything any other band goes through. We practice in a roach-infested rehearsal studio room that we share with another band, Stages of Decomposition.

When you write a new song what inspires you to do so. Is there a specific theme to your lyrics/music?
– Experiences, emotions, ideas and concepts that this band grasps as a whole fuel our writing process. We tell stories through our riffs, beats and lyrics, in hopes of creating a darkened visual, drawn by our music.

To me Los Angeles is more than Sunset Strip, Whiskey A Go Go (or what the hell the places are called out there) and Lemmy. How vital is the underground metal scene in LA/southern California?
-The LA scene is very alive and thriving, regardless of what you’ve heard. Go to any back-yard gig, pay two bucks, and you’ll witness the brutality. Metal is far from being dead here.

I can imagine that it’s hard to draw any sort of crowd in LA if you’re not following the right trends. How do you go about making your name known to the metal fans?
-Honestly, to us, it’s not about following any trends. We just dish out what we feel represents us, and we enjoy doing it. LA can be welcoming – The crowds are flexible, so drawing a crowd is not a big problem. It’s communicating the right message; we’re not here to show off, we’re here to do what we love to do.

I see that you’re giving away your demo for free to anybody who e-mails you their e-mail address. Is this an effective way of gaining a fan base? What other ways do you use to spread the name Harlequin?
-It actually is effective. It’s an easy way to spread music, and to let everyone know what we’re about. We’re not going to sell you our first demo, that doesn’t make any sense; listen to us, and if you like us, just keep listening.

I can’t help it but I always wonder why so few girls/women play metal on stage when you see them at the gigs? Has it to do with traditions, still in 2011?
-The norm for metal IS male dominated. That’s a fact. Of course it has to do with tradition-Women have a long history of oppression in nearly every culture, and it’s only been a few years back that females were considered as equals to men. We still run into those discriminations today, but fuck it, we’re here now and that’s all that matters.

How do you view the future for Harlequin?
-Expanding our impact upon a greater audience—Some day.

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