Interview with Steve Harris
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n.org: It's no secret that Everyday was not well-liked by many long-time fans. When the Lillywhite Sessions leaked it was like a rush of oxygen to these people, and left them newly-invigorated with what might have been. One fan, Pankaj Arora, went so far as to start a campaign to have the Lillywhites released. Amazingly, it appears to have worked: the favorite son came home and the fattened calf has been slaughtered. Was the release of Busted Stuff a consequence, at least in part, of this unprecedented demand?
SH: I can't answer that, as the decision to record Busted Stuff was made before I was asked to work on it, but if it helps we were really given a carte blanche on what songs to do. The record company didn't insist on any particular songs to be done (except "Grey Street" and "Bartender"). If there were 11 new songs that were ready and of the same calibre as the ones we did, then the album could have been totally different. That said, we loved the ones we did do and we really did approach them again as if it was the first time we had recorded them.
n.org: To what extent did nancies.org influence your vision for Busted Stuff, insofar as that can be measured?
SH: Only in as much as getting a feel from Nancies verified my feelings of what I wanted to hear from the band and gave me even more confidence to see that vision through to the end.
n.org: How do you think "Busted Stuff" measures up to the Lillywhite Sessions?
SH: Well, obviously I absolutely love BS and think its a fantastic body of work by an amazingly talented band. To my ears its complete in so many ways and even though I've played it a hundred times, I never tire of it and will continue to play it again and again. I can't say that about LS and Everyday, even though I adore some of the songs on Everyday. "TSB" blows me away as a song, and so does Dave's vocal performance, and I love the "I Did It" video.. It makes me laugh, But the answer to the question is BS. It would be one of my desert island discs, unlike the other two.
n.org: Of all of the albums that you've worked on in one capacity or another, DMB or otherwise, which is your favorite and why?
SH: I'm incredibly proud of my work with Ben Kweller on his Sha Sha album. Ben is an amazing talent for someone so young and a pleasure to work with. Songs like "Falling" and "In Other Words" have such maturity and depth that to record them was a privilege. I like how the album sounds and that its has a bedroom feel to it but still kicks on the radio. The fact that its rough and ready was a stylistic decision to counter the tedium of the multitude of squeaky clean recordings that computers help to make these days and that bore me silly.
n.org: Are there any "easter eggs" on Busted Stuff? (Such as the stereo effect on the word "redirect" in "Bartender," at 3:08 into the song.)
SH: No, I don't think so. I really wanted BS to be a no frills bare bones solid record with very few studio 'toys' to distract the listener. BTCS was full of effects and extras and I think the album benefits from them but that was not what I wanted for this new album.
n.org: What's next for you?
SH: That would be telling...
nancies.org | October 4, 2002