- - - - - -

Lauren Harris Interview

Present - Jason Levine & Lauren Harris 
Interview took place in New York City
March 2008

Jason:  Everyone knows you right now as Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris’ daughter. How did you get involved in singing in the first place? Was it from being around the music scene with your dad? What created your interest?

Lauren:  Oh God. I started singing when I was about nine. Like just in school and stuff. I used to be in the choir and all that kind of stuff. And then I carried on singing after school by singing pubs and clubs and stuff. And that’s when I did my first ever recording with Russ Ballard. He saw me sing in a pub and I didn’t have a clue who he was and he asked me to do like a demo for him. For a song he was writing. So I went and did that. And then after that I was kind of like, mmm, I’d like to get a demo of myself together. I actually quite fancied giving this a shot. So I did that and then my dad, he went over to America to buy some furniture. So he met up with his friends that he hadn’t seen for like years and years and he kind of said oh, what are your kids up to and all the rest of it. So he put me in touch with Tommy [McWilliams], who’s my producer and drummer. And he came over to London and we had a talk and everything. He had a few songs already. Which I think would be great to do this stuff. And I’d never sang with a band before or anything. So we went back over to Miami. So I was like kind of out of my comfort zone... I didn’t know anyone. I started doing small places and all the rest of it. And did the toilet circuit (*laughs*) or whatever I guess you’d call it... just got some experience to performing, because I hadn’t, I didn’t have any. So I kind of just slipped into it really and then it started happening from there.

Jason:  We’re seeing now a lot of children of musicians.

Lauren:  Mmm Hmm.

Jason:  Billy Joel’s daughter is playing, Sting’s son plays, Tony Iommi’s daughter sings and now you’re singing. What is it like to be part of this second generation of musicians scene that is coming out now?

Lauren:  Yeah, I guess. I mean. I think if the opportunity is there... I know it’s really old and cliché, but they’re like, oh it’s not what you know, it’s who you know kind of thing. I think that’s opened the door for me. Where some people aren’t as lucky to get the chance. And I’m so lucky to have the chance to do it. I guess they all have the same, obviously. It’s an open door for you really. But after that I think the rest is up to me and the band and the guys and stuff. My dad can only take me so far and then....I wouldn’t be on this tour again. We did a tour with them before and we went down really, really well and I was like, oh thank god especially with the Maiden audience. So that’s how we got on this tour again. And like I said, if we were shit or, you know, rubbish (*laughs*) then we wouldn’t still be on here and we wouldn’t be getting the receptions that we’ve been getting around the whole…where we’ve been.

Jason:  You put a couple of songs such as Get Over It on your website last year.

Lauren:  Mmm Hmm.

Jason:  Now you just added another song recently.

Lauren:  Yes.

Jason:  How many songs do you have written right now? I know you just signed a record contract.

Lauren:  Yeah. We just signed with Demolition. The album is ready to go. The album was ready like a year ago (*laughs*). It’s just that no one knew about it, no one knew about us. We had to build ourselves up. Because I did the singing and the recording kind of first when we started and then I did the live stuff afterwards. So I kind of did it in a weird way I suppose. It’s not like most peoples, they don’t generally do that. So I had to build up my stage performance and everything and we had to kind of start getting recognition by building up our fan base and getting out there basically...and just doing it. So we’ve got eleven songs on the album. There’s a bonus, a couple of bonus tracks we’ve got as well and Steal Your Fire is free for download at the moment. So, it’s looking pretty good (*laughs*).

Jason:  Yeah. Were you excited to get the record contract?

Lauren:  Oh yeah, definitely. We were searching around for a while for something because now the whole music industry is like in bits and pieces at the moment (*laughs*). It’s so hard to kind of know what to do. You know with a major I think you just get washed underneath or whatever and when we went with Demolition, they were so into it and really, really loved the stuff. So it’s a great, great connection for us.

Jason:  You did a couple tours with different bands in Europe before coming here.

Lauren:  Yeah.

Jason:  How was that experience being an opener for all those bands?

Lauren:  Great. I mean, every band is different. So it’s great to be in front of different audiences. I mean we did a tour with Thunder and with The Answer, with Within Temptation, obviously with Maiden. We did the festivals and stuff like that... but I don’t know I still kind of feel like we haven’t. The best match we’ve had so far has been Thunder. Because Maiden are quite metal or heavy rock and we’re more commercial. So with Thunder I think it was a really good match. But we even, with Within Temptation, we went down really, really well as well, because I was worried about that. I felt, oh god, you know, kind of the gothic vibe or whatever and they’re like symphonic rock. *laughs*). I thought, oh god, we’re really a commercial kind of like rock and roll, classic rock. But we went down really, really well with all of them. So I think if people hear good songs, that is really what it comes down to... and if people that are attending have a good time as well. We’re up there on stage having a good time. It shows on our faces as a band as well. So it’s even better with the live songs.

Jason:  I noticed your energy tonight. You run back and forth and back and forth on the whole stage.

Lauren:  Yeah.

Jason:  Is that what you want to put into you performance all the time?

Lauren:  Yeah. I mean, I like to kind of reach over to everyone. I like to cover everyone. I like to hit all sides and everything...and because Maiden’s stage is set up the way it is as well, I’ve had. That’s kind of what I’ve had to deal with. So that’s what I’m used to. Because we’ve got this whole six week tour and we toured with them in Europe before and everything. So they have the same catwalks out like that...So that’s what I’ve kind of just got used to. So I cover each side and try and just get everyone up. Because its like...the more energetic you are and the more you can see on people’s faces and stuff. I think it rubs off on the audience and they have a good time.

Jason:  This for you is much different than playing in those small clubs you started in. You’re playing now in front of fifteen, twenty, thirty thousand people a night.

Lauren:  Yeah.

Jason:  What kind of experience is that?

Lauren:  It’s amazing. I have to pinch my sometimes. Because it’s just ridiculous almost...It’s crazy. I mean the biggest. I think the biggest show we did was like forty thousand people and I was just like, oh my god, you can see. You couldn’t even see all the way back. It’s just incredible. But to get over to that many people as well was like such a big opportunity. Especially when they’re loving it as well (*laughs*). But it’s nice playing the smaller places as well, because it’s like you get that more intimate thing. And so and they’re right there, so you have a real connection with them. But then the big audiences....There’s plus and minus sides to both and playing on a big stage is just incredible.

Jason:  You played with Within Temptation. So you have played with other female bands. Do you want to get more involved in the growing female metal scene and be a part of it?

Lauren:  I think it’s great that more and more women are getting involved. I wouldn’t classify myself as a metal act really. I mean I’m not  like Sharon and the girl from Nightwish. I don’t even know how to pronounce her name (*laughs*). It’s Scandanavian in it somewhere (*laughs*). I think I’m kind of more like...maybe go back into like Janis Joplin and Pat Benatar and Juliette and the Licks. That kind of vibe.  But I mean, the whole women singing metal is just such a great thing, because it’s so male dominated and it always has been and so for them to accept that and to like the stuff I think is a big, big breakthrough...and because it’s happening now and more people are going to start to respect women in rock & metal music....which is great.

Jason:  As far as the album. When are you planning to release it?

Lauren:  It should be available on download in hopefully the end of the month. We’ve kind of had it figured out and then it kind of went a bit. So we’re still just waiting for that. It should be happening in the next few weeks. So that will be downloadable and on iTunes and on whatever. Then the album should be coming out the first week in May, I believe. I’m not sure of the actual date, but pretty soon afterwards. So I’m excited to see how that will go.

Jason:  After this Maiden tour ends do you have other tours planned and more live shows?

Lauren:  Yeah we do. I can’t say anything at the moment, because nothing is like set in stone and I don’t want to piss anyone off (*laughs*). But yeah, no we are. We’re gonna be touring for like most part of the year.

Jason:  Some European festivals in the summer?

Lauren:  Oh yeah, yeah. Definitely. Doing all the festivals and everything.

Jason:  What about future plans for the band. What are the grand plans for yourself and the band?

Lauren:  I just can’t wait to get the album out. To see how people like our material and to....get on with it obviously. And because we’ve, because I’ve, kind of done it in the other way around where I started. We did the album first and then I did the performing. The live section of it has made me into a different person and on the second album you’ll even be able to see more of that. So that will be more exciting. It will be exciting for me as well to kind of bring that side out in me. And just to have, get fans, pull people in, hopefully be headlining my own shows. Hopefully be headlining my own shows. Just take it from there really.

Jason:  Do you have plans to come back to the United States after the Maiden tours?

Lauren:  Yeah. I’d love to do stuff in the US. Like definitely. I think that kind of the old school rock and roll will hopefully be good over here. I mean, usually English bands find it really hard to kind of break America. So it would be a dream come true to come over here and for people to recognize it. So fingers crossed.

Jason:  You have an exciting future coming up. Don’t you?

Lauren:  Yes. Yes, definitely. I’m just looking forward to every single day that comes (*laughs*).

Sonic Cathedral thanks you very much for this in-person interview opportunity. Good Luck!

www.laurenharris.net or  http://www.myspace.com/laurenharrisuk