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INTERVIEW: Toronto-based Rock Band Harm & Ease Release New Single, “Cut Me Loose”

Photo Credit: Joe Lopes

Originally founded in Burlington, Ontario in 2010, Harm & Ease is composed of Rylan Whalen (Vocals), Danny Lopez (Guitar), John Goodblood (Bass/Guitar), and Alex Hamnett (Drums). This lineup was formed in Buenos Aires Argentina after several reiterations revolving around Rylan Whalen, and Danny Lopez, the addition of John Goodblood and Alex Hamnett proved proficient in rounding out an already brilliant basis. 

They were discovered by Multi-Platinum and JUNO Award-winning artist Gianni Luminati of Walk Off The Earth, who manages the band. The new single was recorded at Golden Carrot Studios in Burlington, ON, and produced and mixed by JUNO and SOCAN award-winning producer Tawgs Salter (Walk Off The Earth, Hunter Hayes, Washboard Union), and Tokyo Speirs (Walk Off The Earth, USS, Gabriela Bee). 

“Cut Me Loose” is an upbeat modern rock anthem that showcases the band’s unique sound and dueling lead singers in a track that puts the subjects of love and betrayal into play through a dramatic yet action-driven storyline. 

How did you guys get started as a group?

Danny Lopez: “Rylan, Alex, and I met in middle school and we all shared the same passion for creating music. We started getting together to jam and we formed a band which slowly evolved into Harm & Ease. We knew from a young age that this is what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives.”

After high school, the band travelled to Argentina, making it home for 5 years. Fine-tuning your sound, how do you find Latin American culture has influenced your music? What level of importance do you place on having paved ground for North American acts in another part of the world?

DL: “Moving the band to Argentina influenced our sound in many ways. We learned to do a lot with very few resources which is something I am very grateful for. We had to do what we could, with what little there was and there is something magical about that. We also met John in Argentina and having him in the band has really added a lot to our sound. There is a huge passion for Rock and Roll in Argentina, so living there and being involved in the music scene has undeniably shaped our sound. We learned different kinds of rhythms, styles, and ways of playing there which we incorporate into our music. We all believe music is a universal language. It doesn’t matter where it comes from or what language is being sung, if you feel it, you feel it. We were making music we loved, that we were passionate about and that’s what mattered. It was beautiful seeing the support we got from the Argentine crowds and that we were able to inspire other artists as well.”

Having gone on tour just before the pandemic began, the band was discovered by Gianni Luminati of Walk Off The Earth. Describe what it’s been like working with Gianni, and what you’ve all learned from this experience.

DL: “Moving to Canada, getting signed to Cosmo Cat Records, and now working with Gianni, has been such an incredible experience. I’ve looked up to Gianni and Walk off the Earth for years. Seeing how they do it all themselves and have such a strong team of people working together is something I’ve always wanted. Gianni has really helped us evolve our sound, put our team together, and is teaching us more about the music industry each day. He is such a great songwriter and performer so it has been really amazing to work with him. We are very grateful for his support.”

Social media presence has become increasingly important when trying to get one’s music to reach as many ears as possible. Having now amassed a TikTok audience of over 75,000, tell us your own personal experience with using the platform to aid in growing as an up-and-coming band.

DL: “TikTok has definitely helped our audience grow. At first, we weren’t sure about using TikTok or if it was going to benefit us at all, but we quickly realized that there is a huge community of music lovers on the app who are actually searching for music all the time. I’ve seen artists’ and bands’ careers blow up basically overnight because of the app so obviously, it’s become a big part of the industry. We just started posting every day and trying all sorts of content. After only a few months we began getting thousands of followers and messages asking about us and our music.”

The band recently released a brand-new single “Cut Me Loose.” Tell us the story behind the song and how it was like releasing a single during the pandemic.

DL: “‘Cut Me Loose’ is the next chapter for our band’s sound. We have been searching for our sound for years and I think with this song we have found it. We want to make Rock music fit for the times. Modern Rock and Roll from 2021. The song is an Upbeat Blues track that talks about love and loss which is something we can all relate with in some way or another. We have been writing so many songs during the pandemic that we couldn’t wait to release something new. As much as we miss playing shows, at least recording and releasing music is something we were still able to do.”

How do you find this song resonates with the trying times we’ve been experiencing throughout the last little while?

DL: “Well the song is about love and loss, it’s about letting go, being set free, so I think these are all things we experienced during the pandemic. I know it hasn’t been easy for anyone especially with all the lockdowns, but on a positive note, it did give us lots of time to expand our knowledge and dig deeper into our production and recording skills, as well as our songwriting. When the song was released, it was unintentionally the same day that the province opened up, so in a sense, everyone got ‘cut loose’ in some way that day.”

What’s next for Harm & Ease after now having released the single?

DL: “We filmed a Music Video for “Cut Me Loose” at the legendary EL Mocambo so we are really excited for everyone to see all the work that was put into it. We are always writing new songs and creating content, but we are most excited to get to play live again. We miss the stage so much, really looking forward to touring and playing “Cut Me Loose,” but we are definitely gearing up and preparing to come back strong with lots of new material.”

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Matthew Patania

Hi, I’m Matthew, and I am the Founder of Pulse Music Magazine. Having attended my first live show in the Spring of 2015, I realized just how much joy music brings to my life. As my love for music continued to grow, I decided to create a publication that serves as an outlet to share stories told through life's grandest medium.

Written by Matthew Patania

Hi, I’m Matthew, and I am the Founder of Pulse Music Magazine. Having attended my first live show in the Spring of 2015, I realized just how much joy music brings to my life. As my love for music continued to grow, I decided to create a publication that serves as an outlet to share stories told through life's grandest medium.

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