1997 - Transcript of a chat with Jerry Harrison Print

Liquid Audio Presents... Get Liquified! Guest; Jerry Harrison, Producer and member of the Talking Heads Jerry G.Harrison has a long history of playing in bands, beginning at High School in Milwaukee with a group called The Walkers. It wasn't till April 1976 that Jerry first saw Talking Heads play at a concert in Boston. The first time Jerry played with the band was in September 1976, at the lower Manhattan Ocean Club, the rest is music history!

We Welcome Jerry Harrison!

Bif Tad: Jerry, could you give us a rundown of your Bif Tad: solo efforts?
Jerry Harrison: The first solo record I did was called RED and Black it's cover is shown on the top of the page when you logged in; I also did two other reccords with a band called the Casual Gods: "Casual Gods" and "Walk On Water"

Bif Tad: Thanks for the list, I have all of those, but can'tfind Red and Black at the momement!
Jerry Harrison: It's difficult to find -- I recorded it in 1981 perhaps the cut out bins are the best bet now; I'd like to get compilation together at somepoint but I've been very busy producing and writing music with Chris and Tina -- I also recorded a single with Bootsey Collins on bass guitar which has Ronald Reagan on vocals; it was on Sleeping Bag Records

Tom Murphy: Jerry, how would you say technology has influenced music accross the things you've been involved in?
Jerry Harrison: I think that technology has both introduced new sounds but also allowed an increasingly painterly approach to recording music as you can now paint over what you've done and more and more refine an existing performance

GCS Cys: Jerry to start with ... could you tell us a little bit about how you came to play with the Talking Heads?
Jerry Harrison: I had previously been in the band the Modern Lovers with Jonathan Richman. Ernie Brooks the bass player for the ML's was in New York and met Chris and Tina, they said that they were looking for someone who played keyboards and he recommended me and gave them my phone number. the Modern Lovers demos for Warner Brother5 and A&M had just come out on Berserkely records and was thought of quite highly in the punk circles and they gave me a call.I came down to NY to play together -- I was living in Boston at the time. I was quite poor so I helped move someone to New York in his van, when we finished ther was not enough room for my keyboards so I just took a guitar, when I arrive they said where's you rkeyboards and I said there was no room but let's play together I'll just use a guitar, we started and it was magic immediately.

Bif Tad: I've heard that David Byrne attributed the incorporation of African rhythms into Talking Heads music to you, how did you get started with that style?
Jerry Harrison: To be fair we all, loved many African Bands particularly Fela; after we had recorded the rhythm track to I Zimbra for Fear of Music we wer stuck on what to do with it ; we were all about to leave for a tour of Australia and listeniung to mixes at Atlantic Records in New York when I asked to listen to the rough of I zimbra; it was so great we know we had to finish it and David and I flew thirty hours back from Australia in a to finish it on our way to a festival in Denmark.

Jerry Harrison: since no one is talking, I've produced a wonderful new record by an Irish woman named Noella Hutton which should be out in the fall, also I'm doing the newest Kenny Wayned Shepherd album which also will be out in the fall; Chris and Tina and I are writing for a new album and I've recently been writing songs with live in a short break before there summer tour. Also have you heard the Verve Pipe record that's out now?

SpnkMnky: Do you have a personal favorite song from your solo career? and from working with the Heads and could ya tells us what they might be?
Jerry Harrison: I Zimbra when we heard it we knew we must finish it. David and I flew thirty hours back from Australia to finish it on our way to a festival in Denmark. We also knew that our next album would be a further expoloration of what we had begun with I Zimbra. From my solo career I think Man with a Gun is probably my favorite though I love I cry for Iran, Rev it up, Sleep andgel and Cowboys gotta go very much. Talking Heads is more difficult as there are so many songs, my two favorite TH albums are Remain in light and Fear of Music

GCS Cys: What is the most important thing you've learned over the past two years, and how has it influenced your success?
Jerry Harrison: I've become increasingly confidant in following intuitions ahead of thoughts as I produce more records.

MagykRat: So far sound over the 'net has left a lot to be desired. Do you see a solution anytime soon?
Jerry Harrison: I think that increased band width will make a lot of the music video etc.I think that the increased bandwith will make music and movie clips a lot more satisfying; but it won't sort out boring ideas or songs.

Bif Tad: Saw you in Columbus Ohio a few years back with the Ramones, Blondie, etc... You played first, and for a very short time, I heard rumors that the bands played in a different order every night of that tour, was that true, and why did you play such a short set!
Jerry Harrison: we rotated the order in those concerts and and the sets were short because to fit three bands in required that each band play about 50 minutes, it was quite adrag because we had just gotten going when we had to stop, and with my material, Tom Tom Club and TH material we couyld have easily played for a few hours.
Bif Tad: And we wished you would have! Still a fun show, at the horse track!!
Jerry Harrison: I remember it!

IndustrialMTL: How much have the suits taken control of the music industry since you've started up as a musician...It seems that candy pap is takin' over all the air waves...is money grubbing really that much fun....
Jerry Harrison: Music has become a bigger business, and with that there is more pressure to succeed; I think that it creates a negative pressure for being creative. more coming

Tom Murphy: Do you think the net can allow musicians more room to be creative?
Jerry Harrison: but the internet and independent labels are creating an envirionment where some of that economic pressure is less. that is why I am involved with liquid audio because I think that delivering quality audio over the internet will give musicians a chane to be heard
IndustrialMTL: Good! more thought, more stretch
Jerry Harrison: absolutely

GCS Jade: Jerry, thank you for joining us today. This has been a wonderful opportunity to speak to you.
Jerry Harrison: Well thank you for being here and I hope we can do it again.
MagykRat: Thanks for coming!
GCSChoo: Thank you Jerry for participating in this event Queen of Sheba: Thankyou!!!!
Jerry Harrison: Thanks for the help

Bif Tad: Thanks Again!!! (falling all apart, breaking all the rules!