Q&A Scene: David Ryan Harris

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

I have a new single “Fascinating” that’ll be out mid-September.  I’ll be playing select Sydney shows with my usual band of Aussie mates and miscreants: Adm Ventoura, Sam Vincent and Terepai Richmond and some solo shows as well both in Sydney and Melbourne and St. Kilda.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

My sound in food form would be a dessert course.

Tiramisu without the soggy bread thing (which I hate)

Cocoa with Coffee…..?

Equal parts “go fast” and “go slow” at the end of a meal……?

Yes please.

This new record isn’t a morning record.

It’s made for the dark.

it’s dessert made for people who aren’t ready to go to bed yet.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?

“Shelter” because it’s a hopeful song that can be sung between any two people that care about each other. Romantically or platonically, the message is equally applicable.

The idea of “fuck those people, I’ve got your back” is both beautiful and incredibly punk at the same time, which I love.  I love songs where you’re not sure if the singer is referencing a romantic relationship or a friendship or maybe even a spiritual connection.  It’s all in how the listener chooses to frame it.  “Shelter” is one of those songs.

Any on the road anecdotes?

These are more “Things I’ve learned from a lifetime on the road”

Don’t believe that the “World’s Best” anything is actually the world’s best unless everyone you’ve ever known was polled.

Don’t eat anything that you eat with your bare hands in a hotel room while flipping channels with the remote.

It’s really hard to find gentlemen in “Gentlemen’s Clubs”.

I have yet to find an adult store that actually sells adults.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Relationships.  They are how we measure ourselves.  Our successes. Our failures.  They are how we get a point of reference.

They give our lives context.  Out life’s dialogue is empty without relationships. Love and our quest for it is the great compass.

What’s next for you?

I’m starting a new band and jettisoning the solo thing for a while after this run and another 5 week run in the states in October.  I want to get back to my rock/punk/funk roots.  In contemporary terms the new band is kinda equal parts Sly & The Family Stone, QOTSA, Outkast, Paul’s Boutique and the White album.  Irreverent. Fun. Sexy. Young.  All while wearing “grown” up clothes.

What’s your scene?

My scene is pretty much any and everything that’ll have me.  I feel at home wherever I decide to stop.  Makes it easy.  I takes it easy, bro!


About David Ryan Harris

David is a producer-singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California.
Harris served as front man for the Atlanta rock group Follow for Now whose influences ranged from Motown to thrash metal. Follow for Now, working with producer Brendan O’Brien, released a self-titled album on Chrysalis but the band members parted ways in 1994.

After a short period out of the limelight, Harris began working as a producer and featured guitarist with Dionne Farris, a former vocalist from hip-hop group Arrested Development until he launched his solo career in 1997. He reunited with Brendan O’Brien and was signed to Columbia Records, where the two would produce Harris’ solo debut. While the album was praised by critics, Harris’ range of musical influences made the album difficult to sell and he soon moved on to his next project.

Still working with O’Brien, Harris united with drummer Kenny Creswell and former bassist of the Black Crowes Johnny Colt, and created the trio Brand New Immortals. The group released a successful 6 track EP and was signed by Lars Ulhrich of Metallica to Elektra Records. In 2001, the trio produced a full length album entitled Tragic Show. The band felt that Elektra didn’t properly promote the record and early the next year the band broke up.

Harris returned to solo work, releasing Soulstice (2003) and The Bittersweet (2006)
While Harris continues to promote his solo act, he continues to write, produce and tour with others.   He was the touring guitarist and vocalist with John Mayer from 2003-2012 and can frequently be seen on stage performing with artists such as Dave Matthews, Santana and Guy Sebastian with whom Harris has collaborated frequently.  In 2004 Sebastian recorded Harris’ “Sweetest Berry” for his second album “Beautiful Life”. In 2006, Harris co-wrote two songs with Sebastian on his third album Closer to the Sun. In 2009 he co-produced and co-wrote four tracks with Sebastian for his fifth album, including the title track “Like it Like That”.  In 2012 Harris co-wrote “Battle Scars” with Sebastian. In 2013 Harris toured Australia as a part of Sebastian’s band and performed solo as his support act for Sebastian’s Get Along Tour.

In 2013, Harris co-wrote “The Words” with Christina Perri on her latest release, co-wrote “Like A Drum” with Guy Sebastian and co-wrote the upcoming “Confetti Roses” with Natasha Bedingfield as well as co-writing and co-producing 6 songs on India Arie’s“Songversation”.

David Ryan Harris plays The Cellar Bar on Saturday 1st August 2015

About Mary Boukouvalas 1612 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.