Harper Blynn (Formerly Pete and J) isn’t your average band from New York City. In a time where it’s hard for groups to set themselves apart in the ever growing NYC/Brooklyn scene, rockers Harper Blynn are able to do it perfectly with their own brand of indie rock. We caught up with the Peter Harper and J Blynn recently, who are slated to play at the Northside Festival this weekend. It’s their first time playing the fest, and it won’t be their last we’re sure.
Modern Mystery: With the heavy amount of bands that are always coming out of New York City, what makes Harper Blynn stand out from the rest?
For starters, we have no animals or trees in our name. As far as the music goes, we are heavy on the singing and harmonies, and we are trying to write and perform music that could have come from anywhere at any time. There has always been a ton of music coming out of New York, and we’re trying to do something all our own.
MM: Who are your influences? What bands and artists inspired you to play music?
We are influenced by all types of music. To name a few, Otis Redding, The Police, Wilco, The Cars, The Killers, Paul Simon, Gillian Welch, and anyone who writes great songs.
MM: Is this your first time playing the Northside Festival? How did you get involved this year?
This is our first time, we are Northside virgins! The lovely folks at Engine Room asked us to do it, and we said YES!
MM: Loneliest Generation took only 10 days to record. How did you make the record so fast?
We are a live band first and foremost, and we believe strongly in road-testing all of our songs before recording them. As a result, a lot of the arrangement work was already completed, so it never took more than 2 takes to get the live band tracks.
MM: When writing songs, is it a collaboration between the band members?
Pete and J collaborate to write all the music for the band, and that process has a wide range. Sometimes we come to each other with a finished song, and we’ll work out small kinks and details. Sometimes we start from scratch and write a song completely together. The point is, everything goes through the two of us before we bring it to the band. Once we bring the music to the band, we all arrange the songs together.
MM: What is your favorite part about performing live?
Winning over every person in the room and making them fans of Harper Blynn!
MM: At what point in life did you decide you wanted to become a musician for a living, or did the music chose you?
Most people we’ve met in the music business pretty much NEVER recommend anyone getting involved, and especially these days, you better be 100% convinced that music is your only option. Otherwise, you will be eaten alive.
MM: After the Northside Festival, what is up next for Harper Blynn?
After the festival, we’ll probably grab a couple beers. After that, we’re home for about two weeks, and then we’re hitting the road opening for Greg Laswell and Cary Brothers and playing as their band. So we’ll be on stage all night, playing 3 sets! We’re pumped.
Sunday, June 27th
70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Doors are at 2pm and the show will be free to Northside Festival badge holders. Individual admission is $5 and the show is 21+.
2:30pm – Madison Square Gardeners
3:30pm – The Art Of Shooting
4:30pm – Harper Blynn
5:30pm – Jody Porter
6:30pm – The Canon Logic