Harm & Ease receive 2023 JUNO Award Nomination (Interview)

Harm and Ease

Canadian Rockers Harm & Ease Receive 2023 JUNO Award Nomination for Breakthrough Group of the Year

Originally founded in Burlington, Ontario, in 2010, Harm and Ease is composed of Rylan Whalen (Vocals), Danny Lopez (Guitar), John Goodblood (Bass/Guitar), and Alex Hamnett (Drums). This line-up 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.

Harm & Ease recently received their first-ever JUNO award nomination for Breakthrough Group of the Year in support of their 2022 EP Camino Loco.

Camino Loco, translating to “Crazy Road,” signifies the whirlwind journey that the Harm and Ease lads have travelled, from the bustling and colourful streets of Argentina to the bold, fast-paced city of Toronto. That journey has led the band to a Top 10 Rock radio single and over 4.5 million career streams to date.

Listen to Camino Loco below and learn more about Harm & Ease via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourselves?

Hey Canadian Beats, Alex Hamnett drummer of Harm & Ease, here to talk. We are a modern rock band currently based out of Toronto, Ontario.

You are nominated for a JUNO for Breakthrough Group of the Year. How does that feel?

Being nominated for Breakthrough Group of the year definitely comes with a lot of feelings. We are ecstatic to feel recognized by the industry and our peers, as well as humbled to be nominated amongst tons of other amazing talents that we have here in Canada. The band moved from South America back to Canada (where we originally met) only three years ago, so to be nominated feels like we’ve been taking steps in the right direction and that our dedication and hard work is coming to fruition. It’s really quite an inspirational feeling for all of us in the band to continue pushing forward and making the best possible music we can for the world to enjoy. It brings us a lot of happiness.

The nomination is for your 2022 EP, Camino Loco. What can you tell us about the writing process of the EP?

Camino Loco, translated from Spanish to English, means “Crazy Journey” or “Crazy Road,” and with that being said, it is a direct representation of the band’s journey from Argentina moving to Canada and how wild of a ride Harm & Ease has always been. When the band was re-established in Canada, we wanted to change and harness our sound and move in a bold direction, something more modern in its production style. I think that we achieved our goal well, even adding in some awesome collaborations with artists such as SIAMES and Fefe Dobson on the record.

Tawgs Salter, Tokyo Spiers, and Gianni Luminati produced the record with us, and it was incredible learning from the way those guys work when it comes to songwriting and production. They’ve definitely had a huge influence on us. When we started writing the EP, we didn’t plan to have a common theme throughout the songs, but throughout the writing process, we realized that a lot of themes of overcoming adversity pop up, which is something the band has always done. It’s never been easy to keep this band going, especially in the early days when we were living in Argentina away from family and friends and in a totally foreign place.

Then after some success in Argentina, moving back to Canada was like starting from scratch again, completely rebranding ourselves, and starting a new fanbase. That said, we see these challenges as an opportunity to grow. Failure can often be one’s best friend when you want to propel yourself toward your dreams. Adversity, as challenging as it is, is always an opportunity for something better.

If you had to choose one song to show to a new listener, what would you choose?

We actually just came out with our first release of the year titled “Meet Me At the Riot,” which is also the first single since our last release Camino Loco in 2022. It’s a really cool song about a romantic invitation to a Riot, kind of a juxtaposition of scenarios. We like to play off juxtaposition a lot here at Harm & Ease. It’s also definitely a theme of the band. The song was produced by Tawgs Salter and can kind of be considered as an extended track off of Camino Loco EP. When we first got the song back from Tawgs we thought it was super cool because we couldn’t pinpoint anything else out there that had this kind of sound and style like this song has. That’s just what we thought, but maybe you could think of something else that it sounds like, and honestly, we would love to know! This song is a true reflection of what our goal was when we wanted to bring modern production into our sound, and that’s a great reason to check it out. Here, I’ll even include a link for you to listen.

Your single, “Cut Me Loose,” went viral on TikTok with over 2.5 million views. What does it mean to you to have that kind of success on a platform as extensive as TikTok?

TikTok is such a creative outlet for you to get your music onto. If you get lucky and one of your videos does manage to go viral, it can become a huge success. We were lucky enough to have had a few of our songs go viral on TikTok, and we are always coming up with new ideas to keep pushing our music. It means a lot to us that people care, and it’s a big-time affirmation that our music resonates with fans. Of course, we want to create, and we have a ton of new stuff coming out, so stay on top of your socials and follow Harm & Ease to be the first to hear new music!

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