Artist Profile #3 of The The 2018 Comeback Special. On drums: Earl Harvin
Matt Johnson: I worked with Earl Harvin on the Naked Self album, subsequent Naked world tour, plus a couple of recordings for the 45RPM album. I was always impressed by his work ethic, but also the intelligence he brings to bear on the projects he works on. Originally a jazz drummer, he’s also very versatile and a musician who can play extremely sensitively, as well as very powerfully. The drummer is a band’s engine, and he is somebody who really drives us and binds us together. His timekeeping is impeccable, but he doesn’t just concentrate on the drums; Earl is a deep thinker—and a composer and producer in his own right—and, consequently, very aware of what everyone else in the band is doing. He also possesses a very charismatic stage presence. He has played with Earl Harvin Trio, MC 900 Foot Jesus, Tindersticks, Seal, AIR, Art of Noise, and Richard Thompson, amongst many others.
Earl Harvin: For me, the ‘inside energy’ of Matt’s music lies within the lyrics, first and foremost. The lyrics address society, government and capitalism. Certainly, some of the sentiments and criticisms expressed in the past regarding these issues still have plenty of resonance in 2018 and adds an element of urgency to the music. Performing the songs with political content makes what we are doing as a band relevant and current, not just something to be admired through the lens of nostalgia.
Tomorrow at 10am, 200% will profile the other two members of the band – one per day. Stay tuned!
Interview by Thierry Somers, Photography by John Claridge