The Campus Times had an opportunity to talk to Robert Harvey, of the band The Music, in the days following their concert at Blue Cross Arena on Nov. 6. Harvey divulged the secrets of the band’s enthusiasm on stage, their dedication to music itself in addition to his personal optimism and views of a unified world.
Campus Times: I have read that the band often doesn’t like the questions that you guys are asked, so what do you think that we should know about you?
Robert Harvey: I do not understand why, personally, people are so interested in us. We are not different than anyone else, other than we make interesting music.
CT: How is this tour going?
RH: Very well. It’s been interesting coming from playing headling shows in the UK to people who don’t even know your music.
CT: How does that change your performance?
RH: Makes you want to do well – pollute people’s minds.
CT: If you could go on tour with any band, who would it be?
RH: U2 – that would be great for us. We appreciate U2 as a band because they are full of passion and energy – idealistic passion for the world’s real issues. It would be good for U2 as well because of our similarities. At one point they were nothing in America and we are in that situation now.
CT: Did you enjoy your performance on Saturday night in Rochester?
RH: Every show is different. Every day has new feeling, new thoughts. I remember it being quite fun.
CT: You are one of the most energetic live bands that I have ever seen. Does your energy on stage usually begin with one person or does everyone usually get into the show at the same time?
RH: The other three get into what they are doing – it’s intricate. I get into the feelings whenever they play and try to do my best to visually express what the music looks like.
CT: Your performance shows that you clearly have fun while on stage. Do you prefer playing to a crowd, rather than in a studio?
RH: I much prefer to play to a crowd. You get something about sharing playing with a lot of people. It all starts with playing in a room to people. The recoding process comes last.
CT: What’s your favorite song to play live?
RH: “Bleed from Within.”
CT: How is touring in the UK or in Europe in general different than in the states?
RH: The sheer size of America is so different, but the audiences are not much different. In Europe, though, people are less worried about what their peers are into. In big cities like London and New York, it’s harder to get people to move.
CT: What’s your favorite city to tour in?
RH: Melbourne, Toronto – there is a sense of unity within the city and I feel safe there.
CT: On that same note, how did recording “Welcome to the North” in Atlanta compare to the recording process of your previous CDs back home?
RH: When we first thought about recording in Atlanta we were worried because we had already spent a lot of time away from our families.
But we were excited to work with such an accomplished producer, and it became evident that we were making a very special record.
CT: How did you guys come to name the band “The Music?”
RH: We had been trying for a while to get a name that made some sense, we didn’t want just any name. “The Music” made sense – it’s the only reason why we do this. It’s not about money, fashion, fame or celebrity girls. It’s about making people feel good. It’s not meant to be arrogant.
CT: Why is not being able to categorize your music so important to you?
RH: It was [important] at first when we were young. But we didn’t know exactly where we fit – why should boundaries be put up by the music? Why do we have to be anything? We want to be us.
Categorizing a band shows lack of imagination and insecurity. You can throw a band anywhere – if it has a guitar, call it rock. Where do you draw the line? We don’t really care what genre we fit into, people should just leave us alone.
CT: How do you feel that you fit into the music scene right now?
RH: I don’t think that it does fit – I like that. It pushes us forward.
CT: Your music is obviously very diverse, who are some of your influences?
RH: Life, the lives we live, emotions and how we meet people – not musicians. We respect musicians like Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Jurassic 5, Bruce Lee – people who address important issues.
CT: If you weren’t playing music, what do you think you’d be doing?
RH: Probably trying as many different jobs as possible, or being a recluse – someone who just spends a lot of time drinking.
CT: Do you have any strong opinions about American politics and how that relates to the UK?
RH: I don’t have strong opinions. You open doors with your mind, which we call progress, knowledge and understanding. We want to ensure that doors that were open in the past stay that way so we can see how we have grown as a nation or a world … It’s time to start looking at the world itself, rather than individual countries, or we are all going to burn one day.
CT: Do you have an iPod or an MP3 player? What’s on it?
RH: Beck, Incubus, Beatles, always The Doors, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Stevie Wonder.
CT: If you had to sum up your experience in The Music in four words or less, how would you define it?
RH: It is my life.
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