May 21, 2009

Harlem Shakes Interview

In case you haven't been paying attention, people around here have been loving the new Harlem Shakes album, Technicolor Health. Lead singer, Lexy Benaim, took a minute to answer a couple quick questions via email before their upcoming show with Passion Pit at the Wonder Ballroom on Sunday, May 24th.

QuickCrit: How is the tour going?

Lexy Benaim: Tour is going great so far. Chicago in particular was amazing; we played to a packed house on a Monday at midnight.

QC: Which song is the most fun to perform live? Which song gets the biggest cheers?
LB: Hmmm...for me the most fun is probably "Radio Orlando", because I get to play keyboard at the end. Our closer "Old Flames" usually does, but is that because it's at the end of the show? Probably.

QC: Can we expect to hear anything off the Burning Birthdays? Say "Red Right Hands"?
LB: You probably won't hear RRH on this tour. More likely "Carpetbaggers" or potentially even "Sickos".

QC: Why did it take so long to finally release an album?

LB: We had what you might call "bidness ishoez;" problems with labels and managers now all expunged. So we worked, did assorted jobs, toured a bit, and when we had the chance, poured out some new jams.

QC: What inspires your songwriting? "Strictly Game" seems to have a tempered optimism that comes from hitting bottom.
LB: I'd say that's an accurate reading. People seem to think when I sing "This will be a better year" that I'm absolutely sure of that. I think of it as a sort of willful optimism from a pessimistic mind. Also, people just mishear lyrics. Like when I say "if life gives you lemons/ then thus god bade--" I don't actually say the old lemonade line! I subvert it, dammit.

QC: What's your process for writing?
LB: I usually bring in an initial form and then we all add the layers. It depends. With the best songs everything comes at once. But that's rare.

QC: It looks like you'll be touring with Passion Pit into July. What's next after that?
LB: Hard to say, but at this point, probably a whole lot of Europe.


Mona said...

No Lexy, it's not cuz it's the last song! It's because "Old Flames" rocks, hands down my "favorite" off the EP, even though "Red Right Hands" may be the "best track."