Eric Harris Q&A
Eric Harris is a busy man these last few years, and 2012 has been the busiest of all for the Gypsyhawk bassist and vocalist. Still he found time to check in with Metalholic on the band’s new album, Revelry & Resilience which will be released, August 28 on Metal Blade Records.
Many might recognize Eric as the one time bassist for Ohio thrash metal merchants, Skeletonwitch. He also briefly played with former White Wizzard members in their new band, Sorcerer just before they changed their name to, Holy Grail. It was around that time in 2008, that Harris connected with Suns Beneath guitarist, Andrew Packer.
The two formed Gypsyhawk and in 2010 they released the debut album Patience and Perseverance. While the album was solid, it wasn’t particularly cohesive. Offered Eric of the first record:
“I feel like the first one was just more of like a band recording something that they were like, ‘I think we want to do this, we’re not sure.’ It was recorded and written with two other guys that we played with. Both are great musicians but in the end it didn’t really work out. There was no chemistry there.”
Harris and Packer then enlisted former White Wizzard and current Overloaded guitarist, Erik Kluiber, whom they call Ron, and drummer Ian Brown.
“Once we got Ian and Ron in the band everything changed,” Eric stated. “Ron brought this Detroit style with him that I was trying to get in the first place. And Ian brought his solid grooves and just kind of locks it down. Writing songs is still just as hard as writing songs can be but it just feels so much better now.”
Harris spent much of 2012 on tour with another Los Angeles based metal band, Huntress. His goal was to do both projects, but when a touring opportunity came up for Gypsyhawk he had to bid farewell to his Huntress family and focus on his own band.
Gypsyhawk got a really rad tour offer that was going to coincide with the time that I was supposed to spend in Europe with Huntress, with Dragonforce. When the offer came up I was like, ‘I can’t juggle the both.’ But [Huntress] were cool with it.”
One of the things that immediately stands out when listening to Gypsyhawk’s modern wave of classic heavy metal sound is how much Eric’s voice recalls that of his hero, the late Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy). Something Harris is happy to talk about.
“I’m not really like a singer. I’ve never sung in a band before. So when I did this I was just kind of like, there’s only one dude I kind of wanna sound like. So I just forced myself to take inspiration from that. Work on that. And I guess I got something going on with it. I’m not really one of those guys that’s like ‘my voice is my own original thing.’ We’re not worried about sounding like something that’s super rad.”
In fact, Eric and Gypsyhawk have a very old school, laid back style that harks back to bands like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, early Iron Maiden, and more. An arsenal of great guitar riffs, a formidable bottom end, lots of hooks and melody, and a voice that reminds us of one of rock’s true legends all compose the Revelry & Resilience album. What’s not to like?
Harris is quick to point out that there is nothing new in music. He and Gypsyhawk just want to jam some good, inspired, hard rocking metal like the legends he grew up on.
You can listen to our full interview below and check out the band’s first single, “Hedgeking”.