Posted On 23 Mar 2017
Los Angeles-based three-piece alternative hard rock band HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED announces its latest EP, Sleepless, due out on April 14. Sleepless was produced by Ryan Greene (NOFX, Authority Zero, Lagwagon, etc.) and is the band’s fourth release.
HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED is lead vocalist/guitarist Greg Martin, bassist/backup vocalist Carlos Nieto III and drummer Jay Pinfold. The band lists such musical influences as Bad Religion, Linkin Park, Fugazi, the Pixies and Face To Face, among others.
HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED released its debut album Server, which was handpicked for a selection of MTV shows and caught the attention of radio DJ Kat Corbett (KROQ) who is an avid fan and supporter. Taking full advantage of their increased exposure and growing fan base, the band embarked on a slew of performances including co-headlining concerts with some of the industry’s biggest names such as KoRn, Green Day, Weezer, FEAR, Bad Religion and many others.
The band’s follow up album The Chronicles of Losing was released in 2009, and again caught the attention of industry professionals and fans alike. Determined to further develop and improve as musicians and artists, HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED was inspired to take a new direction with their 2013 release Allergy, which was positively featured in many online media outlets, such as puregrainaudio.com, musicnewsnashville.com, metaloddyssey.net, goldenmixtape.com, rockfreaks.com and many others.
Sleepless showcases HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED’s evolution of musical growth. “Sleepless is just a glimpse into what we are capable of doing as a band,” Martin explains. “Every time we step into the studio to record something new, we top ourselves. We went in this time with no expectations, and I believe this EP shows how much we’ve matured as a band.” Nieto continues, “This release is unlike our previous releases, because in this EP we delve into the complexities of emotions and explore in the gray area between love and hate.” Ryan Greene’s production skills also enhanced the band’s sound. “Working with Ryan was a learning experience. He really helped to create the best results for the music, and we really understood where he was coming from. It added depth and flavor to our music,” Pinfold adds.
The first single from Sleepless is “Blame,” which showcases clear vocals and harmonies, a crunchy guitar riff, heavy-hitting, steady bassline, and propulsive drumbeat. “’Blame’ really symbolizes what kind of a lifestyle one can live when they are not happy. The song depicts how far someone will go to find happiness, and hurt so many people in order to find it.” Sample lyric: “All you can see was make believe/What felt so true to you and me/Then I’m running back to you/All I can say is that I’m to blame/And time will tell if it’s meant to be/Is this the last I’ll see of you?”
HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED is in the midst of making plans to bring its dynamic, energetic live show to a venue near you. Stay tuned for more news on the band’s upcoming happenings to be announced soon!
Band website: www.harmfulifswallowedband.com
One sheet: http://www.harmfulifswallowedband.com/promo/
Learn more about Harmful If Swallowed in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So, now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year for you? What were some of the highlights for the band? What are you most excited about for 2017?
Martin – It was sort of scary! And I don’t necessarily mean musically, either. I would have to say that it’s been a year of polishing and crafting our art.
Pinfold – I second the “scary” part, mate. I’m just extremely excited about getting our new EP out, and gigging with the fellas!
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall some of your earliest musical memories?
Nieto III – I wanted to be an artist, but I always loved music.
My earliest music memory was Peter, Paul and Mary “If I Had a Hammer” on my parents’ record player.
Pinfold – My father is also a drummer. Watching him play inspired me to play drums and make music.
Martin – Ever since my late brother Mike gave me my first KISS record, I always wanted to be a musician. He saw how much I took a liking to music, so he kept feeding me with more and more artists, like Rush, AC/DC, Van Halen, etc.
Can you talk about how this band first came together? How did you come up with your band name? Was it difficult to settle on one name that described your music?
Martin – The band originally began in my parents’ garage, then later moved into their living room. At the time, it was me on guitar and my brother Josh on drums. (By the way, I want to tell you that my parents are saints! Having worked a full day of work, only to come home to the noise pollution my brother Josh and myself created, would drive anyone crazy.) So after a few years of making noise, we recruited Carlos to join us from an ad that he posted in the Recycler. We called him, he came down and jammed with us, and he never left!
Nieto III – The band name was a former singer’s idea, actually. After his departure from the band, we asked him if we could carry on using it, and he said he would be honored. So the name has stuck with us ever since then.
This May, you will release your latest EP called “Sleepless.” Can you talk about how this collection came together and what was the inspiration for these tracks?
Martin – For the past two years, we have written a series of music we feel best describes where we’ve been and where we are currently going as a band. That being said, we feel that, after going through several track discussions, these five songs really fit the tone of the EP.
What was it like working with producer Ryan Greene on “Sleepless”? Was it a little intimidating knowing all the well-known bands that he has worked with before?
Pinfold – Working with Ryan was a learning experience. He is a straight shooter, and is very experienced in what he does. I think the highlight for me was coming up with drum parts with Ryan, because he also plays drums, and it just worked smoothly.
Nieto III – It was great, He challenges you, and that made me a better musician…in fact, it made me better at everything.
Martin – Ryan is never intimidating and is a true pro to the art. One of many high points was just watching him multitask. He recorded and mixed the music simultaneously. It really was something else!
How do you think this band has grown since you first started making music? How has your sound changed from album to album?
Martin – Well, with everything, I feel it has to do with really polishing our craft. And that’s something that we have always paid attention to. This band has never plateaued…we’ve always kept challenging outselves and maturing as a band. That has been, and always will be, the formula of Harmful if Swallowed.
Tomorrow, you will release the first single from the EP called “Blame.” How did this song come together? What was it like making the music video for it? How creatively involved were you all with the video?
Martin – “Blame” is based on personal relationship experiences. I feel everyone can connect with its lyrical content on some level. As for the video, I can’t remember the last time we’ve had so much fun as a band! We all just worked so well together…
Pinfold – Shooting the video was a blast, mate. I loved being a part of it. I had a smile for days, and I can’t wait for you to see it!
Nieto III – I always love making music videos and working with other artists to make their vision come to life. I can’t wait for the next one!
I understand that you are currently working on putting together a tour. What can fans expect from one of your shows? Can you recall a favorite show of yours? What do you think makes a show for this band so special?
Pinfold – A tour is in the works, so watch out for it, mate. Expect to feel our energy through our new songs when we play them live!
Nieto III – My favorite part of touring is surprising the fans with what we’ve got up our sleeves next.
Martin – It’s hard to choose a favorite show, but one of my favorite shows was when we played a free holiday show at Universal CityWalk in LA for about 500 people. A lot of them had never heard our music before, but reacted like diehard fans. It was a blast!
What musicians continue to inspire your music? Is there anyone that you would all love to work with one day?
Nieto III – Musically, I like Visual Kei, Arabic, African, Latin, Indian music and musicals. All of those really inspire me.
Pinfold – To many to name, mate! (laughs)
Martin – I would love to work with Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), I’ve always been a huge fan of his work, and it would be an honor to work with such a talent on any level.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you all like to unwind from it all?
Pinfold – I like to just hang out with my wife and dogs when I’m not immersed in music.
Nieto III – When I’m not playing with the band, I travel the country, teaching anime drawing to kids and teens at libraries and schools. I am also writing my debut graphic novel right now.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Nieto III – I hope that Harmful if Swallowed can serve as an inspiration for any young musicians that are doubting themselves musically right now. Persistence and faith in yourself is key to pursuing your art!
Martin – For me, it’s making the connection with the listener musically and lyrically. That’s the key to it all, making that connection.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your music or the band?
Nieto III – Yeah…please go buy “Blame” on iTunes!