Interview by: Ezzah Rafique | Photo by: Alex Don | October 29, 2022
Ryan Green (vocals/guitar) & Walker Atkinson (bass) chats with HAZZE MEDIA about the HARBOUR band.
Hi! Thanks for your time, tell us a bit about who y'all are!
Ryan: We’re a 5 piece indie rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio. We formed in 2014 as old friends from high school, though we’ve undergone a few member changes as things started to become more serious. Today we’ve managed to put together our own cute little fan base all over the world, and we spend most of our time touring the country trying to play for everybody we can! Y'all are releasing a new single, Swimming In My Head, on November 4th correct? What did the creative process look like for this single?
Ryan: This song came together over the course of a couple weeks. It stemmed from an old idea, and once I wrote this chorus, I scrapped the old idea and built the song around this new chorus. I found that the melody was an earworm, which makes it a good candidate for a single in my eyes. Is there a backstory behind the song?
Ryan: Honestly? There’s really not. The chorus basically makes no sense, but I thought it was fun and I liked it, so I kept it. The verses came to me one night when I was struggling to fall asleep and my mind was racing, so I wrote about that. What would you want fans to take away from Swimming In My Head?
Ryan: I just want fans to enjoy blasting it aloud and singing along to it - and I definitely want them to come to shows and scream the chorus with me at the top of their lungs. It’s got this anthemic quality that I think will transfer over to being a great time at the live shows with the fans. If you were to describe Swimming In My Head to someone who has never heard your music before, how would you describe it?
Ryan: It’s a catchy, fun song with an energetic chorus that’s easy to sing along to. Definitely the kind of song you listen to loudly!
Walker: The song has a lot of the elements of indie rock but with a louder and fuller ensemble that sets it apart from the sound a typical indie rock band goes for. There's a lot of ear candy sprinkled in - from crowd vocals to interweaving guitar, vocal, and bass melodies. Y'all have two tours underway for this year, how has it been going so far?
Ryan: We’re through 3 of our 4 tours this year so far and they’ve gone better than we could have imagined. It was a bit daunting to think about going on a headlining tour at our size, and the fans really showed up and made us feel like we’re not just this little baby band from Ohio. It’s been really great, and we can’t wait to keep the van rolling and hit other cities to play for more people.
Walker: As far as touring goes, we're actually about to embark on our 4th tour this year - which is very, very exciting! It feels like every city has fans who are happy to see us and know most of the words our songs. There's not really a way to describe that feeling of seeing a total stranger sing your music back to you (or even alongside you). What inspired y'all to pursue music and come together to form HARBOUR?
Ryan: Nothing else in my life has ever brought me as much joy as making music and touring the country, getting to play those songs every night with my best friends. If there’s even a chance we can make this a long lasting career, then I’m putting all my eggs in that basket.
Walker: Most of us had been playing in other bands that were in the same scene as Harbour, and Ryan Green basically just slowly stole all of us when he needed a solid group to take on the road. We all ended up sticking around long term because we believed heavily in the music and momentum the band has behind it. Anything you can tell us about the upcoming album or any projects on your radar?
Ryan: As the only original member going all the way back to 2014, I can say without a doubt that I believe this album is our best work yet. We’re continuing to mature as songwriters, but doing so without losing some of the elements that give us that HARBOUR sound. So I’m very excited to share this album with everybody, and I hope y’all enjoy it!
Walker: The upcoming album, in my opinion, is our most exciting leap into making music thus far. It has the greatest amount of direct contributions from each member of the current band, whereas with previous records there was a lot of creative overlap with former members. This one feels like WE put it together, and also happens to contain some of our best work yet. I think when we're all in the same room playing it, there's a unique energy for these songs in particular that brings them to life.