Interview: James Pligge Of Harm's Way
Don't miss out this January when the heaviest tour of 2019 hits Australian shores with Harm's Way (USA) returning on their new album 'Posthuman' with support from NSW's finest in Honest Crooks. Harms Way's metallic hardcore has won them fans on four continents; their reputation for delivering blistering sets cannot be overstated, and their timely lyrics about struggle, personal growth and self-awareness leave a lasting impression upon any listener. Having grown with each subsequent release, 'Posthuman', their fourth full-length - and Metal Blade Records debut is out now! We got to chat with vocalist, James Pligge, while they were travelling in a tour van heading from Melbourne to Adelaide.
First of all James, how was the UNIFY Festival? Was it a good experience?
Yeah we had a really good time, it was kinda funny, cause when I first heard about UNIFY festival I thought it would actually be in Melbourne, like the city itself, but we came to realise that it's actually in the middle of nowhere. So it was really cool to see a lot of our friends and a lot of bands travel to this far away place, and it was a pretty good turn out, so it ended up being pretty fun.
Were there any bands on the lineup that you stumbled upon and were surprised with or any that you wanted made sure you didn't miss out on?
To be honest, I think Turnstile and Every Time I Die were some of the bands that we really like and we're friends with some of those guys from back home in the United States, so we tried our best to see those guys perform. But unfortunately we had to leave before Every Time I Die had a chance to play because they started at like 11:40pm and we had to get up early and drive to Adelaide for our next show. But yeah, we were able to see Turnstile which was cool.
It's a bit different to most festivals, did you find yourselves fitting in well and having fun?
Yeah absolutely, I thought we were pretty well received with everyone there, even though we were probably one of the more unique bands on the lineup. But people seemed to be into it, so that was cool.
Have you formed an opinion yet on Australia yet? How's the hospitality been towards you guys so far?
It's been really great, we had an Airbnb for our time at UNIFY which was really nice. We had a bunch of good beds and we were able to kind of settle in from our long flight which was nice. Then last night in Adelaide we just stayed at a motel and we've been treated really well, as far as accommodations and food is concerned, it's all been really great so far.
Your latest album Posthuman ended up being a big success for 2018, heaps of positive reviews and it ended up on a lot of AOTY lists. Almost 12 months later, do you think it stacks up as one of your best releases?
Oh absolutely, it's definitely one of the releases that I'm most proud of and I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of time we took to create the record. It took about 2 and half years to put all of the songs together and to go back and revise a lot of the stuff. After we were signed to Metal Blade we knew we had a pretty nice budget to work with someone that we wanted to work with, so we decided to go with Will Putney which was a really awesome experience. We were able to stay in his studio for about 2 and a half weeks, which is a much longer time than we had ever been able to record. So we were really able to work on things and spend a lot of time learning and getting it done properly, and also get the sound that we wanted. It was pretty much the best case scenario for the record and I think that the final product is something that we're all really proud of. Musically I definitely think that it's our best record, performance wise, lyric wise, I think that they artwork is also the most unique pieces of art that we've used for an album cover as well.
A lot of people listen to Harms Way to release anger, to find strength, to get through tough times, what do you listen to when you want to blow off some steam?
A lot of the music that I've been listening to lately is a little more depressing, some of the records that come to mind are Beck's Sea Change, that's a record that I listen to when I'm feeling down. It's very depressing but it's also very real. But as far as heavy music goes, I definitely would go with All Out War's Condemned To Suffer as one of my favourites. I put that on when I'm feeling angry or wanting to blow off some steam, whether I'm at home having a rough day or at the gym hitting the punching bag. I always try to listen to a bit of harder music such as All Out War, Hatebreed, 100 Demons, all of those bands are ones that I listen to when I'm angry but it definitely varies depending on how I'm feeling.
With UNIFY done and dusted and few more shows left while you're in Australia, are there Harm’s Way-related plans for the remainder of the year that you can speak of?
Currently yeah, we are going to do some more tours but I can't really give out any of the information. Most likely we will be busy touring the States and also Europe, but there will definitely be some information regarding those tours and the bands that we'll be playing with pretty soon.
Written by Steve Jenkins