Nai Harvest interview: Blowing Off Real Life

Nai Harvest talk music industry bullshit, band evolution, straightening out any doubts and next year's big touring plans.

Ben Smith

Date published: 25th Nov 2015

Image: Nai Harvest

Conjuring up a scuzzy ball of punk, Nai Harvest are an ever evolving two-piece making sweeping waves on the live circuit. Currently touring with JAWS, band members Ben and Lew have scaled the mountainous peaks of releasing a new album, touring the UK and playing the US in the space of a year.

Channelling a brisk and breezily paced shelling of gritty hook-heavy punk, the band's sophomore record Hairball moulds a sound true to their direction with plenty of heads hooked.  

Keen to get word on an imperious year for the livened two piece, we spoke to guitarist Ben Thompson and briefly drummer Lew Currie to get the bigger picture from a band who've got it all coming together for 2016. 

With two albums already to your name, do you feel that you have put yourself in good stead to really push on against the bands that are trying to take on the world with a few EPs? 

Writing an album is a massive learning curve, and we don't really class Whatever as an album, but more of a collection of early songs.

But yeah, I think having more material for people to get stuck into is a good thing. It weirds me out when I see a band with two singles out playing Glasto.

It's like, something isn't right here, it feels like the industry is just paying for that band to be out there, which is totally bullshit and sad. That's why the best bands always stay smaller. 

It seems as though Nai Harvest are constantly evolving their armoury for the live stage, was it always your intention to veer between scuzzy alt-rock to punkier cuts to broaden your appeal?

We've always just wanted to write whatever comes out. A lot of two piece bands just write the same song over and over again, and we never want to do that.  

We find that British DIY bands are increasingly being drafted out to the US, how was your experience and why do you think that is? 

The US is great to us and I wish we could tour there more! Festivals like CMJ & SXSW are really good ways of showcasing new bands from overseas. 

Next year we really wanna do a full US tour, it's on our priority list! 

Heading to another corner of the world, Lew we hear you're from Middlesbrough, ever fancied ripping up Uncle Alberts or pitching up at the Empire?    

Bloody hell, not heard Uncle Alberts for ages! I've played those places when I was younger in other bands and it's always nice to play Boro. Definitely wanna try and do a show there before but we've just not had the chance yet. 

You're currently touring with JAWS, how did that link up happen and what have you took from the experience? 

Jaws are a cool dudes, they get what it's like to be punk kids in a pop band like us. We also share a few links in our 'teams' so this tour seemed like a really good way for us to end the year on a high.

You seem to have been veering between support and headline slots this year, will 2016 be the year that Nai Harvest sticks to being a headline force?    

We don't think veering is a bad think. Support slots with bigger bands we look up too are mates with help you gain a new fanbase as well as a perspective of what it's like to play big venues and deal with all the shit that comes with it. 

We definitely prefer headline shows, who doesn't?

Rest assured, we've got a few very cool things already in the works for early 2016. A headline tour included.

It's fair to say Nai Harvest has enjoyed a formidable year, but what would be your personal high from it?  

Putting our debut album Hairball out was a big thing for us of course. Also our UK headline tour and US shows were really special and threw any doubts we had about our band out of the window. Here's to another year of blowing off real life! 

Nice one Ben!

UK tour dates with JAWS below: 

Liverpool - 02 Academy, Monday 30th November 

Cambridge - Cambridge Junction, Tuesday 1st December (check)

London - Barfly Camden, Thursday 3rd December 

Leicester - 02 Academy, Friday 4th December 

Hitchin - Club 85, Saturday 5th December 

Guildford - The Boileroom, Monday 7th December 

Brighton - The Hope and Ruin, Tuesday 8th December 

Southampton - The Joiners, Wednesday 9th December 

Falmouth - Mono, Friday 11th December 

Bristol - Exchange, Saturday 12th December 

Cardiff - Clwb Lfor Bach, Monday 14th December 

Oxford - 02 Academy, Tuesday 15th December 

Birmingham - Hare and Hounds, Wednesday 16th December 

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