First chapter for new band

2016-03-22 06:00
The Jimm Harrison Project will perform songs from their debut album in Claremont on Monday.  PHOTO: Vetman design and photography

The Jimm Harrison Project will perform songs from their debut album in Claremont on Monday. PHOTO: Vetman design and photography

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Fresh from the launch of its debut album, the Jimm Harrison Project is hard at work writing the first chapter of the band’s musical history.

The Cape Town band is made up of Jimm Harrison on guitars and vocals, Die Keyser on drums and Johan van Riebeeck on percussion. They released Chapter One earlier this month, describing their music as “alter-rock-acoustic-blues”.

The band got its start in 2014 when they were contracted by Bright Idea Studios which was looking for a young, up-and-coming act to record.

“We were their project,” Jimm explains.

They started working on Chapter One in December that year, with the album being completed in February, just one month before its official release.

Jimm explains that he and his bandmates are very positive people and the result is an album of mostly uplifting songs.

“We write about positive experiences in life, the people we’ve met and the places we’ve been.”

They’ve released the album together with what they call their “faceless campaign” – based on a concept Jimm came up with while working on his Honours thesis in Brand Management.

The proposal saw Jimm interview strong influencers in the Cape Town music industry with the aim of determining “how to brand a musical product in Cape Town”. His main take-away was: “Be different.”

The band members have been wearing masks for their publicity photos, but the album is their way of removing their masks by putting their emotions into their music – something they did physically at the launch.

The Jimm Harrison Project has strong blues influences, which Jimm says they use as a background to the album. Their classical influences helped them create a “pop sound”, making their music more “listener-friendly”.

Jimm explains using Chapter One as their album name: “I never want anybody to feel that they’ve seen the whole reveal of what Jimm Harrison Project can offer.”

They hope to use their albums as an exploration of their sound journey.

“Every time we get together we’re making progress and I don’t think we’ll ever be satisfied with the final project.”

“Maybe next time you meet us we’ll be playing alternative rock pop opera,” Die Keyser jokes.

For their first album though, the trio kept their songs “minimalistic, simplistic and acoustic”.

The band will be going into studio towards the end of this year to begin work on Chapter Two in which they hope to expand their exploration. The last song on Chapter One hints to what fans can expect of the next chapter.

Johan also points out that the band sounds very different live than it does on the CD. For a start, the album was recorded with a session drummer before he joined the band officially, but then again, Jimm says that’s pretty normal.

“What I like about our shows is that there’s always something extra,” he says. “It’s never the same thing.”

They want to keep their shows fresh and interesting to keep fans coming back for more.

Later in the year the trio will head out along the Garden Route and the West Coast with a tour to Pretoria planned for early 2017, but Die Keyser says: “In today’s industry you never know what could happen.”

“Maybe someone will put us on the radio and we’ll be able to tour nationally this year already: we’re up for the ride.”

At the moment though, their main focus is on gaining exposure, establishing their brand and performing as much as possible.

Music fans can catch the Jimm Harrison Project on Monday when they perform at the Barleycorn Music Club at Villager Football Club in Claremont at 20:00. Entrance (usually) costs R20 for members and R30 for non-members. V For more information about the Jimm Harrison Project and upcoming shows, visit www.jimmharissonproject.co.za where you’ll also find links to their social media platforms. Chapter One is available on iTunes.

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