Harriet frontman Alex Casnoff wanted ample time to explore and refine the band’s sound without feeling bogged down by lengthy contractual obligations and confusing legalities. Harvest Records offered this sense of no-strings-attached support and freedom, and one year later, Harriet is finally ready to release their debut album.
Casnoff was never blindsided by the industry’s charming (yet usually deceptive) ways. Instead, Harvest set realistic standards by presenting a short-term agreement that the band could easily work with:
“These days, most labels don’t trust or believe in bands,” Casnoff explains. “It’s very hard to break bands, so they want to ‘own’ you for as long as possible. But if you believe in yourself, I think [that sort of deal] is not always the best option.”
Other big-name companies initially offered more money and perks, but Casnoff ultimately stuck with his gut:
“What really matters is that you feel a connection with the people, and that you can actually communicate [in] the ‘real’ way—not just in a schmoozy, ‘you guys are gonna be famous’ kind of way.”
“These days, most labels don’t trust or believe in bands.”
Harvest never forced Harriet to alter their unique sound in order to boost fame with a stereotypical hit single, but the band still managed to progress naturally, creating an even stronger bond and artistic connection between the four bandmates. The whole recording process took a good amount of time—three years, to be exact—but with very beneficial results:
“The time actually helped us to ‘find’ our sound. While it was frus- trating, difficult and anxiety-provoking, we all became better writers,” Casnoff says. “We were making better music and also learning how to play together as a band. I think things actually did [work out] for us as well as [Harvest].”
Harriet’s diverse management team also provided strong insight during this time of explorative change:
“I think we get different perspectives from all of them and that’s super helpful. They all have very different personalities, so they all view things differently.”
After two successful EPs in 2015, Harriet will release their first full-length album in January 2016.