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Take The Kinks, The Zombies, and a splash of The Hives, shake them gently, add some leather jackets, and you’ll get New York rock band Jeremy and The Harlequins. The five-piece is as rock’n’roll as it gets with their nostalgic, timeless sound (and sick guitar solos.)

Riding on the wave of their album ‘American Dreamer,’ I was able to speak with frontman Jeremy Fury about the Illuminati, the importance of shaving facial hair, and more.

NOISE POLLUTER: A harlequin is similar to a jester, correct? Why did you choose this name?

JEREMY FURY: There is this book series of esoteric sci-fi fiction called the 4th Realm Trilogy by an author named John Twelve Hawks. In it there are these special human beings called ‘travelers’ who can go through different spiritual dimensions. An illuminati-ish group tries to kill the ‘travelers,’ and the ‘harlequins’ are the heroic group dedicated to protecting the ‘travelers.’

NP: Your music undoubtedly has a sort of “retro,” classic rock and roll sound to it. Do you think of your style as more of a revival or a renewal?

JF: To me it’s just rock ‘n’ roll. To me it never left. Our goal isn’t necessarily to bring back the sound, which is what I think the term ‘revival’ refers to. It’s just to play music that we think is fun and exciting. It just so happens that right now what we’re doing isn’t what most other bands are doing right now.

I’m reminded of a few years ago when folk became popular again; everything from Edward Sharp, Iron & Wine, Mumford and Joanna Newsom. At the time it sounded out of left field and refreshing, but now five years later, it feels modern and mainstream. Relating that to what we are doing, hypothetically, if in five years there were to be a massive wave of bands inspired by early rock ‘n’ roll, doo wop, and rockabilly, the movement wouldn’t sound like an intended ‘revival’ or ‘renewal.’ People would just think of it as the modern sound of pop music.

NP: How do you distinguish yourself from all the other rock bands in New York City?

JF: We shave.

NP: What are the best and worst parts about being a band in such a dense city?

JF: The best thing is you’re in the best city in the world surrounded by amazing people to work with, amazing studios to record at, and amazing venues to play at. The downside is that because there are so many amazing people doing great things, it’s hard to get noticed. It’s also expensive and time is a valuable commodity.

I feel though that because it’s so difficult, it helps an artist raise the bar. A few years ago I was in a band based out of Ohio. While fun, we kind of had that big fish in a small pond thing. We had no room to grow, not because we didn’t want to, but because we didn’t know how to.

NP: What are some of your most memorable moments playing shows?

JF: When it feels right, it feels right. The most memorable moments are when I look at the crowd and know that they have nowhere else they’d rather be.

NP: What have you been listening to lately?

JF: Edith Piaf, Johnny Thunders, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Shannon and The Clams, and Sam Cooke.

NP: Describe your sound in three words.

JF: Shake, rattle, and roll!

 

Visit Jeremy and the Harlequins’ website HERE. ‘American Dreamer’ is now available on Spotify and iTunes.

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