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Metalcore Pioneers Harvest Return With ‘Our Legacy’ — Exclusive Premiere

Danielle Dombrowski

Originally formed in 1994, metalcore pioneers Harvest are back in action, set to re-introduce the core elements of the genre to a massive sea of fans led astray by today’s pale imitators. During their original run, the Minneapolis, Minnesota group released two critically-acclaimed albums for Trustkill Records and played countless DIY venues and festivals on their numerous tours. Even though their unique brand of metalcore served as a blueprint for a new generation of bands, Harvest broke up prematurely in the late ’90s.

Now reunited, Harvest are unleashing a new 7″ EP called ‘Years of Defiance, Years of Disgust,’ which will be released physically and digitally by the folks at Good Fight Entertainment. Even though the record doesn’t come out until August 2nd, Noisecreep has an exclusive premiere of the EP’s opening cut, ‘Our Legacy.’ We also spoke with Harvest vocalist David Walker-Lecic and guitarist Dan Zimmerman about the Minnesota music scene, the band’s breakup, and their future plans together.

Listen to ‘Our Legacy’ by Harvest

When people think of Minnesota’s music scene, they usually bring up Prince or the Replacements. How tough was it for Harvest to play there? Was it difficult finding venues that booked heavier bands?

David Walker-Lecic: There has always been a tremendous music scene in Minnesota, especially punk, hardcore and metal. There are roots that go much deeper than I’m able to remember. I’m only 38 years old and I’ve been listening to heavier music probably about 30 years, ever since my brother played me my first Dead Kennedys record. Bands such as Hüsker Dü really set the bar high for the music scene with their unique sound. The infamous guitar player Matt Henderson [Agnostic Front, Madball, S.O.S.) spawned from a great local band called Blind Approach which was one of my first local hardcore shows in '85. They were truly awe-inspiring and from there I followed local heavy bands into varying venues such as Prince's own 1st Avenue & 7th Street Entry, and numerous houses and VFW halls.

Music and DIY venues have always been a part of the scene for as long as I can remember. They took place in the Twin Cities and many other towns throughout Minnesota. It wasn't uncommon to find yourself in the middle of a cornfield watching Iceburn or driving an hour and a half to a small town to see the local, early '90s bands like Downside, Reach and Bloodline. Harvest was a little [bit of a] different sound and it took a while for people to catch on. But we loved what we were doing and never really bothered to concern ourselves with what people wanted; only what we expected out of ourselves.

Dan Zimmerman: I always loved the fact that Minnesota’s music scene was a smaller, tight-knit, open scene. It was great to see a scene that wasn’t closed off to other styles of music. For example, I remember a show sometime in the winter of ’95 or ’96 that had three totally different bands: Disembodied, Code 13 and The Promise Ring. While we were at the show, someone broke my friend’s car window to steal our coats and we had to drive home freezing for nearly an hour in our t-shirts, but that’s another story.

What brought on the split in the first place?

DWL: In essence, it was all me. Harvest was amazing for me and it was a huge decision to say, I’m done. I guess I should have said, “I’m done for right now.” Regardless, during the last four years of Harvest, I had been working towards a career in graphic design. I had not really lived anywhere other than Minn. and had a great opportunity for a contract job in New York City. It was short-lived but I don’t regret the decision. Harvest, at that point, I believe ended on a great note and also with our best release during the ’90s. Almost everyone was cool with the decision and we all got to know and love The Hope Conspiracy out of it. Everything happens for a reason and I believe this next chapter is proof of that.

What did you do during your time away from the band?

DZ: At the band meeting where Dave announced his plans to move out east, I said that I still wanted to carry on with whoever else was interested. Eric decided to focus on his business [making fonts]. Adam [Patterson, drummer] and Jonas [Feinberg, ex-bassist] said they wanted to keep playing together. That was the birth of The Hope Conspiracy. Oddly enough, we ended up moving out east to Boston as Dave had intended. A couple of years later, Adam and I separated from The Hope Conspiracy. Adam joined the army and served in Iraq. I focused on audio engineering and ended up moving to Brazil with my wife. Everyone just kind of got caught up in life outside of playing constantly in a band. We’re all married and most of us have kids. It’s amazing how fast time flies by.

What brought on the reunion?

DZ: Towards the end of my time in The Hope Conspiracy, I wasn’t very close with the other members. So, in 2004, Dave and I talked about starting a band with good friends. Jon [McCaab, current bassist] joined us as well as Kevin Call [Comeback Kid] and Justin Kane [Disembodied, Martyr A.D.]. It was a great project called City of God, but it never really got off the ground due to us living all over the world. After the 2009 Burning Fight show in Chicago, Jim Grimes [one of the festival's organizers] said that he wanted to do another show with Harvest on the bill. That kind of lit a spark. Dave and I talked about doing a reunion show and also pushing forward with City of God. Even though we had always planned on moving City of God in a direction different from Harvest’s style, the songs almost always ended sounding like Harvest songs. Finally, I just said, “Why don’t we just carry on as Harvest?” Dave loved it. Jon and Adam were on board and Mike Duffy joined in.

Tell us about your plans for the rest of 2011.

DZ: We just recorded a new 7″ EP with new material. We’re doing a quick, intense tour in July starting in our hometown of Minneapolis, followed by additional Midwest, East and West Coast shows. After that, we’ll be focusing on writing material for a full-length album. We definitely want to play around the rest of the world, but our next tour might not happen until 2012. It can be tricky to schedule tours when we all have families and careers but we’re all excited to do whatever we can.

Harvest tour dates:

7/16 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club w/ Disembodied (final show)
7/17 Arlington Heights, IL @ Knights of Columbus
7/18 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
7/19 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon w/ Freya
7/20 New York City, NY @ Webster Studio w/ Burnt By The Sun (final show), SkyCameFalling & Torchebearer – presented by 1000KNIVES
7/21 Revere, MA @ Wonderland Ballroom w/ Death Ray Vision
7/22 San Diego, CA @ Che Café w/ Over My Dead Body
7/23 Santa Barbara, CA @ Sound and Fury Fest

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