How Harmony Drive Went From Metal to Melodies

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Metalheads-turned-acoustic rock/pop stars is not a musical transformation you hear of very often. But in the case of Norwegian rockers Harmony Drive, this metamorphosis was natural, necessary, and welcomed.

 Harmony Drive.

Harmony Drive.

Harmony Drive’s story started long ago, when the three members, Lars Erik Schjerpen (vocals/piano/guitar), Andre Myhren (guitar), and the epically-bearded Vidar Braun (bass/supporting vocals) met in Southern Norway, before settling back in Oslo.

In 2011, the band formerly known as 'Metal Heads With Broken Hearts' decided to make a change with their music, focusing more on acoustic riffs, colorful harmonies, and beautiful pop structures. They wanted to move away from the hardcore metal aesthetic that followed them then. And so, Harmony Drive was born.

 HD at The Spot Studios.

HD at The Spot Studios.

In 2012, Harmony Drive released their first single, “Something’s Wrong”, which was mixed by producer Rich Veltrop from The Spot Studios. The hit song received high rotation in the US, and even made its way to number 11 on the Philippine radio charts without ever having been released in the Philippines. This was the first song from Harmony Drive’s debut album, aptly titled from their former band moniker, Metal Heads With Broken Hearts (2014). The band collaborated with Rich Veltrop once again, and drummer Dave Elitch (The Mars Volta, M83, Killer Be Killed) to create the album.

Since then, the band has toured worldwide, making friends wherever they share their music. But even with countless performances in various countries, the guys shared their most memorable performance, which took place after a show in Hope, Idaho:

“We met these beautiful fans, and they told us we had to come back with them. We rode on a boat, barbequed, and sang ‘House of the Rising Sun’; it was amazing. We love playing intimate gatherings. We love playing for people, but when we don’t play for so many people, we get to connect. When you connect, then you can talk about music, and values in your life. We’re so grateful we get to experience this whole part of the gig.”

The guys of Harmony Drive embody artistry, perseverance, and playfulness. With their art comes the partying, but it also comes with the beautiful mindset about the connectedness of life, music, and people. Their passion for creating hard-hitting music that also carries a sincere softness is clear, but their general passion for the craft is what shines through the most. The album Metal Heads With Broken Hearts leaves much to anticipate, as it offers so much for a lover of memorable harmonies, gentle acoustics, and grunge-like vocals. A few of my personal favorites from the album include “Something’s Wrong”, “Remember”, “The Last Song”, and “Chan”.

Watch the making of “See You” at The Spot Studios:

Harmony Drive is about to release the official music video for their newest track, “See You”, on September 30th, and will release another song, “Be There”, in the Philippines soon after that. Check out the exclusive sneak peek into the making of “See You” at The Spot Studios above, and be on the lookout for the band’s upcoming announcements. You definitely don’t want to miss out on what they’re bringing to the table.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.