Watch Ben Harper and Relentless7 Talk New Album "White Lies For Dark Times"

March 26, 2009 4:23 PM ET

Ben Harper and his new band the Relentless7 drop their blues-rock bomb White Lies for Dark Days on May 5th, so Rock Daily caught up the band when they hit New York's famed Electric Lady Studios for a WFUV performance (read more about the LP in our Spring Album Preview).

Harper tells RS that it was chance — and the H.O.R.D.E. tour — that guided him to his new band — and led to his heaviest album yet. When a runner for the 1998 H.O.R.D.E. tour asked Harper if he would listen to his band's demo, the "Steal My Kisses" singer was amazed by what he heard. He kept in touch with that band's guitarist Jason Mozersky and, after employing R7 for some tracks on 2006's Both Sides of the Gun, the deal was sealed.

"It's a sound I've been looking for and reaching for in my mind," Harper recently told Rolling Stone when we visited him and Relentless7 in the recording studio. "We've taken turns kicking each others' asses in the most gracious fashion, pushing this into new places." Check out the band's video for White Lies' first single "Shimmer and Shine" for a taste of the new places.

"It's absolute, unapologetic rock music," Harper told the Smoking Section. "It's rock music from the places that you want rock to be from. There's some Queen in there, and some Floyd-isms, and there's a good dose of blues and soul." In fact, the influence of James Brown and Otis Redding can be heard over the loud guitars on White Lies for Dark Times, bassist Jesse Ingalls said. For much more on the new album, and many more of the biggest LPs dropping in the coming months, be sure to check out our Spring Music Preview below:

Spring Music Preview: Inside 45 of the Year's Biggest Albums

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »