Flashback: Harris

Perhaps one of the most memorial and loved bands from the Lowell area (aside from the Shods) would be Harris. They were so revered throughout, they found success both in the Boston scene while still often seen rocking out in the Lowell area on a regular basis. The band carried their music to tours throughout the U.S., Canada, and even to Europe. Their catalog of music was extensive and contains some of the best songs and albums to come out of Lowell.

Harris was formed by vocalist/bassist Mike Nastri and guitarist Matt Scott in 2000 while they attended UMass Lowell. The band was rounded out with several other members during the life of the band between 2000 – 2009 with the addition of drums (Rob Blatt 2000–2002, Rob Lynch 2002–2009), keyboard (Andrew Sutherland 2000–2003, Jim Reed 2003–2009), and additional guitars (Mike Seluk 2000–2002, Jon Day 2002–2009).

Harris released one EP after another in its first 4 years of existance, namely: The Early Year (2000), Live: Long Beach Arena, March 7, 1987 (2001), The Hottastic Sessions (2002), and New Morning Pulse (2003).

It’s that last EP I want to take a moment to especially recognize. For me, this a pinnacle moment of Harris. This was the EP which took the band from good, to great. Perhaps it was because this was the release when I first got into Harris, but from a historical point of view, this was also the point where the band solidified what would become its lineup for the the majority of the band’s existence. With amazing songs such as “Tip of My Tongue”, “Literal”, and “Selling Dirt to Deadbeats”, it’s a damn shame I was unable to find a place I could embed a stream of this EP into this article. Maybe one day I’ll upload such things online (assuming permission from band members of course).

After an array of EPs, Harris independently recorded, produced, and released their only full-length album, The Light Is Seeping Through the Cracks, in 2005. While again, a stream of this album could not be located, there was a music video for one of the most notable songs on the album “Carousel” conveniently found on YouTube which is shown below. It’s actually a very creative and innovated video perhaps made in hopes of launching the band into more national recognition. This, along with extensive touring, and the split Tales from the Split, Vol. 1 (2007) with French band Spudgun, shows the band may have had greater ambitions than what Lowell or even Boston could offer.

However, due to the members’ increasing family and career obligations, Harris went on a permanent hiatus after their final release Snake Says Woof (2009) which can be streamed below. Though the band “disbanded”, they never truly broke up in a traditional sense often leaving the door open for random reunion shows (beginning in 2011) whether to celebrate anniversaries like in 2014 or to play a goodbye show to the club TT the Bears in 2015. Will we see Harris reunite again in the future? Just give them an excuse. Seriously, someone give them an excuse, it’s been 3-years too long. – Joel Gray