Printed in Rock Sound June 2011 issue 148. CHECK IT!
STILL RADFORD FROM THE ROCK
Working on his aerobic fitness so he can battle through Yashin’s hectic summer schedule, Harry steps off his treadmill in Ramsey to spare a few minutes.
After recently completing a non-stop 16-day tour of the UK, Yashin’s lead singer, Harry Radford, is gearing up for what promises to be an exciting summer. The band is set to support the famous Papa Roach and play at several leading European summer festivals (TBC) in order to secure that lucrative record deal.
Young front man, Harry, oozes an abundance of charisma, passion, motivation and sheer talent. All of which have enabled him to break away from the Isle of Man’s ring-fenced shores, where many talented bands and musicians struggle to ever escape.
The American-born, 21-year-old nomad, moved all over the globe in his younger years, from the sunny shores of Key West Florida to the Isle of Man’s craggy Langness coastline. The Manx shores, visible from his boarding house at King William’s College, provided no obstacle for Radford who had his sights set on the big time.
“I was born in Key West Florida but I moved all over the United States, with stints in New Jersey and New York, before moving to Singapore for a couple of years,” explains the well travelled musician who now loves going on tour with the band.
Where he now calls home, the Isle of Man, is where Harry’s music career began, with powerpop punk band, On A Friday, which he formed at the age of 15, with several school friends. The band reached their peak in 2008 while touring the UK, just before several key members left to continue their studies at university, a road Harry had no intention of going down.
Following his heart, Harry earned himself a place at the prestigious Paul McCartney Performing College, in Liverpool, despite having some initial doubts relating to his academic credentials. However, after successfully beating 29 other applicants who auditioned to be Yashin’s lead singer, he dropped out of college after three months and embarked on a journey into the unknown with the considerably older Scottish band members.
Yashin guitarist Paul said: “When our previous lead vocalist left we held auditions because we were keen to carry on going. Harry stood out by a mile – we’re a very powerful band on stage and we needed someone with Harry’s energy. “
The self-confessed loud and outspoken lead vocalist knows what he wants. His drive has lifted the band to greater levels of success, more than doubling their mediocre average crowd of 200 to a respectable 500. However, it looks like things are about to really kick off for Yashin. “We have a number of summer festivals lined up across Europe this year, which I can’t reveal right now due to politics within the industry, but we should be performing in tents that hold up to 7,500 people. I don’t usually get nervous,” said Harry confidently.
Harry, who bathes in the spotlight when on stage in front of enormous crowds, clearly has a passion for these big summer festivals. “One of the best days of my life was when we played at a festival called Stage Dive Day Out in Sweden. It was my first outdoor festival. We got to play alongside Millencolin, one of my favourite bands, as well as We Are the Ocean and Enter Shikari, who are equally awesome. We hung out with all of them and we’re now close buddies with We Are the Ocean,” he said.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Harry as he and the band have been through some real low points. “Life’s pretty cool at the moment but there’s always dark days. I remember being in Italy in a van in the summer with no money and spending two days sweating it out in this heap while I had tonsillitis. We had to cancel two shows,” said a Radford reminiscing on the bad times.
When everything isn’t rosy in Harry’s life there is always someone Harry can rely on. “My girlfriend lives in Sweden and she’s the lead singer of Tantrum To Blind,” he explained. The classic Swedish girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, who Harry has been dating for several months, has seen some of Harry’s largest shows to date and is a big part of his life. They regularly travel around Europe together, on and off tour and are extremely supportive of one another’s work. With support from those close to him and those who mosh their heart’s out at his gigs, Harry is sure to go far.
Harry believes Yashin have attained levels of success worthy of a record deal and is confident that Yashin will have been signed by a record label by the end of the summer. This could be his ticket to the big time.
SCHOOL PEERS DISH THE DIRT
I spoke to three of Harry’s closest friends who dish the dirt on a seemingly flawless lead singer.
James: “The fact that he was so determined to make music his career, and is not motivated by the money and fame of it all. He is able to block out a lot of exterior problems and just focus on his singing and the music.”
How has he changed from the days of On A Friday?
David: “He has matured as a musician, due to those around him and the opportunities that have risen in front of him.”
What did he excel in at school?
Alexander: “Not much…! English was his strong subject but his passion was always music and in particular singing. He’d be writing lyrics at the back of the classrooms. The two of us actually sneaked out of the boarding house and onto a plane to watch Panic at the Disco in 2005, which epitomises his ethos. School was just a fall back to his music career.”
David: “Apart from his music he is the single most lazy person the planet has ever seen. Morning to him is 4pm. He’s also the most the most disorganized, forgetful, messy person around… tidying to him is wiping his arse after shitting.”
Most embarrassing moment?
Alexander: “Probably playing his first rugby match; Where he used to run in front of me whenever I got the ball and proceed to “block” people from tackling me. The anger and shock on his face when the referee informed him that the rules were dissimilar from the American game was priceless.”
PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM
The first album Harry worked on with Yashin, Put Your Hands Where I Can See Them, was released this time last year and has brought the band unprecedented levels of success with 10 fresh new tracks.
The album has a get-up-and-go edginess that is ushered home through energetic, catchy tracks that see Harry go head-to-head with Kev Miles, the other lead vocalist.
Harry has brought the band a poppy vibe that compliments their hardcore sound and ultimately leaves the new album sounding a lot more mainstream to the extent that it doesn’t sound out of place when played on Radio 1.
Harry said he is chuffed with the whole album but admitted to having a certain soft spot for Let It Go and Get Loose!
Printed in The Miniature Music Press April 2011 issue 19.