Interview with John Harris of Otherwordly Entity

By Mick Michaels

The Cosmick View: Hello, John and welcome to The Cosmick View/MBM Ten Pounder! Thanks for taking some time to chat with us!

CV: Describe your definition of the band’s sound and style and how does that definition uniquely describe the music?
John Harris: Have you ever gotten a bad concussion? Well, the first three seconds after you slam your head and your brain is just rattling, shaking in shock in the luminal space between awake and asleep where emotions feel pure and intense as the fear kicks in with the memory of what just happened...but if a band like Korn wrote the soundtrack…so, Queen of the Dammed?

CV: Today, everyone talks about artist and audience connection. Is such a level of connection actually achievable for an artist and if so, how have you made the connection to your fans?
JH: I think it's absolutely achievable, and I feel like we manage to do it. For us, it comes from genuine experiences and recognizing that we're all more alike than different.

CV: Is fan interaction an important part of the band’s inner culture?
JH: Incredibly so. We love to get out and meet fans, talk to them, hear their stories. It's an indescribable experience, a little awkward at first, but so amazing.

CV: Can a band truly interact with its fans and still maintain a level of personal privacy without crossing the line and giving up their “personal space” in your opinion?
JH: I think, at least for us, vulnerability is key to our material. Especially as a lyricist, we have to open up so much and wear our hearts on our sleeves. I think there are definitely boundaries to that, and establishing those boundaries is both difficult and necessary. But it's up to the band to do that. It's up to the fans to respect it, and I find that they usually do.

CV: Is music, and its value, viewed differently around the world in your opinion?  If so, what do you see as the biggest difference in such multiple views among various cultures?
JH: I absolutely love this question. I went to school for Anthropology and studied music in folklore, so I really appreciate the depth of this question. I think it's nearly impossible to truly answer that question without incredibly in-depth studies being done, but even within the general western culture that most of us participate in, we see music holding fundamentally different cultural significance in various subcultures. From pop, to hip-hop, to techno, to rock, we see that music falls into different roles in the psyche of day to day function. For example, we are considered a "numetal" band, so we largely participate in the metal subculture. Metal music is treated like a form of therapy. In fact, major studies have been done showing a correlation between metal fans and happiness leading us to theorize that angry and aggressive music gives the listener a safe opportunity to feel those negative emotions in a controlled environment, allowing those emotions to have a lesser hold over those listeners. In other styles, we see the opposite approach, using happiness to reinforce positive emotions. This is such an interesting topic, but I think very simply, it's too complex to put at a macro level and needs to be addressed on a micro level.

CV: Do you feel that a band that has an international appeal, will tend to connect more so to American audiences? Would they be more enticed or intrigued to see the band over indigenous acts because of the foreign flavor? JH: I think that might come down to genre. KPop? Yes, I would say that's accurate. Metal? Not necessarily.

CV: Has modern-day digital technology made everyone an artist on some level in your opinion? Have the actual lines of what really is an artist been blurred?
JH: I like to think there were never really lines defining art. I think art, at its core, exists to break those definitions. Performance art, visual art, craft, I think as soon as you try to say what "is" or "isn't," true artists just take that as a challenge.

CV: How would you describe the difference between an artist who follows trends and one who sets them?
JH: I think that comes down to motivation. If you're doing something because you love it, it doesn't matter if it's trendy or not. If you're doing it because it's trendy, well....

CV: Has music overall been splintered into too many sub-genres in an effort to appease fan tastes in your opinion? And has such fan appeasements, in actuality, weakened music’s impact as a whole by dividing audiences?
JH: This is a topic we hear a lot out there in the music world. My opinion, personally, is that it is largely by the fans and for the fans. It's a way to help find music more easily. I think we forget that we have access to an endless supply of music now, much more than we had back before the internet. So having so much more access means needing so many more categories. I think it's just natural.

CV: What can fans expect to see coming next from you?
JH: We're working on a new EP coming out this fall, but we're also about to play a bunch of live shows, including a show with Cold and a show with Psyclon Nine

CV: Thanks again John for taking some time and talking. It is greatly appreciated.
JH: Thank you for having us!

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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