California, United States
In a hostile sea of disposable, throwaway singles, Ben Harper and the
Relentless 7 have made a true album. White Lies For Dark Times is a timeless
rock record, with a cohesive collection of music that is as raw, unrelenting
and thunderous, as it is arrestingly haunting and emotional.
On the raucous opening track, "Number With No Name," Harper
bellows "the very thing that drives you -- can drive you insane" over
an infectious guitar line and a deftly serious groove that both thumps and propels
the listener. The band then brings the listener full circle in the closing
track "Faithfully Remain," as Harper sings, "the truth just
wastes away in all we can't explain, but I faithfully remain." The beauty
of these lyrics works as a breathtaking release which balances out the anthemic
urgency of songs such as "Shimmer and Shine" and "Up To You
Now," both of which are surely soon to be familiar staples at radio.
This is American rock, the way it is supposed to sound and feel.
In what may possibly be the greatest "how the band formed" story
ever, Harper met guitarist Jason Mozersky in the late nineties, when the lead
singer of Mozersky's then band, Wan Santo Condo was working as a van driver
shuttling bands back and forth to the venue for a Texas promoter. (The three
members of the 7 all hail from Texas)
The part time driver, part time musician took a risk that all artists must take
at some point in their lives in order to succeed. He asked the then captive Ben
Harper, "Can I play you my demo?" Harper obliged, and in his own
words "was blown away," and helped the band secure a record deal and
release the self-titled Wan Santo Condo / Everloving Records, 2004. The band
broke up after one record, but what survived was a lasting friendship between
Harper and Mozersky.
In 2005, Harper began recording sessions that would become a double record
entitled Both Sides of the Gun (2006, Virgin Records). He invited his now long
time friend Mozersky to lay down some guitar work on a track. Upon invitation
to continue recording the next day, Jason arrived at the studio with longtime
friends, drummer Jordan Richardson and bassist Jesse Ingalls. The session would
spawn not only the song "Serve Your Soul" but the framework for
In the summer of 2008, the chance arrived for these four uniquely talented
members to reunite in the studio and dig deeper into the chemistry that was
born during the Both Sides of the Gun sessions. It was soon apparent that their
instincts were correct as the record quickly began to take shape. The songs
from White Lies For Dark Times sound off with both the vast musical depth and
experience of Harper, while commanding the pure urgency and intensity of an
unknown band fighting for its life. .
In November 2008, the band debuted their new material on the Vote For Change
Tour, where they also breathed new life into the Queen/David Bowie classic
"Under Pressure," which has since become a staple of their live set.
They ended the year cutting their teeth with a series of small club shows from
famed venues such as Spaceland and The Mint in Los Angeles, to The Mercury Lounge and
Kenny's Castaway in NYC. The band is scheduled to tour extensively across the
world in 2009.
Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 intelligently has one foot in Harper's past
while every other limb and appendage reach towards the future. Any
preconceptions or misconceptions in regards to a "Ben Harper sound"
must now be adjusted, or thrown out all together. With Ben Harper and the
Relentless 7, the story of modern rock music is now being rewritten.