Esteemed editor/writer/reporter, Fergus Inknose
interviews Loren Harder
I caught up with
Loren at his spacious home studio.
He was enjoying a rare moment
of relaxation between projects. I was able to ask him a few questions
about his new CD, his nearly 24 years of marriage and what the future holds.
Loren, your new CD, Family Man
is being played in 3 or 4 homes and maybe even a car stereo or two.
How did this phenomenal success come about?
Well, I think the big breakthrough was the review in The American
Parking Lot Attendant Magazine.
Shortly after that, the album began receiving heavy airplay
on KRUD the 13½-watt mega station serving the
Beemerville-Podunk metropolitan area.
The rest, I guess, is history.
Speaking of Beemerville and Podunk, a lot of people are
asking if Listening From Afar (My Hometown) is
a reflection of your own feelings towards your erstwhile hometown, Hillsbore.
yes and no. Its
more about my being able to understand how someone else would feel if
they felt a lot worse than I do.
Okay... So nobody who hears that song and happens to be from
Hillsboro needs to feel youre sending them some kind of message?
No, absolutely not, and not Beemerville or Podunk either.
Another question Ive been hearing on the street, (well,
not really on the street you know what I mean), what exactly,
It is the intricate and tedious process of hand-sewing
sequins on the Liberace suits I always wear when recording. I have
hundreds of hours in on this. Click
to see Liberace suit
My understanding was that it had something to do with computers.
kind of sequencing. Why
yes, in that case it means telling the computer what notes to play
and when to play them.
computer then proceeds to play a musical instrument?
Only after I click play.
This must be one talented computer.
Its quite a sight to see. I hope someday we can feature
it in a video. Of course, the real talent here is my son Tim. I
dont have exact statistics but I estimate for every 31½
minutes of actual use I get from the computer he spends approximately
3.78 hours fixing it.
Inknose: You mentioned
hundreds of hours. Did you really spend that much time on this album?
I was just joking about making my own Liberace suits. I
actually buy them at Great Plains Novelty.
to see Liberace suit again
But the hundreds of hours is quite accurate, although it
might actually be several
hundreds of hours. I didnt really keep track because I was
focusing on the music. You know, the music is what its really
all aboutnot the suits or the timeespecially for musicians.
Hence the dialog at the end of the CD about whether we
have time for this?
Exactly. If theres no time for music, well then,
whats the point of time?
Hmm, Ill have to think about that sometime. Lets
move on to...
Why polar bears and penguins cant see each other?
That sounds really interesting, but I was wondering if we
could talk a little bit about your new web site, SeedInSoil.com.
Oh yeah, its on the web at... (got a pencil?):
Seed... In... Soil...
Uh, Loren, this interview is going to be read on
the web site.
Well then, lets make sure everybody can find it.
Well, Ill bet most people dont know that you
dont have to type in those ws.
I think it sounds so much better to not say www
in front of every web address.
Dubyadubyadubya its a tongue twister and it
makes liberals agitated.
Yes, well, what would you say is the purpose,
or mission, of
this web site?
I dont know that thats something I would
say but I guess I could speculate, just for the sake of discussion,
as to what I would say if I were to say it.
What was the question again?
The purpose, or mission of your web site.
Oh, thats simple.
Its a place where people from all walks of life can take
a few minutes away from the harrowing, maddening, stressful demands
of the modern world and surfwithout getting wet...
...and come away with a sense of...
...a sense of... oh I dont know, something.
That was the hope of the Grants Committee at TVHFFIOTW, right?
Yes. I received a grant for $3.00 from the Von
Hoopledoople Foundation for the Improvement of the World
to start the site.
Are you looking for more grants?
Oh, I think sandstone, slate, obsidiantheyre all
nice too. Im really not too picky, although Ive heard
kidney stones are awful so Id probably want to avoid them.
Speaking of rock, (although Im not sure why)...
You were asking about granite.
No, I said, grants, but anyway, what style
or genre would you
use to describe your music?
Well, I wouldnt describe it as a genre
because Ive never been able to figure out how to pronounce
that word. If you pronounce it phonetically it doesnt make any sense.
Hmm, thats a tough one. You know, hairstyles come and
go, textiles change, turnstiles go round and round...
But musical styles are hard to pin down?
Would you classify your style as rock music?
Some of the really soft, gentle ballads might fit that
description, but I think the louder, more aggressive tunes would
probably keep the baby awake.
Lets talk about your
wife, Susanthe love of your life, right?
What would you say about her role in your songwriting career?
Delicious! That is absolutely the first word that comes to
mind. Especially the potato rolls. They are my favorite.
Once again, were at a disadvantage because this is a verbal
interview and so your not able to distinguish between homonyms and synonyms.
Oh, I love
the cinnamons! Yes, they
are my favorites! By the
way, that should have been youre, not your.
I stand corrected.
Please, sit back down, lets keep this informal.
Thank you. I so appreciate the gracious hospitality you have
extended in welcoming me to your beautiful home for this interview.
And I appreciate the gracious manner in which you have
conducted the interview.
Well seldom do I get to do an interview with a person of
your, shall I say, caliber, with whom I am able to so readily feel
such an, uh, affinity...
Well, of all the people to whom I have granted interviews,
youre probably the one Id most like to be interviewed by.
Im flattered. But it is no flattery for me to say that
of all the individuals I have interviewed in the last ten minutes,
you absolutely stand out as, as, memorable.
The memorabiliathat goes for me too. I am sure that
long after this interview is over I will...
What was the question?
No question. I was just musing on what a memorable interview
this has been. You know, you have a rare breadth and depth to your
way of thinking.
I have heard people say they marvel at the sheer spaciness of
Precisely. Why do you think that is?
Its a big universe. You cant begin to grasp it
all if you dont put some of that space into your headbetween
your ears, as they say.
Speaking of space, Im afraid weve used up all the
space we have for this interview. Thank you so much for taking the
time, I know youre extremely
busy these days.
My pleasure. And Im really not that busy.
Would you like to talk about how to make a splat
sound with a microphone and a Taco Bell fajita?
We didnt get around to recording techniques, did we?
Lets pick it up again some time. For now, thank you so
much for your hospitality, and this, this, whatever it is, is very tasty.
and grape jellymy own recipe.
its just great. Ill take the rest home for Elaine.
I hope she likes it. Give her my love. Oh, and give your dog
a pat on the head for me too.
Inknose is interim associate editor-at-large, emeritus, for the
He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker,
Saturday Evening Post, Martha Stewart Living, Fortune and
The American Parking Lot Attendant Magazine.
He has been published by The American
Parking Lot Attendant Magazine.
He has interviewed the likes of Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon,
Rich Little and Genghis Khan.
When hes not interviewing celebrity impersonators, he
enjoys collecting rare phosphorescent dung beetles with his wife,
Duchess and their dog, Elaine.
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