Brantford’s Harbour is a up-tempo, easy-going pop-punk band. The guys are about to tour Japan in promotion of their CD “Grade School Summer”, and had some time to talk with The Sputnik’s Matt Burley before they played at Brantford’s WTFest. Harbour is comprised of singer and bassist Jamie Mittendorf, Henry Dowling on guitar, Josh Bombay on drums and Mike Beilawski on guitar and vocals.
Matt: So how’d you guys meet? Were you all friends before hand?
Henry: Yeah we all grew up in the same music scene playing in the same bands, it all kind of came together in early 2012. A few of our bands broke up and we had the right members come together and we were finally able to play with the people we wanted to.
Matt: So you started initially because all your other bands broke up?
Mike: We’re all friends, thats a pretty important piece of it too.
Henry: Theres difficulties with each. There’s been lineup changes and I guess finding the right people to mesh with is one of the hardest things about being in a band I’d say. So it’s finally working out.
Josh: When we started the band, we wanted to do something different because at the time everyone sounded the exact same, and we wanted to stand out and be different and bring pop punk back to what it was in the ‘90s.
Matt: I saw that on your page you define yourselves as “shitty pop punk”. That was pretty funny, gave me a laugh.
Josh: Bringing it back to American Pie times.
Matt: Who would you say some of your influences would be?
Jamie: Anything from Blink 182, Green Day, Rufio.
Josh: Rufio all the way.
Henry: Pretty much anything we grew up listening to, highschool pop punk, “Big Shiny Tunes”.
Matt: So you were originally from Brantford and moved to Toronto and then moved back?
Mike: Kind of the other way around.
Jamie: When we started the band most of us were living in Toronto at the time but were originally from the Brantford area and we ended up all moving back.
Henry: Just over time, it wasn’t a group decision or anything.
Jamie: We say were from Toronto so our international fans know were from the Toronto area, but we’re all born and raised in Brantford, and Paris.
Matt: So did your perspective change at all about Brantford after the move?
Henry: Not really. Honestly we’d go there (Toronto) to see shows of other bands so it doesn’t feel like it’s that far away.
Josh: Brantford’s home, as shitty as it is.
Matt: Eh, home’s where the heart is. How does it feel to be performing with big names like Lights and Hedly? Are you excited?
Henry: Oh yeah, we’re fans of a lot of these bands so its an honour to be up there.
Jamie: This is definitely one of the biggest shows we’ve played so far so, we can’t wait.
Matt: Have you played with any other big names?
Jamie: We’ve played with Hawthorne Heights, Four Years Strong, Hit the Lights, State Champs, Swellers, Reset, a few more.
Mike: Not too bad.
Dillon: So you guys are going to Japan right away?
Josh: Yeah, in August. It won’t be real until were on the plane going “somewhere else to play shows”.
Dillon: How was that set up?
Henry: Basically right after we released the video for “Grade School Summer”, we were contacted by a Japanese record label and CD sales have kind of picked over there the past year. This record company approached us about coming over there. We said yes!
Jamie: Yeah we’re on the same label in Japan as Anti – Flag, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s.
Matt: Did you guys always envision yourselves in music?
Henry: Not when we started the band. When we started we were like “lets do this for fun”. We weren’t set out to get signed, to get huge. Everybody wants that who plays music but we’ve definitely worked hard to get where we are but not for the sake of making it big. It’s because we love the band and not for fame and fortune.
Josh: Everything that’s happened within this last year has been so surreal. We never asked for it, it kind of just happened and were all just lucky as hell.
Matt: What are some jobs that you’ve worked before forming Harbour?
Josh: I still have a job, I work at Ford Motors.
Jamie: I sell cars for a living. It’s not bad.
Mike: I drive a forklift. And I also work in a kitchen so that’s exciting. All my time’s taken up by either working or the band. It’s cool.
Henry: I work up North working construction. I’m super into design and architecture so it’s right up my alley.
Matt: That’s cool that you have legitimate jobs and can pull off running the band, it must be difficult. What’s your favourite song off the album?
Mike: I’m a big fan of “Untitled”. It’s our last song.
Henry: I like playing it the most but I feel like its the go to one. I’d say “Hack It” or “Someone like you”.
Matt: What does Harbour have planned for the future?
Mike: Well, definitely Japan, then when we’re back we want to come together and work on a full length.
Henry: We’ve been in and out of the studio working on a two song EP that we’re hoping to do a split with Yeah Detroit, a band from the UK. It’s not for sure but we’ll see how that pans out, it’s pretty set to happen right now.
Matt: Awesome, thanks so much.