How many young musicians on the island dream of striking it big, selling albums, striking record deals with industry giants, making videos on both sides of the Atlantic and performing in front of thousands of baying fans?
And, equally, how many can imagine walking away from all that in order to start again?
Harry Radford certainly can. At one point he was a singer with a teenage school band, and then he was taken onboard by up-and-coming UK thrash metalcore band ’Yashin’, which embarked on a seven year journey to the top of their tree.
After three albums, support slots alongside with some of the biggest bands in the world of rock and metal, including Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach, signing to Sony Records, appearances at huge rock festivals in front of tens of thousands of people and numerous European tours later, Yashin came to an end, and Harry has moved on to concentrate on a brand new project - one that brings him closer to home.
He has teamed up with long-time friend and musician Geoff Murphy to create ’Call Me Amour’, a group that is as far away from the frenetic, bombastic sound of his former band as you could get. Heavy guitars and thunderous drums have moved aside to be replaced by keyboards and electronica, and heavy metal has been replaced by something more melodic and commercial.
’This is totally different music, a different direction,’ said Harry.
’It’s kind of dark, haunting and electronic with guitars, but it still has a radio friendly, commercial appeal. It’s very melodic.’
Yashin’s first two albums, ’Put Your Hands Where We Can See Them’ and ’We Created a Monster’ won them armies of fans across Europe and beyond, and also won them a deal with Sony. But work on the third album stalled and, according to Harry, the band lost a lot of its momentum.
’We were one of the staples of rock and metal in the UK,’ he said. ’We got to 11 in the UK rock charts and played the big festivals, like Download, Sonisphere and so on. We were regularly playing to 1,300.
’But the last album took three years to release. The industry is a hard place to be in sometimes, and we took the brunt of it.
’We lost a lot of momentum, even though we signed with Sony. It was a very frustrating time for all of us, and it just changed us a lot, and I fell out of love with the type of set up we had. I love them all still, but felt it was time for a change.’
He added: ’I thought that I could either invest the time to get us back to where we were or I could just do it myself with other musicians and a different style of music.’
Harry returned to his old stomping grounds on the island and hooked up with Geoff, someone he had admired for a long time when he still played regularly on the island.
Harry explained: ’One person I always looked up to as a songwriter was Geoff, who played in a band called Jacoba. I always really liked his writing and have always been friends with him.
’When I left Yashin, I knew he’d be someone I really wanted to write with. So I phoned him up and he was really up for it. At the moment we’re just practising and getting the band together.
’We are going to do a showcase in London for Sony and anyone else who wants to look at us and release an EP just after summer.
’There is a buzz growing about us. My old fan base from Yashin are all quite excited about it, which is cool, although it is still a while off until anything official is released yet.’
Despite all his experiences, he credits his teenage years, playing around the pubs with his friends, with turning him into the successful musician he is today.
’When I used to play in the Isle of Man, when I was really young, I used to play in a band called On A Friday,’ he said.
’The music scene then on the island was amazing. There was the Cornerhouse, Bushy’s Basement, the Traf, and great local bands, like Twisted Angels, Jacoba, Gratis 3, Back Door Slam. I became really good friends with loads of great people.
’That time on the island was so exciting and so fun. There was a genuine, really good music scene and people genuinely wanted to hear original songs.
’If I didn’t have that I really don’t think I would have had any of this, what I have now. It was really important for my career.’
by Mike Wade