One of the best new bands in the darkwave genre to emerge over the past few years, is none other than Harsh Symmetry, who have recently transplanted to Los Angeles.
According to the band bio, “Harsh Symmetry is the synthesizer driven solo project of the California based musician Julian Sharwarko. Blending 1980’s punk and new wave influences with more contemporary genres like dark wave and minimal wave, Harsh Symmetry paints a refreshing and danceable picture while maintaining a good sense of revivalism.”
When I first heard Harsh Symmetry, I knew I wanted to see them live, out of the many bands on the Substance lineup here in LA last October. Meeting Julian for the first time backstage in person, it felt like meeting a young Ian McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen, or a young Robert Smith for the first time. His hair is that great, and he looks that cool.
The particular backstage area we were at for this interview at Substance, was not so much a backstage, as it was a private room with a cash bar and an adjacent industrial walkway area with a wobbly table and a few chairs. No privacy, crowded, and noisy.
Still, we did an interview, and I was glad we did. Harsh Symmetry is a great band live as well as in studio. Live, their guitarist rocked, Julian belted and crooned, mesmerizing the packed room of fans, and with the room feeling like a sauna, he quickly peeled off his leather jacket and shirt. The crowd went wild.
Near the end, they did a smashing cover of Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down” which was outstanding. The bands own cut “Mirror Twin,” which has racked up an impressive nearly half a million plays on Spotify, was clearly a crowd pleaser, yet satisfyingly, the entire set this night was great, and I knew I was seeing a star on the rise.
Check out the exclusive interview with Julian of Harsh Symmetry here below. for proper listening, play on good headphones with both earpieces in and the volume up.