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.

Inknose:  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?

LH:  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.

Inknose:  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.

LH:  Hillsboro?  Well yes and no.  It’s more about my being able to understand how someone else would feel if they felt a lot worse than I do.

Inknose:  Okay... So nobody who hears that song and happens to be from Hillsboro needs to feel you’re sending them some kind of message?

LH:  No, absolutely not, and not Beemerville or Podunk either. 

Inknose:  Another question I’ve been hearing on the street, (well, not really on the street— you know what I mean), what exactly, is “sequencing”? 

LH:  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

Inknose:  My understanding was that it had something to do with computers.

LH:  Oh, that kind of sequencing.  Why yes, in that case it means telling the computer what notes to play and when to play them.

Inknose:  The computer then proceeds to play a musical instrument?

LH:  Only after I click “play”.

Inknose:  This must be one talented computer.

LH:  It’s 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 don’t 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?

LH:  I was just joking about making my own Liberace suits. I actually buy them at Great Plains Novelty.  Click to see Liberace suit again  But the hundreds of hours is quite accurate, although it might actually be several hundreds of hours. I didn’t really keep track because I was focusing on the music. You know, the music is what it’s really all about—not the suits or the time—especially for musicians. 

Inknose:  Hence the dialog at the end of the CD about whether “we have time for this”?

LH:  Exactly. If there’s no time for music, well then, what’s the point of time?

Inknose:  Hmm, I’ll have to think about that sometime. Let’s move on to...

LH:  Why polar bears and penguins can’t see each other?

Inknose:  That sounds really interesting, but I was wondering if we could talk a little bit about your new web site, SeedInSoil.com.

LH:  Oh yeah, it’s on the web at... (got a pencil?):  Seed...   In...    Soil...    dot...    com.

Inknose:  Uh, Loren, this interview is going to be read — on the web site.

LH:  Well then, let’s make sure everybody can find it.  It’s Seed...  
[long pause]  Well, I’ll bet most people don’t know that you don’t have to type in those w’s.  I think it sounds so much better to not say “www” in front of every web address.  “Dubyadubyadubya”— it’s a tongue twister and it makes liberals agitated.

Inknose:  Yes, well, what would you say is the purpose, or mission, of this web site?

LH:  I don’t know that that’s 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.  [pause]  What was the question again?

Inknose:  The purpose, or mission of your web site.

LH:  Oh, that’s simple.  It’s 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 surf—without getting wet...

Inknose: [chuckle] ...and come away with a sense of...

LH:  ...a sense of... oh I don’t know, something.

Inknose:  That was the hope of the Grants Committee at TVHFFIOTW, right?

LH:  Yes. I received a grant for $3.00 from the Von Hoopledoople Foundation for the Improvement of the World to start the site.

Inknose:  Are you looking for more grants?

LH:  Oh, I think sandstone, slate, obsidian—they’re all nice too. I’m really not too picky, although I’ve heard kidney stones are awful so I’d probably want to avoid them.

Inknose:  Speaking of rock, (although I’m not sure why)...

LH:  You were asking about granite.

Inknose:  No, I said, “grants”, but anyway, what style or genre would you use to describe your music?

LH:  Well, I wouldn’t describe it as a “genre” because I’ve never been able to figure out how to pronounce that word. If you pronounce it phonetically it doesn’t make any sense.

Inknose:  “Style”, then.

LH:  Hmm, that’s a tough one. You know, hairstyles come and go, textiles change, turnstiles go round and round...

Inknose:  But musical styles are hard to pin down?

LH:  Exactly.

Inknose:  Would you classify your style as “rock music”?

LH:  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.

Inknose:  Lets talk about your wife, Susan—the love of your life, right?

LH:  The love of my life.

Inknose:  What would you say about her role in your songwriting career?

LH:  Delicious! That is absolutely the first word that comes to mind. Especially the potato rolls. They are my favorite.

Inknose:  Once again, we’re at a disadvantage because this is a verbal interview and so your not able to distinguish between homonyms and synonyms.

LH:  Oh, I love the cinnamons!  Yes, they are my favorites!  By the way, that should have been “you’re”, not “your”.

Inknose:  I stand corrected.

LH:  Please, sit back down, lets keep this informal.

Inknose:  Thank you. I so appreciate the gracious hospitality you have extended in welcoming me to your beautiful home for this interview.

LH:  And I appreciate the gracious manner in which you have conducted the interview.

Inknose:  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...

LH:  Well, of all the people to whom I have granted interviews, you’re probably the one I’d most like to be interviewed by.

Inknose:  I’m 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.

LH:  The memorabilia—that goes for me too. I am sure that long after this interview is over I will...  [pause]  What was the question?

Inknose:  [chuckle]  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.

LH:  I have heard people say they marvel at the sheer spaciness of my mind.

Inknose:  Precisely. Why do you think that is?

LH:  It’s a big universe. You can’t begin to grasp it all if you don’t put some of that space into your head—between your ears, as they say.

Inknose:  Speaking of space, I’m afraid we’ve used up all the space we have for this interview. Thank you so much for taking the time, I know you’re extremely busy these days.

LH:  My pleasure. And I’m really not that busy.  Would you like to talk about how to make a “splat” sound with a microphone and a Taco Bell fajita?

Inknose:  We didn’t get around to recording techniques, did we?  Let’s pick it up again some time. For now, thank you so much for your hospitality, and this, this, whatever it is, is very tasty.

LH:  Tuna and grape jelly—my own recipe.

Inknose:  [gag]  Well it’s just great. I’ll take the rest home for Elaine.

LH:  I hope she likes it. Give her my love. Oh, and give your dog a pat on the head for me too.

 

Fergus Inknose is interim associate editor-at-large, emeritus, for the Beemerville Banner-Bugleblower.  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 he’s not interviewing celebrity impersonators, he enjoys collecting rare phosphorescent dung beetles with his wife, Duchess and their dog, Elaine. 

 

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Hundreds of hours to make!

Liberace suit - worn only during recording sessions

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