«Creating something that is open for coincidence and improvisation, something that can't be forced into a formal straightjacket. » That is the basis for new psychedelic combo Harvey Rushmore and the Octopus. Massimo Tondini (vocals and guitar), Jakob Laeser (drums), Jonathan Meyer (bass) und Stefan Cecere (keys) see the band as a place where they can process the ups and downs of life without having to spell everything out.
Harvey Rushmore is a fictitious Beat Generation character on a road trip, seeking to forget his fears, and to escape convention and deadly mediocrity. The jalopy he's travelling in might well be named Rusty James. It frees him from the suffocating grip of social pressure.
Songs like Darkside fit into this scene perfectly: cruising, mid-tempo, with a tambourine. Then the voice comes in, and the harmonica isn't far behind; Bob Dylan would approve. Or Beneath The Sun, with shimmering, distant vocals, rippling organ and a restrained beat. Six minutes and counting? Yes, please.
You're welcome. Octopus Ride, a stirring eight-minute piece with a resonant Sixties guitar, is «a gigantic octopus who conquers the world and destroys mankind to take revenge for the exploitation of nature». Images from B-movies and pulp novels come to mind, Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, invaders from space, vintage superhero comics, paired with the fascinating rawness of Iggy and the Stooges, the Doors, the 13th Floor Elevators, and Link Wray's primal twang; the music of Harvey Rushmore and the Octopus is driven by the power of the blues and the sweat of rock 'n roll.
The basic outlines come up on the road, find their way into the rehearsal room and the monster jam, and are gradually distilled into songs. Finally, they end up on the current album, The Night. And we're not talking about the hours between sunset and sunrise here, – too brief a timeframe for the galactic trip of yearning souls – but the eternal night of outer space.
«Octopus» had to be part of the band name. This short-lived, intelligent creature will not be locked up, can blend into its surroundings to the point of invisibility, is difficult to grasp, and invites all kinds of associations. Its meandering, sneakily floating and lightning-fast movements are emblematic of the music of Harvey Rushmore and the Octopus. The name of this four-piece couldn't be better chosen.