Harry Katz Releases Dazzling New Retro Inspired Single & Video “Oh Yes!”
We sat down with deep throated comedy and surf swing singer, Harry Katz of Harry Katz & the Pistachios, and chatted about the debut single, “Oh Yes!” from their upcoming album. With nods to classics like Tom Waits and notes of Little Shop of Horrors, Harry Katz has carved out his own unique and fun loving style in the Los Angeles music scene.
Read the full interview below & scroll down to watch the song’s high energy music video.
1. What influenced your new song?
OH YES! is about affirmative consent. It’s a love song for the modern day. A song about saying Yes to what you want, about building rapport and trust. My relationship with the audience as they yell back OH YES really influenced the lyrics. I wanted to give them something they wanted to say yes to.
2. Describe your creative process while writing “Oh Yes”.
Like a lot of songs, it started as a shell of itself. There’s probably 3 or 4 completely different demos of it. When I sat down to do the final arrangement for the record, it became about taking the best of all those pieces, and discovering the hidden moments already in the song and bringing those into focus. I worked closely with Nick Crnko, who plays drums on the record, on the finalized vocal arrangements.
3. If you could have lunch with any musician – living or dead – who would it be and what would love to ask them? What would you talk about with them?
I’m not a crazy big deadhead or anything, but I once had a dream that Jerry Garcia was my grandfather, and he gave me such a loving hug. I would probably have lunch with him and tell him that story.
Or Richard Swift. His records are so amazing, and I would ask him how he’s doing, and ask him how he makes records.
4. What is the Los Angeles music scene like? Are there distinguished music communities there? Are you a part of one? How has it been affected by the Pandemic?
There’s so much great music in Los Angeles. From the SoCal Soul Scene, the indie rockers, the punks, the mods, the east side alternative bands, the west side prog rock, Blues, jazz, I mean there’s everything here.
Since I was a kid I’ve always put great effort into pulling different music scenes together mostly because I felt that The Pistachios didn’t fit in just one place. It’s always been difficult to pin down where we belong and I kind of like it like that.
I feel like scenes ebb and flow, people coalsease and then move apart. Right now, There’s so much great music coming out in Los Angeles. From just the musicians who play in the Pistachios there’s like 4 separate singles on the way that are all just amazing.
The pandemic felt like it stripped away all the pretension. Everyone I know making music right now is so genuine, so loving, so kind, and so extremely grateful. The Pistachios are part of a new complication coming out soon that is going to highlight a lot of our friends and the people who are still making music two years later.
5. Any plans for releases, shows, tours, etc. for 2022?
OH YES! drops on 2/22/22, with another single following closely behind. We have our eyes on a summer time release for the full record, but no date set yet.
In March We are playing a Local Los Angeles residency every Wednesday at the Silverlake Lounge. We’re excited to get back to live music, and are working on a live stream component to make the events as inclusive as possible.
6. How did you get your start playing music (your musician origin story)?
I started as a bass player in punk bands. Sometime around the time I was 18, I started to hitch hike and travel around the country. While doing this I picked up a broken guitar with 4 strings and started to teach myself while busking on the street corners of New Orleans and San Francisco. Some of the songs on this record originated as jams I would make up to the rhythm of the street, matching my tempo to the gait of people’s walks, and singing about everything I saw. My voice would yell and crack over the sound of the cars and city life.
In my mind I would come up with these opulent arrangements, the full band existing in my mind, with all the brass and gold. The journey of the pistachios has always been to pluck that idea out of my mind and realize it to its fullest potential. The record is a milestone in that journey.
7. Who are some of your biggest influences?
Richard Swift, Elvis Costello, Howling Wolf, BB King, MonoNeon, Izzak Opatz, Dr. John, Sly and The Family Stone, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs,
8. Do you follow a process or ritual before a performance to get rid of nerves or performance anxiety?
I take a moment with the band to the toast them before we play. I think tapping into that extraordinary feeling all together makes me feel so safe and elevated. For myself, putting on the suit feels transformative. You step into the role.
9. Who is your dream artist/band to collaborate with?
Jack White. Putting out a record with Third man would be the ultimate.
10. Anything else you’d love to tell us that we may not know about you!
Come get 10 dollar tattoos at the events in March! I played all the guitars, organs and pianos on the record. Every other month I have a daily practice where I write a fully produced song at least 1 minute long 5 days a week. In the stop motion animation show on HULU Crossing Swords, Ep 10, there’s a scene where a likeness of me is performing with a band at a party.
Watch the premiere of Harry Katz & the Pistachios music video for “Oh Yes!”:
And… look out for it on Spotify 2/22/2022.
Photo Credit: Lee Citron
Video Credit: Daryl Gilmore