Portland’s Harrison Smith picks the best bones from his new punk album
Harrison Smith has a solid work ethic and an approach to music that is delivers some of the most interesting punk you’ve heard this side of his hometown of Portland, OR. His musical moniker, Turtlenecked, is responsible for some of the most electric lo-fi punk and independently spirited stuff to surface this summer, and his album Vulture is a solid nugget of exuberance.
With a string of singles, “Pangloss”, “My New Necklace”, “Meeting You In The Hospital” and “Boys Club” Turtlenecked has proven himself to be a songwriter that knows how to bend the ear as well as expand his vision on an album that articulates the emotions of a young American.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Turtlenecked to ask him about the things you ask a young punk…
Where are you right now?
I’m in bed with my girlfriend Emma in NE Portland, Oregon
Please name your fellow band members and their roles… oh, and who has the best dance moves?
Morgan O’Sullivan: Bass and Backup Vocals, Jesse Robertson: Guitar, Max Nikol: Guitar.
None of them can dance.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
I worked with Garrett Linck, who engineered and mixed the album. Timothy Stollenwerk mastered it. Besides that, I wrote and recorded all of the music in the house I lived in last summer in Sellwood, Portland. It’s about ——.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
How did you first meet, and where exactly did you become a band?
We all met at Lewis and Clark College and have been friends for a while. I asked them each individually to join the band and it went through several live incarnations before it became what it is today.
Other than your music, what should your hometown be known for?
Portland should be known for the band Lithics, the bookstore Mother Foucault’s, and the restaurant Los Gorditos.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you.
Emma my girlfriend is sitting next to me right now. I have my laptop sitting on my lap. Both are equally important to me. She has orange hair right now and we met because she wrote about me for a local newspaper. She loves talking to strangers in public and watching the OC.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
Can’t choose a single inspiration, I’m more inspired by many little moments in a million songs. Neutral Milk Hotel’s song “Oh Comely” started my serious music obsession in high school.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
“Don’t do it” – Kevin Burke
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
The cowboy from Mulholland Drive.
What song best sums up your life right now?
“To the Heart of the Sun On the Back of the Vulture, I’ll Go” – Destroyer
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
“It makes me scared when you sing about being depressed or having your heart broke” – My Mother
Take a moment to dream – Where do you hope to be a year from now?
Hopefully in the same exact place except with a lot more followers on all my social media accounts.
What’s your next step towards that dream?