When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I knew At Age 8 that I wanted to play music for a living. My mother played a Chick Berrys greatest hits album for me and the photo of him that was inside the 2 album garefold blew me away! I knew right then what I wanted to do.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
I have so many its hard to nail down just a few. I could be inspired by NWA in the morning then Hank Williams in the afternoon and Bad Religion or Peter Tosh by the time night rolls around. Music has no borders in my world. All music is soul music in my opinon. It all has meaning and validity. I think "genres" are stupid and pointless.
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
I come from mexican blood, I think that Cauliflower as a substitute for anything is a joke, and I don't trust people that put cream and sugar in their coffee.
What song of yours best describes you and why?
And my single "Won't Be Satisfied" because I think when you boil it all down, it gives a good sense of what I'm all about.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
There's been so many "best gigs"...Really any time I'm playing live music for people, drinking beer and having a good time, it's a great gig. But I will say that the shows where I've had the opportunity to open for amazing artist that I love and admire, like Ace Frehley, Eric Gales, ZZ Top, Los Lobos and other amazing artists, those are the shows that really stick with me.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
Hollywood bowl because so many of my favorite artists have played there and of course it's an amazing venue in an incredible setting.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
My biggest achievement to date is still being alive and coming into the knowledge that once you open up your mind to complete musical and spiritual freedom and take away any borders and/or rules that have created unhealty paradigms in you, as an artist and/or as a person, this is when you can truly be limitless and free in what you want to do and where you want to go.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
Once I've received the signed Confidentiality Agreement from you, I will.
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
Money for nothing and your chicks for free.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I would own a bomb ass taco/burrito stand that served killer, tacos, and burritos with absolutely no substitutions!
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
Sublime in a small restaurant in Ocean Beach California before they made it big. I really liked this girl from San Diego that I had met at a show. I drove down from Orange County with some friends in hopes of hooking up with her. That didn't happen, but I did end up drinking a lot of beer and seeing a little known band name, Sublime rock a small restaurant bar with about 15 or 20 other people.
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
The Black Keys, Ziggey Marley, The Record Company, Descendents, Los Lobos, Santana, Snoop Dogg with Dr. Dre, Black Sabbath, X , Harlis Sweetwater and hosted by Cheech & Chong ... because it would be totally bad ass and epic!
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
1. Sunny warm California days, Modelo's, and listening to the Beach boys.
2. People that don't like black coffee, racists, and being asked a lot of questions.
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
Eat and Sleep.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
It's a double edge sword. The best thing about social media is for us ability to allow people to discover new music and interact with artists. The unfortunate part is that most of the industry still bases things off of, and/or put importance into numbers.
How important do you think your look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
I think that that used to be a thing and wasn't more important than the music itself at one point, but I think today, luckily, I think that is changing and it's more about creating a vibe that plays well with the music that one is creating.
Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
I have none.
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
I wouldn't change anything about it. I would just declare that day, national "Dancing In The Street" day... everybody would be required to chill the fuck out, have a good time, barbecue, and blast Van Halen's version of "Dancing in the Street" all day as loudly as possible, while actually dancing in the street. ... oh, and I would sign an irreversible bill, giving a shit load of prime land back to the native Americans.
What would your ideal day consist of?
Eating tacos, drinking beers, hanging out on the beach on a beautiful California day, playing a live show in the evening for a great crowd, then going to a killer old motel on PCH, having really rad sex with a super hot chick and then actually being able to sleep through the rest of the night with no interruptions,... then repeat it all over again "groundhog day" style.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
I would say "thank you! You guys fuckin' RULE!"...if I am the engine of the train, then certainly they are the wheels.
How would you answer the question Who is Harlis Sweetwater and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music ?
I would suppose that I am a different person to every person in my life. Every person sees me as they see me, or as they want to see me. And, as for the second part of the question, I have to say that there is no difference between me as a music artist and me as a person. I'm never away from music, or separated from music, because it is a part of me. Just as I came into this world with two arms, two legs and a heart and a soul, etc., music is something that I brought with me into this world, and I would imagine it will remain with me in the next.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
I can't remember the first actual record or artist that I purchased on my own, but I do remember being in Tower Records and asking my mom to buy me "Diary of a Madman" by Ozzy Osbourne. She took one look at the cover, and said "hell no!" Put that shit back"... But I eventually got the record and loved it.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
Pick a side.
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys! I am such a huge fan of that amazing brilliant genius and so in love with his music, ans his story...not only with the Beach Boys, but with his solo music as well.
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
"God Only Knows" by the Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys because it's the most beautiful song ever written. To have been anywhere near that session or for any of the "Pet Sounds" sessions, would have been an amazing and spiritual experience.
What things make you uncomfortable?
Religion, wearing a suit and tie, pop country, shrubs that don't have flowers and talking about myself and my music.
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it? Coupons and pop-ups.
What has the rest of the year got in store for you? More writing. More recording. More live shows. More tacos. More beer. God willing.