I interviewed Harry Lavin, bass player for Twisted Wheel

Harry Lavin, newest member of local royalty Twisted Wheel told us about his career aspirations, dreams of moving away to a foreign land and the joys of wedding planning . At just 20, engaged to be married and about to leave home on a 2 month tour supporting Liam Gallagher, this music mad Mancunian is headed for big things. Born and raised in Greenfield, Harry’s love for music started as a child, surrounded by the musical stylings of ‘dads classic rock collection’ consisting of the legendary Stone Roses and Oasis. When asked about his career Harry told us that for his age he couldn’t be happier “Being in the rehearsal room twice a week and 3-4 gigs a week is suiting me down to the ground”.

From the musical stylings of ‘We Are Us’ to their EP, ‘You stole the sun’ the bands sound, described as old school gritty rock ’n’ roll with features of The Jam. Surrounding Twisted Wheels success are other bands from the Saddleworth Greenfield area such as Inspiral Carpets who had success across the country in their early years.

Talking about inspiration from other artists and going back to where it all began as a kid, listening to family tunes, spending his younger years at local pubs and gig venues. “The first gig I ever went to was actually Status Quo at Manchester Apollo when I was about 12. Just the sheer volume and energy of that gig got me hooked for life.” Harry told us as he talked about how his love for music began and how the likes of The Who, his favourite band, shaped the way he wanted to make music.

2018 saw Harry change his career, leaving his previous band Shadow Palace, after releasing successful singles such as ‘Speak My Mind’ and ‘Put Out The Fire’. Songs of the similar rock genre, the band performed at Cotton Clouds Festival  and regularly at Gullivers and Jimmy’s, local bars around Manchesters prestigious Northern Quarter. Harry helped write songs for Shadow Palace as well as being backing vocals before the band split in September 2017 citing irreconcilable differences.

Becoming part of Twisted Wheel, a new career that started almost accidentally opened new doors and began quite dysfunctionally as Harry explains: “I’ve known Jonny and Kev (the manager) for a while and it was literally a case of being all sat in the pub together, them talking about needing a bass player and me saying I’d do it. I had to then go and buy a bass and learn the thing.” So from having a few drinks at the local pub to a life changing career move. The music industry never stops and theres always opportunity even in small town pubs just outside of Oldham.

Recently engaged to his girlfriend from home and plans to one day buy a property in Croatia, where the pair visited last year, there is a lot on the to-do-list for Harry over the next couple of months. As well as the tour, finding time to spend with friends and family is as important as anything. Other things that tick the boxes of what Harry wants alongside stages, sets and writing lyrics are “Plenty of old war films, reading and listening to music.” There are some plans set in place for the future, the wedding planning however is being kept a secret until after the Summer tour.

Twisted Wheel and other bands will be on tour stretching across 30 UK dates in the space of 3 months. The first run of gigs in April were Harry’s first real glimpse of what his future career in the band might be like. “Leeds and Preston were particularly raucous.” He also told us, he is looking forward to the bands gig at Finsbury Park where they will be supporting Liam Gallagher alongside The Blossoms, another peaking Manchester band.

The concert at Finsbury Park will be special “I must have learnt the whole Oasis back catalogue on guitar by the time I left school.” Harry said, seemingly happy and somewhat overwhelmed with how his childhood dream of playing music for adoring fans had now become a reality. Being mentioned on the Twisted Wheel’s wikipedia page as the newest bass player goes to show that good news really does travel fast.

Music of all genres helps form some of the most poignant memories in peoples lives. In Harry’s words, “It’s my lifeblood, so it often my dictates mood on a daily basis. Without it life would be very dull and grey.” The rise in people downloading and music instead of buying albums, some artists believe, takes away some of the joy in music as people don’t need to get out of bed in the morning and stand in line to purchase the album on CD or vinyl. The bands success with YouTube music videos and Spotify listening statistics shows that there are new people every day streaming from Twisted Wheels channel. “The industry has changed massively since I was a kid, but I guess now we can spread our tunes across the world. Cant really complain about that.”

With a tour coming up supporting major acts and private local shows in areas around Greater Manchester, we wanted to know if Harry wanted to reach for the stars and become one of the greats. When asked about whats to come Harry’s reply was “There’s a long way to go yet and I’m very excited.” He then went on to discuss the bands success and ended with an admirable comment about superstar bands. “I hate people who go off bands because they got ‘too big’. Ask the question first… is the music great? If yes… then give it the respect it deserves. You’re a massive Herbert in my eyes if you deny the greatness of the greats such as The Beatles.”

Harry went on to compare poetry, art and hidden meanings to the lyrical genius of Pink Floyd, an artist he repeats for his undying individuality and a belief that his lyrical content stood above the rest. “The poets and social commentators like Leonard Cohen, Morrissey and John Lydon inspire me the most as a lyricist.” Being a lyricist and writing music are two very different things, being one with the music and simply vomiting words onto a page are ends on a spectrum. Twisted Wheel are inspired by the poetry of other artists who sending their voices out into the world, like ships onto the sea.

“I’d love to write a concept album at some point in my life when I’m older and have semi lost the plot.” Is it sometimes okay to lose the plot? Can artists always stay sane when caught in a twister of songs. I guess we will have to see what the stage lights uncover for Harry as he finishes the tour this month and starts this Summer on a high unlike any before it.

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