Pin It
Favorite

Shape Shifter 

Water Monster's Max Harnishfeger is keeping his musical options open

click to enlarge Max Harnishfeger makes electronic music for now with his project Water Monster. - GIANNA CAPUTO
  • Gianna Caputo
  • Max Harnishfeger makes electronic music for now with his project Water Monster.

For as long as Max Harnishfeger has been playing music, he's had a synthesizer by his side. As a teen, he would spend hours trying to figure out how Broken Social Scene made certain sounds on its self-titled third album, and he pulled inspiration from Prefuse 73's "eye-opening" Preparations as an 18-year-old.

Now 23, Harnishfeger was looking for a new musical outlet after Cathedral Pearls, the local indie-rock quartet in which he programs the synth, sings and plays bass, took a break. Given his history with the genre, it was a natural choice for Harnishfeger to create an electronic solo project, which he calls Water Monster.

"I thought since I'm really into that kind of stuff and don't feel like there's a lot of people here in Spokane doing it, then I'd give it a shot," he says.

Noting a recent increase in the popularity of electronic music — from EDM to more avant-garde music — due to the accessibility of software, Harnishfeger says his decision to create Water Monster wasn't based on a trend, but on his goal to challenge himself as a songwriter. But he doesn't want electronic music to define the project, noting that he sees Water Monster as a shape-shifting entity that can bounce from one genre to the next as inspiration calls.

To date, Water Monster has released several songs. The multi-textured "Rest," for example, begins with a pulsing drumbeat that is soon layered with both the high and low ends of Harnishfeger's vocal range, synthesizer and what sounds like marimba notes.

When time allows, he, his wife Carrie, and Scott Ingersoll, brother of Cathedral Pearls bandmate Caleb, both of whom join Harnishfeger onstage, work on an EP centered on the feeling of madness lack of sleep can cause. Harnishfeger experienced that after jet lag from a trip to Germany kept him awake for three days.

"I want to create more of an atmospheric environment with the music as opposed to just making songs that are going to make people dance," he says.

Harnishfeger says Water Monster allows him the freedom to build up and tear down a song as many times as necessary, even after it's been played live, until it's just right.

"Who knows? Maybe the next one will be a complete rock record," Harnishfeger says with a laugh. "I want to take it an album at a time. I want to be able to have an endpoint to a certain sound of the album, and then be able to move on and change from there." ♦

Halftone featuring Water Monster, BIAS, Blackwater Prophet, Mirror Mirror, H. Hershler • Fri, May 2, at 7 pm • $5 • All-ages • Luxe Ballroom • 1017 W. First • tinyurl.com/halftoneart

  • Pin It

Speaking of Music, Electronic

Latest in Music

  • All Access
  • All Access

    George Lathrop makes sure the big Spokane shows and concerts run smoothly
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Hitting Even Harder
  • Hitting Even Harder

    Seattleite Rocky Votolato kicks off a long tour in Spokane
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • All Man
  • All Man

    Gregg Allman has experienced much turmoil, but he perseveres with his mix of blues, rock and country
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Buddy Guy with Quinn Sullivan

Buddy Guy with Quinn Sullivan @ Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

Tue., July 7, 7:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Azaria Podplesky

Most Commented On

  • All Man

    Gregg Allman has experienced much turmoil, but he perseveres with his mix of blues, rock and country
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Lightening the Mood

    Local metal quartet Mercy Brown garners fans around the globe thanks to a viral video
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Music


Review


Hip-hop


Indie Rock


Readers also liked…

  • Shadow Play
  • Shadow Play

    If you can classify Disappears, you might be missing the point altogether
    • Jan 16, 2014
  • An Island No More
  • An Island No More

    With the release of their fourth record, it's time to start paying attention to Future Islands
    • Mar 27, 2014

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation