PUBLISHED IN THE KITCHENER WATERLOO RECORD Thursday, March 19, 1997

 

By Nick Krewen

For ROBERTA and KEN HARRISON, the creative principals behind WILD STRAWBERRIES, GEORGIA is always on their mind.

The happy couple from nearby Cambridge gave birth only two months ago to their first daughter, but already she's taking the pop star life in stride.

"She's a great baby," says proud mom Roberta during a phone call interview from the Toronto-based Harrison homestead while Georgia naps. "She's healthy. There haven't been any problems."

The newest Strawberry has been accompanying her parents on their promotion and press rounds, appeared on Life TV, and will also head out on the road for The Wild Strawberries' upcoming tour, which lands in Kitchener Friday night at Mrs. Robinson's.

"My sister is coming out on the road with us to take care of her," says Roberta, "So we're really looking forward to it. It should be fun."

The tour will allow the Harrisons to show off their other bouncing baby, the brand new album Quiver. Unlike Georgia, however, Quiver  doesn't gurgle and coo as much as bubble and brood, courtesy of an extra dose of electronics Roberta says Ken discovered on the band's last cross-Canada tour a few years back.

"We didn't want to make the same album again," Mrs. Harrison explains. "I find that if one artist gives me the same record twice, I'll stop buying it. So that was our big goal., and I think it was augmented by some of the wacky stuff that Ken picked up on the last tour across the country.

"He picked up this thing called a VCS3 from the late '70s, as well as a vocoder."

Shades of PINK FLOYD and TANGERINE DREAM, anyone? Harrison also said that Quiver is less autobiographical than Heroine.

"Lyrically, the last record was way more about his life," Roberta asserts. "I'm not sure, but I think this time he was really interested in not making the album his journal."

Still, for someone who leads a rather charmed life, Quiver  is a dark concoction.

"Our lives are fairly idyllic. I know it's kind of sick," laughs Harrison. "Everything's not amazing, but a lot of it is. Ken's mom is sick, so that's brought us crashing back to reality.

"But I've got to say that Ken's not really a depressive sort. He's a fairly happy, decent guy. I tend to get more depressive than he does."

Roberta figures that some of the material may be residue left over from the duo's professional days in the field of medicine.

"I was in physio and Ken was medicine, and we would go to work and listen to other people talk about their problems all day," recalls Roberta. "In the music industry, us talking about ourselves is a polar opposite career in terms of the focus of the conversation."

Harrison says that her singing is an interpretation of her husband's lyrics, and tries to picture herself mentally in a similar position.

I certainly try to get into the mindset of that character of the song that I'm singing," she admits. "It's more like an acting thing almost....not that I consider myself an actor at all. It's just sort of getting the character."

The romance of Ken and Roberta Harrison is something akin to a fairytale: a boy-and-girl-next-door love that seemed sealed at an early age.

"I decided when I was really young that I was going to marry him, but we didn't date until I was 14," chuckles Roberta, recalling her Cambridge adolescence.

"It was really just an amazing place to grow up, fall in love, and date, and there was a whack of cemeteries in that area where we used to go park. So we have lots of happy memories. Cops would come, shine their flashlight in the window, and say `Hey kids, get out of here!'"

-30-

DISCOGRAPHY

1996 -- Heroine -- Nettwerk

1999 -- Quiver

COLLABORATIONS

1995 -- Various Artists, Decadence

1998 -- Various Artists, Lilith Fair

1999 -- Various Artists, Lilith Fair -- A Celebration Of Women In Music Volume 2 Nettwerk

©1997, 1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink

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