Harrison Fjord
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Harrison Fjord

Chandler, Arizona, United States

Chandler, Arizona, United States
Band Rock Psychedelic


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This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Bernie Sanders Gives a Shout-Out to Phoenix Band Harrison Fjord"

Phoenix band Harrison Fjord, which we named one of the 16 Phoenix Bands to Watch in 2016 earlier this year, played a set before the main event at the Bernie Sanders rally in Flagstaff yesterday. As the senator from Vermont began his speech, he gave a quick shout-out to the band.

"Let me begin by thanking the Harrison Fjord band," Sanders said at the beginning of his speech.

Harrison Fjord carries the distinction of being the only local band to open for a major presidential candidate this year, raising the question: Who would be the best local band to open for each candidate?

We're guessing Donald Trump would love to see the dudes in BroLoaf eating out Lady Liberty on stage. Ted Cruz could probably relate to the pent-up rage of Fathers Day. Hillary Clinton would probably dig the energy of Doll Skin.

You can watch the moment in the video below. The payoff happens at 3:55. - Phoenix New Times

"Video premiere: Harrison Fjord go live on Mogollon Rim"

Director Freddie Paull had the members of Harrison Fjord haul their gear to the edge of the Mogollon Rim about an hour off the highway to capture a haunting live performance of "Approximately 906 Miles" with that breathtaking view as a backdrop. The nine-minute clip does a beautiful job of underscoring the epic sense of grandeur they bring to the music.


The first time Paull heard this particular song, he says, it struck him as Harrison Fjord at their most Pink Floyd-esque. And "Pink Floyd: Live in Pompeii" is among his favorite music films.

"I love that idea of playing a show in an extremely remote location for only a handful of people, most of them crew," the director explains. "It's very authentic and intimate. A lot of the rim is heavily forested, but when I found the open area near the power lines that stretch as far as the eye could see, I knew it would be a good fit."

Paull leans toward narrative in his music videos. But he wanted to do this one live, he says, "to show people the power of their performance. I was completely floored the first time I saw them on stage. Especially for their age. And I wanted to bring that energy to a space that both challenged them and stayed true to the vibe of the song."

He filtered that performance through special effects that could give fans of psychedelic music acid flashbacks.

"I did some research," Paull says, "into '60s psychedelic photography to see what they used to achieve that prismatic effect. Some good examples are the credits sequence from the Beatles 'Help!' film and the cover of Pink Floyd's first album, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.' I was able to track down some late 60's/early '70s prisms to shoot through. I think there's a certain psychedelic quality or influence to their music, especially that song, that I wanted to emphasize."

With setup and production, the shoot lasted about six hours.

"We went up there the day before to secure a campsite nearby and to scout the angles with the shooters," the director says. "It was incredibly rainy that night, though, so we were very concerned we'd have to cancel the shoot. Luckily, around noon on the day of production, things started to clear up and we were able to film for about an hour without rain or heavy wind."

And they did it all on Paull's birthday, which he thought was perfect.

"Doing the thing I love most, with my favorite local band and some of my favorite people in the world, made for a really special birthday. I am so thankful to my whole team for their work on this," he says. "They really went above and beyond for the shots, audio and support in general."

His next project will be shooting the final sequences of a Captain Squeegee music video in a mine shaft in Tucson in January — "which I'm equally stoked and terrified about," he says.

After that, he's moving to Los Angeles to work with bands there and finish up a few short films. - AZ Central (Arizona Republic)

"Harrison Fjord remains humble before a Thursday gig at Crescent Ballroom"

When Harrison Fjord played their first show on SoZo Coffee’s humble stage as a nameless group of musicians, there was no plan to headline major venues, much less professionally record an EP.

“We weren’t really a band at that point,” said Mario Yniguez, vocalist and guitarist of the Phoenix band. “We were just going to put together some covers and some songs and just make something happen.”

Two years later, the 7-person band is becoming a staple in the downtown music scene. Harrison Fjord will not only be headlining a show at the Crescent Ballroom on Thursday, but they will also be performing at the
Apache Lake Music Festival in late October.

These are just two points to add on to an already impressive resume. In early August, Harrison Fjord sold out of nearly 70 copies of their breakout EP, “Puspa In Space,” during its First Friday release at Revolver Records.

Much of this success was thanks to a special show at the Rhythm Room about a year ago. It was their first professionally staged show outside of a coffee house — their first chance to get out of the condescending experiences that often accompanied smaller venues.

“With other shows, there was that disconnect,” said Matt Storto, drummer for Harrison Fjord. “It was very uncomfortable. It didn’t make for bad shows or anything, but it was definitely uncomfortable, so to have a group of individuals comes together for a like-minded cause, to make the best show possible, that was a much-needed breath of fresh air.”

It was at the Rhythm Room that Harrison Fjord would impress founders of local music blog Underground Alt Mandi Kimes and Freddie Paull, who are now two essential parts of their management team.

Related: METROnome: Phoenix blog showcases both indie musical talent and Arizona scenery

“Hearing something that I’ve never heard before, and just hearing it come out of such young people, was just so refreshing, so that’s one of the biggest things that drew me to them,” Paull said. “When I started talking to them, experiencing how of-the-world they already were, they had the maturity of people ten years older than them.”

Harrison Fjord now has a professional management team of three, including Jared & The Mill bassist Chuck Morriss III, who is the brother of Harrison Fjord’s Taylor Morriss and oversees the development of the group.

Alpin Hong was also a major part of the band’s advancement. In April, the award-winning classical pianist invited Harrison Fjord to perform with him at the Musical Instrument Museum, creating a pivotal moment in their career.

“That was what kick-started us into really taking ourselves seriously, because he also did a bunch of work with us, like challenging our ears and our musical ability to really go to the next level of our musicality,” Yniguez said.

This performance would only be topped by a show at The Rebel Lounge, which Storto calls one of the most “electrifying moments” that jump-started a “Fjord renaissance.”

“We knew that we were getting a good reaction out of them because we had 30 new likes on the page in such a small venue,” Paull said. “I mean, that’s a 200-person venue. The fact that 30 of those people would feel like they wanted to go online and go look at the band was a lot of gratification.”

Despite a rising success locally, as seen by increasing social media numbers and almost biweekly concerts in recent months, the band members pride themselves on being authentic and humble.

When questioned about their accomplishments, they spoke thoughtfully, yet colloquially. They joked about fist fights and drugs and other typical college topics, rather than falling into a pretentious, wise-man act. They spoke confidently about their abilities, but did not forget to be modest and grateful. When responding to questions about their success, they did not attempt to hide mistakes made in the process.

“These are my best friends, my brothers, but we still have awkward moments in rehearsal,” Yniguez said. “We still have miscommunication.”

This authenticity translates into their performances.

“We’ll have shenanigans, but nothing about who we are onstage is a dishonest thing,” Storto said. “We are very genuine onstage about who we are.”

This honest, intimate experience is what fans have to look forward to at their upcoming show at Crescent Ballroom on Oct. 8. The show will also mesh audio and visual elements and include performances of brand-new songs.

“Those songs are in the same vein as what are on the EP,” Storto said. “They’re still lots of fun and they’re a blast to perform. I can’t wait for people to listen to it.”

Looking beyond the upcoming show, Harrison Fjord’s future will include the release of numerous videos, including a live session to be filmed at the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona. The band also plans to record a full-length album by 2016, eventually going on tour.

Despite their long and continuous journey, Harrison Fjord still refuses to give up their strong identity as a band with no genre, which allows them to challenge themselves with a cappella, jazz fusion and more. Only labeling their band as “tastefully strange,” they continue to draw influences from an enormous variety of musicians, ranging from Pat Metheny to The White Stripes, and from local band Captain Squeegee to musical theater and Kanye West.

“The crux of our band is that there really isn’t a genre,” Yniguez said. “We really aren’t limited by our instrumentation. We’re not limited by the labels we put in our music. Really, we don’t want to be limited by anything at all.”

This has allowed Harrison Fjord to gain audiences ranging from young adults like themselves, to an elderly woman that praised their music at their MIM performance.

“(We) definitely never really set out to make music that everybody in the world would like,” Yniguez said. “I’m not saying that Harrison Fjord is that kind of thing, but we’ve become, I think, in the public eye, more universally likeable than we ever thought we would be.”

Though social media is bringing global audiences within reach, Storto said he still views their band as a surprising success sprouted from a modest project.

“I feel like we’re just a bunch of friends who just got bored with playing with crappy bands and just wanted to play our own music that we knew sounded good with us, and so for other people to enjoy that is just weird,” Storto said. “It’s so strange.”

For now, simply providing genuine music is still one of Harrison Fjord’s primary goals, Yniguez said.

“I believe that music is one of the most massive forces of emotional progression in human beings and communication,” Yniguez said. “To give that to people, to provide that for people who maybe otherwise wouldn’t have had such a thing, that’s cool.” - Downtown Devil

"The Fjord Awakens: Local Band and ‘Star Wars’ Fans Harrison Fjord Get Ready for a Big 2016"

Products of the Chandler Unified School District, the musicians in Harrison Fjord play tunes that are just about as diverse as the actor behind their name.

“Harrison Fjord was formed with the intent to never have a genre,” says lead singer/ guitarist Mario Yniguez of the jazz-influenced psychedelic rock band. “I called everyone and said, ‘Can we be in a band where we don’t have to write music like everybody else?’

“It sounds a little pretentious. I don’t mean it to be like that. I just wanted to be able to do whatever we want. We can play jazz, sing whatever we want to do—everybody play bongos—whatever is fun or entertaining. Nobody’s ever going to leave the band or anything because they’re out of things to do.”

With all the hype surrounding the opening of “Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens,” it’s easy to assume that the band named itself after the charismatic actor.

That’s not so, Yniguez says.

“It was by complete happenstance,” Yniguez says.

“Someone mentioned an assembly line, then someone brought up Harrison Ford. After that, it was Fjord.”

That’s not to say the collective isn’t fans of the legendary films.

“Every single person in the band is a diehard ‘Star Wars’ fan,” he says. “We’re whole— simply put—nerds. Everyone is dying to see ‘Star Wars.’ We have tickets already.”

When they’re not being nerds, the musicians are rehearsing for upcoming shows, which includes a Wednesday, Dec. 23, gig at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix. The band also includes Dallin Gonzales (vocals/tambourine), Taylor Morriss (guitars/vocals), Jonathon Sheldon (bass/ vocals), Kevin Paul Mandzuk (keys), 17-year-old Jacob Lipp (woodwinds) and Matt Storto (drums). Mandzuk is a material science major through Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. The rest of the musicians attend Mesa Community College to study music.

“We’ve had the opportunity to play Crescent Ballroom five or six times, which is pretty cool,” Yniguez said. “About a year ago, when we were getting back into gigging, we would have just loved to have played the Crescent Ballroom. It was a little bit of a dream.

“Now it’s pretty regular for us. We play there more than other places.”

The Wednesday, Dec. 23, gig will include a nod to Christmas.

“We’re going to be doing a couple new songs and a Christmas song,” he says. “We’re going to have a special Christmas deal where we’ll do some antics and some weirdness.”

The show will end the band’s 2015 run, and prepare it for next year, which is going to keep Harrison Fjord busy. In the forefront is working on a new album.

“There’s not a whole lot known yet,” he says. “It’s going to be a sampling of a lot of the stuff we do, but a little jazzier and weirder with vocal harmony. It’ll be electronic in some way. It’ll be more of an EP kind of thing. It’ll be very colorful and big. I’m excited.”

The band is thrilled about its forthcoming video for the song “Approximately 906 Miles.” It was filmed in Payson.

“That video will be what I’m most proud of,” Yniguez says. “I can say that. That’ll be the release that I and everybody in the band is most excited about. Freddie [Paull] who does all of our video stuff did it. He’s just incredible. So artistically genuine, just ahead of his time in many ways. He’s done a lot of very cool stuff with it. I’m happy with the audio and stuff like that.

Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 23, $15 to $17 - College Times


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members