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Hawthorne, NJ | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Hawthorne, NJ | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Rock Alternative




"Exclusive Interview with AXS: Ill-Advised Reveals New Video"

Like Beck, Zappa, Clapton and Hendrix, it was a strat that fueled Harry Metzler’s drive for rock n’ roll. He was only three years old, but he had found his true love—a double cutaway in turquoise. Now, Harry Metzler’s Ill-Advised is a one-man-band to be reckoned with featuring alternative rock instrumentals, deeply introspective lyrics and punk rock attitude. In an exclusive interview, AXS sits down with Ill-Advised to talk about his new music video and more.

AXS: Your new music video for “Summer Nights” starts off with a soothing piano melody before it explodes into a catchy rock anthem. It’s pleasantly unexpected. How has the reception been from your fans on this song so far?

Ill-Advised: The response has been amazing, especially for a video we shot on an iPhone and I edited myself, so that’s been really surprising and cool.

AXS: You sing in the chorus, “summer nights won’t keep us away.” What is this song about? Do you have a story that goes with “Summer Nights?”

IA: “Summer Nights” is probably one of the most personal songs on Parkway Divides. Each verse is written from a different perspective about experiences and events in my life growing up. It’s about wanting to get the hell out of where you’re from.

AXS: You’ve got a lot of cool footage and smash cuts around the city in this video. Where was it shot? IA: We shot the video in New Jersey. The performance shots were done in my hometown of Hawthorne and
the rest down the shore in Sea Isle City.

AXS: You recently did the Summer Nights east coast tour. Are there any plans to play more shows anytime soon? Where can people see you perform?

IA: We’re playing Oct. 15 at Connolly’s Klub 45 in Time Square in New York City and will be announcing a much more extensive tour soon. We hope to get over to the U.K. and Europe sometime in 2017 as well.

AXS: What will someone see when they come to an Ill-Advised show? What is a good reason for alt- rock and punk fans to buy a ticket to one of your shows?

IA: Parkway Divides is a very orchestrated album – there are tons of orchestral elements from full string sections, horns and marching percussion to layers of synths and electronics. Since it is a concept record, it’s very important to me to deliver a live performance that also takes the audience on a journey—visually and musically. Our live shows are very much controlled chaos – merging the raw anarchy of punk with the sophistication of classical music.

AXS: You cite David Bowie, the Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and Prince as your musical inspiration. That’s rather eclectic. How do you feel those artists evolved the Ill-Advised sound or contributed to the music you make today?

IA: Since I write, record and perform all the music and instruments on my album, artists like Trent Reznor and Prince were significant sources of inspiration. I’ve always gravitated toward artists who are uncompromising in their vision and have something to say. When I was making this album, I just felt like I had the responsibility to try to take it further than the rock records that came before and inspired me. When I told people I was making a 61-minute concept record in this day and age I got a few funny looks. Someone like David Bowie has consistently been an artistically inspiring and grounding force for me. Listening to his last record, Blackstar, just makes me want to continue to push boundaries. He was running circles around artists half his age.

AXS: How would you describe the music you play to someone who has never heard it before?

IA: Michael James, who mixed Parkway Divides, described it as ‘sophistipunk’ at one point. Every song on the album is different, but having grown up learning violin, trumpet and classical guitar, I think my music tends to have a very orchestral feel to it even when I’m not using typical classical instrumentation.

AXS: The lyrics to a lot of your songs deal with the duality of man. Can you take us through the songwriting process?

IA: The majority of the songs started on acoustic guitar and then once the recording process began, I started writing songs in the studio. Although the album is a concept record, I didn’t go into it with a set story – it wasn’t premeditated in any way, even down to song titles like “The Creator,” “The Great Divide,” and “The Last Goodbye.” It just happened subconsciously, I guess. When I was recording, I started to notice that there were common themes that connected the songs together lyrically. The songs just started to fall into place. I’ve always been a fan of LPs from the ‘70s that had a Side A and Side B that were different and told a story, so the album is split into two sets of six tracks—two sides—called Northbound and Southbound. I drew inspiration from concept records like Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the Smashing Pumpkins albums Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Machina where there was an "album behind the album." Parkway Divides was approached like one big classical piece where each song is a movement. There are a lot of reoccurring lyrics and melodies throughout the album that take a few listens to reveal themselves.

AXS: As a solo band, you have the exhausting job of producing every aspect of every song. Do you find that level of control over the music you make taxing or liberating? Or a combination or both?

IA: I didn’t set out to do it this way—it grew out of necessity, really. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to play the type of music I wanted to play or would show up enough to really get anywhere. Either I did everything myself, or I didn’t do it at all. I always wanted to be in a band like Aerosmith or U2 where everyone contributed and were in it together. When I started playing in rock bands growing up, there would always be someone who wouldn’t show up to a practice or a gig, so rather than cancel it, I’d just fill in on drums, guitar, or whatever instrument. Eventually I’d end up writing the drum parts and the guitar parts even though I was the lead singer, stuff like that. So, when I decided to write and play everything myself, it really wasn’t that big of a change other than the mindset. It was definitely liberating in that I didn’t have to argue with other musicians and could make musical decisions much more quickly. When you’re not competing for your guitar part to be louder because it’s your guitar part, it’s much easier to do what’s best for the song. I actually really enjoy the work—it’s incredibly fulfilling to build every aspect of a song from nothing and the complete control allows me to be as uncompromising as I can be with my musical vision.

AXS: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. Anything else you want to add before we go?

IA: We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Oct. 15 in Time Square. This has been great. Thanks so much for having me.

You can watch Ill-Advised’s music video for "Summer Nights" here. Like them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here. For more information, visit their website here. -

"Ill-Advised Parkway Divides Album Review"

Ill-Advised is Harry Metzler, a talented multi-instrumentalist. His debut album “Parkway Divides” began life during his time at William Paterson University, from here he wrote and produced the album in his self-made studio.

Parkway Divides released November 2015 by Dark Scorpion Records is a 12 track exciting new album. Hard to pinpoint the exact genre, touches of Alternative Rock, Punk, Industrial, but why label when the music takes us on a unique journey on each listen.

For six months Ill-Advised has worked day and night in pursuit of creating an album that was honest, challenging, and uncompromising. Self produced, recorded, wrote, arranged, sang, and played every instrument on this record in his basement with a $300 microphone, guitar isolation cab made out of plywood and a computer. There were a lot of limitations that had needed to overcome – a lot of things to learn the hard way on his own – which is probably what makes Parkway Divides so special. Sometimes, limitations can force you to be more creative, and this record is nothing if not creative.

The album begins to build strong from the beginning with “The Creator” and “Without You”, Metzler’s catching voice combined with a high quality production opens the appetite to dive deeper into Metzler’s soul, and this our friends is a recommended journey you should go on your own, put on a your headphones, close your eyes and just listen.

“Crawl” is a song that catches our ear from the start, in which orchestral instruments and electronic sounds are masterfully combined with guitar distortions, creating a beautiful dark medieval vibe.

“Summer Nights” is an excellent song for so many reasons – first of all, it has the perfect song structure-it starts mellow and slowly develops to be epic due to a variety of instruments that gradually meets the ear and create a very rich sound. Above all that, there’s a beautiful echoing guitar that envelopes the entire song, giving it a dream like sound that balances its hard rockiness.

One song that stands out in this album is “Misery”, where Metzler is showing us that he can also create a fine rock ballad. Listening to Metzler vocals takes us back to “Smashing Pumpkins” Billy Corgan’s unique voice that Metzler is somehow succeed to recapture. - The Music Reviews


Still working on that hot first release.



Harry Metzler is ILL-ADVISED

Fender wins again. Like Beck, Zappa, Clapton, and Hendrix, it was a Strat that fueled Harry Metzler’s drive for rock n’ roll. He was only three years old, but he had found his true love  —  a double cutaway in turquoise. 

Harry’s music education began early as his mother nourished his dream. A gifted coloratura soprano, she knows that a musician is not something one chooses to be; rather, it is something that one is. Anchored by the unlikely combination of his mother’s opera and his elementary school’s 1940’s big band music curriculum, Harry learned to play strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments while still a child. He filtered this foundation through his love of rock music, fronting several bands during his teenage years. While embracing the challenges of making music with friends, Harry honed his craft and became a uniquely versatile musician.

Inspired by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Todd Rundgren, and Prince, Harry took the reins of his destiny. As a solo musician, he became the band: Ill-Advised. While attending college on a music scholarship at William Paterson University, he began work on what would ultimately become his debut album, Parkway Divides. “I could never find people who liked the same music I did or were as serious as I was,” Harry says. “I had been in bands where someone wouldn’t show up to a rehearsal or to a show, so I’d end up filling in on their instrument in addition to singing. I figured it wouldn’t be that much of a difference if I just wrote and recorded everything myself, since I had pretty much already been doing that for years.” 

In true punk rock D-I-Y style, Harry built a studio in his basement with the help of a few friends and set off to work on the album himself, “I produced and engineered the entire album myself and wrote, sang, and played every instrument. I recorded instruments one at a time, using a placeholder for the lead guitar tracks first, then drums, bass, final guitars, pianos, synthesizers, strings, horns, etc., culminating with the vocals.” A few songs caught the ear of Los Angeles producer and mix engineer, Michael James, who had worked with bands like Jane’s Addiction, Hole, Jawbreaker, New Radicals, L7, and Chicago and ultimately mixed Parkway Divides. “I really dig the sincere heartfelt nature of your music because it makes me feel something on a visceral level,” Michael wrote in a fund matching challenge hosted by Pledge Music, “Listeners are hungry for the real stuff. Their bullshit detectors are sensitive, and they’re tired of posturing and pretense. Because your music is genuine, it makes me feel like I’m getting to know the real you when I listen to your songs.” David Donnelly (Aerosmith, Blink-182, Ministry) mastered the album.

Although not intentionally a concept record, Harry noted that the album tended to take on its own life. He explained: “I’ve always been a fan of the album as an artistic statement and I began to notice that the tracks sort of organized themselves. The first track is “The Creator,” the middle track is “The Great Divide,” and the last track is “The Last Goodbye.” It was completely unplanned; it just worked out that way. I love how vinyl records have a ‘side 1’ and ‘side 2,’ so I decided to call the first six tracks “Northbound” and the last six tracks) “Southbound”  — a perfect metaphor for an album whose name is inspired by New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway. “There are shared themes, both melodic and lyrical, throughout the record,”he explains, “I approached Parkway Divides as if it was one big classical piece, with the individual songs representing smaller movements that made up a whole. Everything is connected.” Reviewing the lyrics, Harry realized the songs deal with themes like duality, light and dark, love and hate. At times, the songs contradict themselves, and he realized he was making a record about the human experience. 

Parkway Divides is a deeply personal record that is honest and makes the listener feel something genuine, rather than the incessant, shallow, party music that blares while the world seems to be burning down around us. It is surprising and familiar at the same time, with soaring lyrical melodies juxtaposed against heart-rending dissonance. “Recording on my own, I didn’t feel like I had anyone judging me. There was no one to tell me not to include a string part or to not layer 15 guitars to create a wall of sound,” Harry adds,“I think it allowed me to create an album that was uncompromising, unique, and honest. As long as it makes you feel something – anything – I’ve done my job.”

Band Members