The Harlots
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The Harlots

Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


The Harlots - The Harlots
Released Jan 99

The Harlots - Crawl Spaces
Released April 2003
(Gift Shop/Universal)


Feeling a bit camera shy


This is an era when musical flashes in the pan come and go with alarming frequency. Image can be bought, credibility can be fabricated, and it only takes a massive team of industry executives to create a rock star.

But we’re not talking about any of that. We’re talking about the Harlots: who are most definitely not pretenders to the rock’n’roll cause. They’re the new face of old school: rock done the way it was intended to be, with a mixture of passion and precision, devastating melodic hooks and skilled songwriting.

The release of their 2003 sophomore album, Crawl Spaces, on Universal Records announced the national arrival of the band. With distribution across Canada and a wildly positive reaction from listeners at Winnipeg’s Power 97 radio station (where the lead-off single, “Alien,” was one of the year’s most requested singles), the Harlots found themselves capturing key slots playing for tens of thousands at major music festivals and events and swiftly earning a reputation as one of Winnipeg’s most formidable live draws, regularly packing patrons into their triumphant headlining shows.

The album (a sequel to their 1999 self-titled, independently released debut) went on to garner positive reviews across Canada, from rock fans and critics alike... and it earned the odd distinction of giving 50 Cent a run for his money in Winnipeg, debuting right underneath the rapper at #2 on the local charts.

It’s a sound that comes straight from the band’s unique chemistry. Fusing the diverse and yet totally cohesive talents of the three Garinger brothers...
guitarists Buck and Lane and bassist Lee... could be a matter of complementary genes, and the creative and rock-solid rhythms of drummer Mark Sawatzky are a perfect anchor for the brothers’ sharp-edged three-part harmonies and irresistible melodies.

When the Harlots first step on stage for one of their famously dynamic performances, it’s obvious that this is a band that has a story to tell. The quartet’s history could be almost as dramatic as its music,

Back in the early nineties, grunge was taking over, dirty flannel was becoming fashionable and singers could stare at their own shoes and pass it off as entertainment. The situation was becoming dire... so Lane, Lee, Mark, and a young singer named Robin Black decided to take matters into their own hands, and bring the swagger and strut back into rock’n’roll.

This is how the Ballroom Zombies were created, a band that would go on to become one of Canada’s best-known indie acts, infamous for their wildly ambitious stage show and deliciously inventive tunes. They swept through the mid-90’s rock scene with abandon, leaving behind them tales of almost mythic proportions and an enduring cult fan base.

But no good thing can stay the same forever. So when the Ballroom Zombies dissolved in 1998, the Lane, Mark, and Lee were ready for a change. They wanted to keep the same irrepressible fire that was at the heart of the old band, but this time around, they wanted more substance to fuel the flame. Recruiting Buck, the younger Garinger who had earned his chops fronting Winnipeg punkers Riverdale High, to front the new band seemed natural: and so the Harlots were born, determined to take their distinctive and dramatic musical instincts to a whole new level.

It didn’t take long. Shortly after forming, the band scored a prime spot opening up for Motley Crue at the Winnipeg Arena; and they’re one of the few bands in Canada that can honestly say that Nickelback used to sell their merch back when they were sharing the stage.

After years of hard work, the band was ready to take on the nation. Enlisting the help of Juno Award-winning producer Brandon Friesen, they honed their quirky and incendiary sound, tightening and perfecting the songs on Crawl Spaces for national release.

They released three videos (for “Alien” and “Afraid of Mice,”) which enjoyed featured airplay, (and the title track) which has been added to regular rotation on MuchMusic, and have repeatedly toured Western Canada.

Never ones to ignore the music, however, the Harlots have continued to apply their talents in new directions, working out new tunes and further fine-tuning their sound in anticipation of a third record for release in 2005. Songs like “Magistrate,” “Tired and Twisted,” and “Connoisseur of Ruin” have already found a place in the hearts of their vociferous fan base, and bear the promise of even greater things to come for a band that has been defying the odds since it was born.