Pete Lesperance


HAREM SCAREM - United (Review)

information persons: 
Produced By: 
Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Melodic Rock / AOR
Friday, May 12, 2017
I’ve always maintained that the writing partnership of Harry Hess/Pete Lesperance was the Lennon/McCartney of the melodic rock world and this, Harem Scarem’s 14th studio album, is not only further proof of that belief, it also proves that a long partnership can remain fresh, vibrant and exciting.
United is simply brilliant – a joyous celebration of the classic definition of melodic rock. Harem Scarem have never disappointed me. But I still have my favourite albums and I’m happy to add this one right near the top.
It’s just one glorious hook and chorus after another, but that isn’t the only thing that makes this album so extraordinary. It’s the intelligent musical bed that drives the songs and the contrast of unexpected twists and a quite varied palette of styles that all end up in the same place – melodic rock bliss.
The best aspect of this album is the diversity of the ways the anthemic choruses are delivered. Every song is different, yet every one is memorable.
And I love how the darker tone to many of these songs is seemingly cast aside for the many harmony drenched feel good choruses. It’s a contrast that’s almost impossible to pull off with such regularity.
Pete Lesperance shines with some of his finest riffing and soloing in years, Harry Hess is absolutely all over this record with what seems like a choir of harmony vocals and some really powerful leads.
United is essentially a 45 minute Harem Scarem history lesson. Fans will hear parts of Mood Swings, Weight Of The World, Voice Of Reason, Higher, Thirteen and Hope all in play.
There’s no track that doesn’t stand out on its own, but my personal favourites are the infectious Here Today, Gone Tomorrow; the fast stomping No Regrets; the moody modern rock brilliance of Bite The Bullet; the feel good stadium anthem Things I Know; another harmony drenched, lyrically brilliant The Sky Is Falling and the freeking fantastic bluesy-come-AOR anthem Indestructible.
Did I mention the great opening track and one of the band’s best ever ballads in One Of Life’s Mysteries? How about the hands-in-the-air Sinking Ship and the groove driven Gravity? Did I leave anything out?
How about the brilliant production and mix – among the best the band has delivered?
Jeff Scott Soto appears on backing vocals for Here Today, Gone Tomorrow and even more prominently, to great effect, on Bite The Bullet.

Why haven’t you purchased this already? What a wonderful, joyous, powerful statement from a band that just keeps delivering time and time again. Essential and perfect.

HAREM SCAREM 'United' For Latest Epic Album

Friday, May 12, 2017
Frontiers Music Srl is excited to announce the release of HAREM SCAREM's highly anticipated 14th studio album, “United” on May 12.
The new recording offers up 11 tracks of trademark Harem Scarem music from Harry Hess (lead vocals, keyboards), Pete Lesperance (guitars, bass, keyboards), long-time drummer Creighton Doane, and backing vocals from original sticksman Darren Smith (who will be playing live drums for the band on tour dates). The band is back and stronger than ever!
Frontman Harry Hess says: "This year will mark the 30th year of Harem Scarem and I can tell you that we are just as excited about writing and recording today as we were then. The brand new " United " album is one of the best collection of songs we have ever put on one release and I can't wait for everyone to hear it!"
Harem Scarem make it clear they still have something to say right from the start with the title track, "United", a chunky slice of guitar-driven melodic rock nirvana that kicks off their strongest studio outing since the early 00’s. From there, the album lifts off with well-crafted songs featuring big choruses with simple and addictive hook-laden earworms. Each track carries a power-rock-packed punch, swaggering riffs, and hooks to die for. Hess and Lesperance without a doubt show the world that their partnership still works, that they indeed are still "United".
With sales well over a million records in 43 countries and 12 top 40 hits around the globe, 2017 will see Harem Scarem return and ready to dominate while touring the world in support of their 14th studio album, “United“!
“United” tracklisting includes:
1. United
2. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
3. Gravity
4. Sinking Ship
5. One Of Life’s Mysteries
6. No Regrets
7. Bite The Bullet
8. Things I Know
9. The Sky Is Falling
10. Heaven And Earth
11. Indestructible
Harry Hess - lead vocals, guitar
Pete Lesperance - lead guitar
Stan Miczek - bass guitar
Creighton Doane - drums
Darren Smith - background vocals, live drummer
TOUR DATES (More to be announced soon)
- 30 September – The Music Hall, Oshawa, Canada
- 6 October – Norma Jeans, London, Canada
- 14 October – The Brass Moneky, Ottawa, Canada
- 20-22 October – Trent University, Nottingham (Rockingham Festival), UK



Wednesday, March 25, 2015
HAREM SCAREM Guitarist PETE LESPERANCE has takena fall on the ice and has broken his arm ahead of planned tour dates for the band in April.
Official Statement: "Hi everyone Just a quick update on the Harem Scarem shows for April. Unfortunately a couple days ago Pete took a serious fall on some ice, broke his arm and will not be able to play the HS shows in April. However, the shows will go on as scheduled! Long time friend of the band, Michale Vassos will be standing in for Pete. We'll post updates on Pete's recovery as things play out. Thanks for understanding guys. Team HS"
Pete has added this comment to his FB page: "Harem Scarem: Oshawa Show - Well, accidents apparently do happen! While walking to my car, I managed to slip on some of winter’s final ice and broke my arm. As a result, I won’t be able to play the upcoming Harem Scarem gig in Oshawa. I am obviously totally bummed to be missing a hometown show. The good news is that we were lucky enough to convince Mike Vassos to take over for me. Mike is a long time friend of the band, a great guy and an fantastic guitar player. The show is going to be awesome. It will definitely be a surreal experience watching Harem Scarem form the audience and I hope to see you all in Oshawa on the 2nd! Pete"

Right To Rock Podcast - HAREM SCAREM

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Categories: has issued their latest podcast (episode #185), featuring Harem Scarem Guitarist Pete Lesperance. Pete took time out of his busy schedule to discuss Harem Scarem's latest release, Thirteen, as well as the band's upcoming tour plans. Interview lasts approx. 40 min.
Happy new year! Okay, we know it's almost February, but work with us. Made your resolution(s) yet? We haven't, but we're kind of slow with these sorts of things (you may have noticed). Join Genghis & Ragman as they discuss what tunes, concerts, collaborations and movies they'll be anticipating in the new year. If everything comes together, we're looking at another solid year of music. Next, the boys welcome back Harem Scarem guitarist Pete Lesperance for a one on one as he discusses the new CD Thirteen as well as plans for 2015.

HAREM SCAREM - Thirteen (Review)

information persons: 


Produced By: 
Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance
Running Time: 
Release Date: 
December 5
Musical Style: 
Melodic Rock
Friday, November 28, 2014
It’s no secret I’m a card carrying Harem Scarem fanboy and the band can do (almost) no wrong. Every album has featured at least a few legendary songs; most albums for me have been front to back brilliant. I even go against the traditionalists and rate Voice Of Reason very highly and the two Rubber albums remain underrated.
So this is the guy’s first studio album in 6 years, following on from the awesome Mood Swings 2 release. You might expect the guys to continue in the Mood Swings style, such as the 3 new tracks from MS2 did, but this is more simply Harem Scarem just being themselves.
Naturally gifted to deliver chorus upon chorus of memorable harmonies, riffs and hooks, Thirteen features elements of Weight Of The World, Higher, Overload and Hope.
It’s a continuation of the second half of the band’s career.
And while I rate every album highly – this is going to stand out as one of the band’s truly great records. This is right up there with the debut, Mood Swings, Weight Of The World and Higher for me.
10 songs, just under 40 minutes, no fuss, no padding ,no fillers, just pure melodic bliss from start to finish.
Production is great and the choruses really do seem to stand out even more than normal. It’s just one after another after another.
Anyone wanting to see how a catchy, memorable melodic rock album is done – learn from what Harem Scarem have done here. Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance are simply one of the finest writing pairs that have ever been part of the melodic rock scene.
Track By Track:
Garden of Eden is a perfect start to the album. A pop influenced melodic rocker, its only 45 seconds from start to the chorus and that is about the same for the whole album. Nothing but hooks and harmonies here. The chorus (as is usually the case for harem Scarem) is layered with harmonies and begs to be sung along to. A nice little progressive Mr. Big style guitar solo mid-song adds texture before diving right back into the chorus.
Live It turned my head initially. The outset of the song is quite different for the band and Harry’s verse vocal is certainly a refreshing burst of energy. The chorus is nothing but pure Harem anthemic goodness.
Early Warning Signs sees the sound turn darker and a little heavier, but still with that commercial feel that all Harem songs have. I’m hearing influences of the album Overload here, with a sharp twist for the bridge before a pure power pop chorus comes out of nowhere. The chorus has hints of Weight Of The World in it.
I adore The Midnight Hours. It starts with a moody slow verse and a melodic bridge before a massive layered, more urgent chorus delivers a devastatingly good hook.
Whatever It Takes is the only real slow paced ballad. This is a classic Harem Scarem ballad complete with nice guitar solo, heartfelt lyrics and of course, a monster harmony filled chorus.
Saints and Sinners is another track with a heavier Overload style feel. And it’s another absolute monster. The tracks moves at a decent pace with a moody verse rises to another catchy as hell chorus. Love it!
All I Need has some great guitar work from Pete underneath a song with a modern power pop heart, but with a classic old-school anthemic chorus. A great contrast once again between verse and chorus, which seems to be a highlight of this album’s song writing.
Troubled Times gives no indication of where it’s going from the start. It’s Weight Of The World and Higher meets Overload, slowly building through the verse and bridge to tempo lift and a chorus that may just never leave your head again. Ever. Classic.
Never Say Never is slower and once again pretty moody to start before yet another hook steers you into a mid-tempo harmony filled chorus. Simply put – just another great track.
Stardust is another stunning song to be honest. Featuring some great lyrics, it starts with a heavy feeling and a strong, tuned down guitar sound before lifting to a massive chorus with some terrific harmonies and a similar feel to the slower closing part of Change Comes Around from Mood Swings.
The Japanese release adds an acoustic version of The Midnight Hours, while the European version adds Garden Of Eden acoustic, which both work wonderfully in the stripped back format. A nice contrast to the electric versions.
The Japanese limited edition also adds a bonus disc featuring 8 tracks of the band live in 2013 in Japan. This is where the loyalty of the hard core fan is really stretched. I love the performance on these tracks – many Mood Swings classics in energetic form – but the quality isn’t much better than an audience recorded bootleg. Definitely for the die-hards only, but that’s me, so I’m good with it.

It took way too long to get here, but it was worth the wait. Simply put - another glorious album from the band that defines melodic rock for me. Superb songs, superb sound, superb performances.
Essential for all fans of this site and the music I promote.
So close to perfect I’m not sure why I’m not giving it 100!

HAREM SCAREM 'Thirteen' Due Out December 5

Friday, December 5, 2014
Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release dates set for the anticipated new album from Canadian rockers HAREM SCAREM entitled “13” on December 5th in Europe an and in North America on December 9th.
Coming back - after a long hiatus – “Thirteen” is, arguably, the band’s 13th original studio album, a release that was decided by after the band's return in 2013 with the release of "Mood Swings II": the re-recorded version of their career defining album "Mood Swings", originally released in 1993. Harem Scarem embarked on an international tour and reconnected with all the fans. They were actually very pleasantly surprised about the level of interest in the band and decided to move forward.
"It’s been 6 years since our last studio album and we’re feeling rejuvenated and couldn’t be more excited about the new tunes!" tells singer Harry Hess and with juices of inspiration flowing it could not have been easier to give birth to a strong musical statement such as "Thirteen".
The new album encompasses everything that the fans would expect from Harem Scarem: very addictive guitar riffs and choruses from heaven with big over the top hooks. A definite and true return to the sound that put Harem Scarem on the map over 20 years ago.
With 12 top 40 hits around the world and sales well over a million records in 43 countries, 2015 will see the Harem Scarem touring the world in support of their 13th studio album “Thirteen“!
You can check Harem Scarem’s new songs via this Youtube trailer:
“Thirteen” tracklisting includes:
Garden of Eden; Live It; Early Warning Signs; The Midnight Hours; Whatever It Takes; Saints and Sinners; All I Need; Troubled Times; Never Say Never; Stardust; Garden of Eden (Acoustic Version – bonus track)
Harry Hess: Lead and backup Vocals/Keys
Pete Lesperance: Guitars/Bass/Keys
Creighton Doane: Drums
Darren Smith: Backup Vocals

HAREM SCAREM Launch 'Thirteen Weeks To Thirteen' Campaign on PledgeMusic

Monday, September 8, 2014
Harem Scarem are Launching their new album 'Thirteen' on Pledge Music!
Canadian melodic rock legends Harem Scarem have launched their new album "Thirteen" on Pledge Music, with a campaign cleverly called "Thirteen Weeks to Thirteen"!
"This is our 13th studio album and our first in 6 years, and we're really excited to share the experience with our fans. Over the next 13 weeks, we're going to bring you inside our recording process, rewarding 'Pledgers' with weekly video updates, special sneak peeks, behind the scenes footage and Q&A sessions where we answer your questions about the album.
The campaign has launched now! Check out the limited edition packages like guitar lessons from Pete, a private listening party for 20 fans at Vespa Studios, and even the custom guitar that Pete used on the album!
So why are we doing this? Well, basically we were out on tour last year and we ran into and reconnected with all of our fans and were actually very pleasantly surprised about the level of interest in the band. It’s been 6 years since our last studio album and we’re feeling rejuvenate and couldn’t be more excited about the new tunes!
We’re about to start recording now and we’re going to bring you inside and show you how we do it.
To get started, week #2 is going to be a question-and-answer with us. So leave your questions in the comments section and will be a recording
video answers to the ones we pick and we’ll see you next week!
Head over to and watch our video, check out the packages, and be a part of the making of Thirteen!
Thanks for all the support!
EXCLUSIVE: I asked Harry Hess what the new album might sound like. His reply sounded perfect: "It's going to have lots of guitar riffs and big vocals, very anthemic choruses, I think people will like it...."
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