Harper and the Moths emerge as highlight of Phoenix music scene

The rock and soul hybrid have boosted their profile ahead of what could be a big 2017


Courtesy of Rachel Smith

From left to right: Ettie Brown, Chan Redfield, Harper Lines, Kelsee Ishmael and David Campbell.

Marlet Ruiz, Reporter, Scottsdale Chronicle

Phoenix band Harper and the Moths will get the exposure all independent bands crave when they play the Pot of Gold Festival this March.

Their band consists of lead singer Harper Lines, bassist David Campbell, guitarist Chan Redfield, keyboardist/vocalist Kelsee Ishmael and drummer Ettie Bowen. Their album “Rock. Pop. Soul.” was released last year, and the musical style is unique, as it incorporates elements of punk rock, disco and old-school soul. The group released an EP on Halloween 2016 titled “Mixtape.”

Lines and Campbell met in middle school and used to play in a punk rock band called Head First in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Their continued passion for music as adults caused them to form a band of their own and they played their first gig in Oct. 2013. Their inspiration for the name came from legendary 1950’s rockabilly group Buddy Holly & The Crickets – essentially, the lead singer’s name followed by an animal.

“We wanted something that had more of a Motown throwback feel to it,” Lines said. “We wanted something that had my name and an animal identity I think, or something that was identifiable that people would associate with immediately, and we picked moths.”

Last year, the group hit a major milestone as their video for the song “Walking through Fire” was named one of the top videos from the Phoenix music scene by azcentral.com. Their cover of Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” and its corresponding video was also voted the #2 cover song in Phoenix for 2016 by the Phoenix New Times.

“I think we were sitting at coffee actually and we watched the original video and this guy realized how cheesy and low budget it was and how easy it would be to replicate,” Campbell said.

Lines continues to stay grounded by helping out the community in his spare time as well as making appearances at benefit concerts. Harper and the Moths have recently been booked for a charity show on Feb. 24 at the Rebel Lounge that benefits a camp for Type I diabetic youth.

“It’s like a kid’s summer camp and I volunteer there occasionally and I went there when I was a kid, so for me it’s a personal thing to raise awareness of Type I diabetes,” Lines said.

Harper and the Moths will play the second day of the Pot of Gold Festival in Chandler on Saturday, March 18.