Fistful of Mercy's Joseph Arthur and Dhani Harrison Move Past First 'Date' Jitters
It's been quite an autumn for Fistful of Mercy, the group comprising Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison. They released their debut album, 'As I Call You Down,' in October and, after wrapping their sold-out US tour this weekend, will head over to London to begin a European trek in December. It's especially impressive considering that the band formed only a few months ago after old friends Harper and Arthur got together last winter.
"I was on a solo tour going through L.A. and I had two nights at the Troubadour," Arthur tells Spinner. "I was trying to figure out how I was going to make them different. I thought, 'I wonder if Ben wants to come and sit in.'" Harper obliged and when Arthur had a week in L.A. to spare, they extended their collaboration. "We thought we should try and get in the studio and record something, see what happens. We booked three days in the studio, got busy and tried to make a record."
To make things even more special, Harper contacted Harrison, whom he knew only from sharing the same L.A. skate park.
"The first day in the studio, Ben was late and we said hello. We'd never met each other [before]," Arthur says of meeting Harrison. "But we just started playing around and started writing. We wrote and recorded three songs in the first day."
Arthur admits that for a moment or two, meeting the son of a Beatle was a little awkward. "It's a lot like going out on date," he says. "Me and Dhani, we went to different schools to learn the same things. We are similar characters. We got on really well pretty quickly."
Besides musical compatibility, Arthur says the thing that helped the band gel was the time limitation. "We only had three