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Harley deWinter: “UE’s have helped push me into the next level of my playing”

Harley deWinter, along with his band, Un D Vided, won “Best Youth Artist” two years in a row at the Orange County Music Awards (2013 and 2014). Un D Vided recently reformed under the name My Mechanical Heart and have just released a terrific cover of Lady Gaga’s Applause.

Even at  18, Harley has compiled  an exceptional  list of artists he has performed with including: Rikki Rockett (Poison), SIREN, Instant Replay, KoKo Powell, and many more. Equally impressive are the artists Harley has recorded with, such as Grammy-nominated J.T. Longoria (Volbeat, King Diamond), Lanny Cordola (House of Lords), Matt Sorum (the Cult, Velvet Revolver, and Guns n Roses )and, to name a few.

I think my UE’s have helped push me into the next level of my playing. They’ve helped me really dial in my live sound thanks to the fact I can actually hear what the audience hears. With the artists I’ve worked with, it’s been much easier to make the band as a whole sound tight, in tune, and in sync. I’m able to not only make sure I sound my best and tightest, but I’m able to make sure everyone else is holding up to that same level.

Hey Harley, thanks for taking some time to speak with us. The first thing I noticed about you is you have a really impressive background already. How did you start making music?

I had actually gotten started in music at around 10 years old. I was always pounding on my chest. So my parents decided to surprise me with a drumset for Christmas. I didn’t touch it for a long time, not until around 12 years old when I decided I wanted to play the drumset for my middle school jazz band.

What was your first instrument?

As I just gave away in the first answer, drums was my first and still is my primary instrument.

Can you tell us about some of your early favorite records?

It’s hard to remember my first favorite records, as I was exposed to lots of music at a young age. While I don’t recall my favorite rock albums growing up, I remember that when I joined jazz band, I was really into Gordon Goodwin’s “Swingin’ For the Fences” record, as well as several records from Brian Setzer. Coincidence that they were the same drummer? Probably not.

What are some of your favorite records now?

Recently, I’ve regrown an appreciation for Paramore’s “Riot” and have been jamming out to it a lot. One of my other favorite records, since it came out last year, has been Issues self-titled debut LP. Another great drummer in that band. Lastly, Rise Against’ “Appeal To Reason” is just a flat out great record to listen to and let go.

What do you play now?

Drums have been my primary instrument since middle school. I also maintain a basic knowledge of keys considering I also  like to do programming.

Are you in a band?

I’m in a band right now, my own personal project, called My Mechanical Heart, previously known as UnDVided, which I had put on hiatus a few years back to pursue other opportunities. Now it’s been reformed, assuming the new name.

What does My Mechanical Heart sound like?

Considering the reform has been recent, it’s hard to put a label on it just yet. But the goal is to have a driving, female-fronted, rock and roll sound blended with electronic elements. We actually are releasing a cover song in a few weeks accompanied by a video.

How did you hear about Ultimate Ears?

Obviously Ultimate Ears hold a very high prestige in the industry, so naturally, I had heard about them through numerous high caliber musicians, all recommending that I save my hearing and stop using standard earbuds to play to click tracks. Ultimate Ears was the name that always came up.

When did you get your first pair of UEs?

I received my first pair of UE’s at the end of 2013, after getting fitted in November.

What model(s) do you currently own?

I am currently using UE11’s

Can you remember what it was like to get your impressions?

I remember getting my impressions very well. It was the older method of cleaning up my ears and sticking a cotton ball attached to a string into my ear. Then getting my whole ear filled up with the cold molding gel. Definitely a fun experience. More fun to watch all my friends have it done to them after I told them to get a set.

How do you think UE IEMS have helped you make music?

I think my UE’s have helped push me into the next level of my playing. They’ve helped me really dial in my live sound thanks to the fact I can actually hear what the audience hears. With the artists I’ve worked with, it’s been much easier to make the band as a whole sound tight, in tune, and in sync. I’m able to not only make sure I sound my best and tightest, but I’m able to make sure everyone else is holding up to that same level.

Can you tell us some things you think about UE IEMS?

I personally think UE’s maintain the highest quality sound out of every other IEM I’ve tested to date. I know a few people that swear by other brands, but I just haven’t heard anything quite as perfect as UE’s. Equivalent models from other brands just haven’t reached the expectation set by my UE11’s. I know many people that also tend to agree, not just drummers either.

What is one piece of advice you can give young people just starting out making music in your age group?

The main advice I would to anyone of my age is to make sure to just put in the time to be the best you can be, because it only gets harder to balance that time later in life. I used to have time to sit down every day and practice 2-3 hours a day. Now it’s rare to get in 3 days a week. But I also tend to be putting in performance time behind the kit during my weeks. But I feel that because I spent my days practicing, instead of skinning my knees on my bike all time, I’ve managed to get to a level that gets the job done, but of course, I’m never satisfied with myself because child prodigy’s are always pushing me to be better.

That is awesome!! Really solid advice, you can’t substitute practice. Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to chat with us.

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