Dhani Harrison in “Last Night in Detroit”

{click photo for video}

For the uninitiated: You won’t find the song he wrote and recorded for Esquire on iTunes under his own name — you’ll see him listed as thenewno2, a rotating collective that Harrison cofounded in 2006 and that seamlessly fuses alternative rock, electro, and blues. And even though lately he’s been busy with a side project — he’s part of Fistful of Mercy, a Crosby, Stills and Nash — styled ensemble with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur — Harrison and his collaborators at thenewno2 are back in the studio working on their next album, The Fear of Missing Out, which Harrison refers to as FOMO.

FOMO? “Everything in life boils down to FOMO. It’s what makes you go to a party when you’re tired. It’s behind broken relationships. And war. And I have FOMO about music. I like so many disparate types of music, so by understanding FOMO I can bring whoever I want to an album. Why not put it all together and see what happens?”

The Harrison family jukebox: “I associate the Motown catalog with the numbers that were on my father’s jukebox. Barrett Strong was N100 and that’s ‘Money.’ N200 is the B side, ‘Oh I Apologize.’ Visiting the Motown Museum today and watching some of the videos in the museum brought back old family memories, being with my old man, listening to Motown. He was the biggest Motown fan.” (His old man, in case you were wondering: the Beatles’ George Harrison.)

His take on our songwriting challenge: “My idea was based around a guy waking up in an old auto factory. His phone doesn’t work. He has to hot-wire a car to get anywhere, but all the batteries are dead. So he has to get all I Am Legend and build his own car to get somewhere. It’s a metaphor for rebooting the auto industry and getting the sleeping giant to wake up again.”




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