Artist Spotlight/Interview - Henry the Archer
Henry the Archer are an alt-rock four-piece band from Fort Worth, Texas. However their sound is a lot more unique than that genre moniker, as they often hit musical themes found in ska, funk, and indie. The band features Richard Hennessy (aka Henry the Archer) on Guitar/Vocals, Kevin Geist - Drums, Charles Marchbanks, Bass, and Trombonist, Tom Urquhart. We know that if you give this group a listen, you will love their sometimes chaotic blend of genre and sound, because it all works! Some tracks we'd recommend to get you started are "Means Nothing", "Wifi-Pets", "War", and "New Mexico". The group has released three albums since 2011, as well as a Christmas single titled "Lonely Christmas" (which is fantastic as well). Comps are difficult for this band, there are some aspects that remind us vocally (and at times musically) of Arctic Monkeys and Neon Trees. We also found some tracks that reminded us of Jack White's solo work as well. There are definitely tracks that feature ska rhythms, but often they step into indie rhythms as well. We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Richard Hennessey and here's what he had to say.
How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"At a young age I felt a unique connection to music. In 3rd grade I messed a bit with trumpet and drums. But it wasn’t until I was in my early teens that I picked up a guitar, and began to try my hand at artistic expression through music. To sum it up, I felt compelled to write a song for someone I felt connected to; and I haven't stopped since. I've had a lot of music projects over the years, but none have been more true to myself or rewarding than Henry the Archer."
Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"I usually find the initial inspiration for a song to be unsuspecting in nature; and therefore my process is really non-methodical in origin. Once a phrase or melody pops into my head, I jam it on the closest instrument within reachable proximity (usually either some kind of semi-hollow guitar, or a piano). I go over it a bunch to see if its worth more time and attention, if so; it gets it and then... I bring it to the band. My Drummer Kevin and I have always been on the same page rhythmically with one another, so whenever I bring a new tune to the table; there isn't much discussion as far as what's needed to achieve the vision and feel implied for the song. My Bassist Charles brings a lot of energy to the songs also with his tastefully melodic bass lines. I would say that overall, my vision for any song during the structuring process is to challenge the expected; while making it impossible not to dance. Once I hear all of the elements simultaneously fall into place, and there’s a healthy flow of energy; I know a song is where it needs to be for the stage."
"I would also add, songs continue to grow and change even after they have been tracked. It can be a lot of fun to discover a new way to get lost in an old song. Sometimes, I may “re-birth” a song. Take the track “Nightmares” for example. There are 3 different studio recordings of this song, performed 3 different ways; over many years (of course I only like the live version, lol). There are no rules artistically, and music creation gives a person many ways to present the same idea; so why not do that? Not everyone feels the same way everyday, and a different take on an old idea always generates new perspective for me."
What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Speaking for myself, I'm driven by my need to create and share the music I love. I have never truly been into any specific artist; or select style of music in particular. I believe this lack of “genre-anchored sonic-roots” is directly reflected in the dynamic sound of each Henry the Archer song. I like to be different, it feels good. That's not to say I’m not inspired by my surroundings. There’s so much talent in the world, look in any direction with a little bit of focus; and you’ll find inspiration. Our supporters are our biggest inspiration."
What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"Henry the Archer music was meant to be experienced LIVE. I truly care about each frequency that is audible on our records; both vocally and tonally. I truly love the exceptional musicians I have the pleasure to perform with.. Henry the Archer may be my stage name, but the band Henry the Archer encompasses and represents the band members that stand by my side on each stage. Most importantly… Henry the Archer music should make you wanna DANCE!"
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
Currently, we are in the studio laying down new music to be released in the fall of 2018, info is on our website found below. Also, we will be performing House of Blues, Dallas on Saturday, August 18th; and we are giving away FREE Tickets while we have them. Please message us through our website to claim tickets while supplies last!
We can't stress enough, if you're into alt-rock and indie, Henry the Archer are on the shortlist of bands you have got to hear! Also, if you're in the Dallas area on August 18th, you have got to check out these guys live!