10 Questions with ... Ken Hensley
October 13, 2014
1. In just a few years the band has gone from this great local band that Seattle could be really proud of to gaining worldwide attention. How has your life changed since then?
Everything has happened so gradually, although quickly compared to most, that our brains have had just enough time to adjust to things as they evolve. Obviously, our lives have changed. What was once purely a hobby or means of personal therapy is now a full-time job. And we have a whole team of people working with and for us who, in some ways, depend on us to keep up workflow. Life's very different. I fly in airplanes way more than I ever thought I would.
2. How did the band come to be?
We all met at the bar Conor Byrne. They have an open mic night every Sunday and we played it most weeks after meeting to hone songs we were working on. We didn't all meet at the open mic night though, but all at the bar.
3. All members now reside in Seattle but are originally different places. How do you think your location influenced your style?
Actually, now only three of us are in Seattle. Jon and Tyler have since moved back to Virginia, and Josiah lives in Toronto. Seattle definitely did inspire our music, though, before living there and during. Unlike most cities, in Seattle you could form a band, start playing shows and watch the crowds grow. People really care about the music in town and word of mouth is very powerful. We really never had to do a ton of marketing. It just came from other friends and musicians being supportive.
4. Is there anyone the band would like to work or collaborate with in the future? (i.e.; producer, singer, songwriter, fellow musician)
We haven't talked so much about collaborating. We all have very similar yet different tastes in music and would each have our dream list of musicians to work with. We've never worked with a producer but are thinking we will for our next record. We're all very excited to start hunting around and talking to these people who have helped make records we know and love.
5. What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes?
It can definitely come out anytime, but not all the time. We've had times where we try to force out a song and, after days and days, nothing comes out of it. Then we have moments like "Another Story." We were all in the studio and Jon was messing around with this new song. One by one, we all joined in and a few hours later we had a song that was finished and we were happy with. It's so unpredictable.
6. Any upcoming radio station appearances?
We always do them during tours. We take them as they come.
7. What was the first song you fell in love with growing up?
My mom had these mix tapes she called her "happy songs" when I was a kid. All Beatles, Paul Simon, CSNY, and random '80s hits. I fell in love with music at this time.
8. Who are some of the new artists who inspire you? Any guilty pleasures?
It's always changing. I personally tend to stick to the older bands and musicians I grew up listening to. But Dr. Dog has been a big one. High school years were full of Belle And Sebastian and Sigur Ros. I wouldn't necessarily call this a guilty pleasure, but I have been listening to Sia lately. Same catchy qualities that any radio pop songs have but the fact that she writes all her songs makes me a proud listener. Crazy voice on that lady
9. The band has toured with Vampire Weekend, Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab For Cutie and more. Can you share any memorable moments?
We've been so lucky to tour with these bands. Death Cab was a band we all loved during our "coming of age" years and being able to watch them every night was something special. My Morning Jacket are some of the most down-to-earth dudes I've ever met. I also have some good Dave Matthews stories but I'm not sure if I should be telling them. If you ever run into me in person I'd be glad to share!
10. What's on tap next for The Head And The Heart?
Finish up touring for the year. Take some good time off to decompress and find inspiration in normal living. Then to the writing block and eventually the studio to record our third record!