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Music

Call & Response: Henrietta

Posted by Jer / April 26, 2011

Henrietta Call & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.

Henrietta are three parts Montreal, one part Ottawa. I could also say that they're 2 cups of lo-fi indie mixed with hints of twang and electric piano fuzz but I can't believe I've stretched the cooking metaphor this far already. Still, even though Henrietta's debut EP, Hollow Earth Fiction, is only 4 songs long, they manage to pack in a pretty wide range of styles and influences. The guitar work is crisp and catchy and the keys (be it synths or other effects), when used, add a measure of brightness to the songs. Oddly for a rock outfit, the singer is at his best when he's a bit reserved; songs like "Oiseaux" or "Morris" sound less forced than when he lets loose on "Isabelle". The band is currently working on writing and playing live, which they'll be doing tomorrow night (Wednesday, Apr. 27) at Les Pas Sages. Before their show here, I wanted to ask Henrietta (well, actually, with Chris, Kyle, James and Eric) some of life's most important questions.

Who is your favorite Canadian Artist?
Kyle: Like, musical artists? Zoey Van Goey. Technically they're a Glaswegian band, but the drummer (who also sings and song-writes) is originally from Fredericton. So even though they're not "CanCon" Canadian, I'm staking our claim. We do that a lot in this country.
Chris: I've been following Winnipeg's Greg MacPherson since pretty much day one. Those prairie boys know how to rock.
K: If we're talking visual artists, Jeff Ladouceur does some very cool, very twisted stuff.
James: I'd add Jeff Lemire, so we get a graphic novelist on there too. That's basically the bridge between visual art and indie rock.

Besides family, friends, other music, and long summer nights, what influences your music the most?
K: Non-fiction, I guess. We write a lot of songs about people we've never met.

Where is the best place to listen to your music?
Eric: At our shows or on your record player.

Rumour has it that some of your band is from Montreal, while the rest are from Ottawa. Which half of the band is cooler?
J: The Montreal "half" is actually three quarters of the band - so take that, Ottawa!

What can fans expect from a live Henrietta Show?
E: No banter.
K: Less talk, more rock.

What's been the most awkward moment at a Henrietta show so far?
E: The long silences due to lack of banter.

What do you love most about Montreal?
K: Well, we're a bit late to this party, but there's been some truly inspired graffiti going on. We're big fans of Cobra Cock, and there's this door where some tagger called JimJoe wrote "I'M HOOD RICH I PROMISE."

What do you love most about Poutine?
E: The squeaky cheese.

What do you hate most about Poutine?
C: The squeaky cheese.

Who was your first live concert? Was it everything you had ever imagined?
Four concertgoers, four different answers: James the drummer went to Vaginal Croutons, Kyle the guitar player went to the Smashing Pumpkins, Eric the Raskell went to some Pasadena punk show and Chris the singer went to BB King, who had two drummers, which was pretty sweet.

You've got a 4 song EP out now. Is it a teaser for a future full-length? Or will you just leave us hanging at 4 songs....?
K: The EP is its own thing. Chris and I had been looking to put a band together for a while, and we figured one way to do that was to record a few of the songs we'd been working on. That way, we'd have a starting point for the full band.
C: So the EP is the chicken and the band is the egg. We actually made the EP with a different drummer and bassist (although James and Eric were involved in the recording and mixing). But now that we're a four-piece, we're working on a lot of new songs.

If your music was a famous historical figure, who would it be and why?
E: John Henry, because he drove harder than the industrial revolution.
J: So hard that it killed him.
K: I think what my cryptic bandmates are trying to say is that John Henry's hard-driving railroading is an inspiration for our hard-driving indie rock.

Can you talk about your decision to release the EP on vinyl?
E: I guess we're a bit old-fashioned. I mean, we still believe in the magic of vinyl: There's just something about how you have to be a bit more deliberate when you play a record, about having a big physical artifact, about how the flaws of vinyl are somehow also its virtues.
K: It was also a crime of opportunity, in a way. There's a lot of talk these days about a vinyl renaissance or whatever, and Montreal's RIP-V had recently brought pressing back to Canada - plus we had the chance to work with a very cool design company (National Design Collective) and a really great mastering engineer (Bob Weston). So we figured this was as good a time as any to cut a record.
C: That, and we're doing our part to contribute to used record stores of the future.

What's the best way to spend a Million dollars in 10 minutes?
K: Segways. Definitely Segways.
J: But also Jetpacks. And monkeys. Plus Duct Tape.
K: Can I change my answer to fireworks?
J: Fireworks are jetpacks for wimps.

How did you spend your 16th birthday?
K: Unlawfully. I played an 18+ show with my high school punk band. My friend's attractive older sister bought me a beer. Later, she grabbed my bum.

Check out Henrietta's website for a taste of their debut EP. Or better yet, see them live:

Henrietta
April 26th @ Les Pas Sages
with Takk

and
June 9th @ CFC (formerly zoobizarre)
with TBA

Discussion

4 Comments

Ryan Coke / April 27, 2011 at 08:36 am
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I saw these guys play recently in Ottawa! One of the best live performances I've ever seen. Definitely check them out if you get the chance, they're going to get huge.


Mella / February 4, 2015 at 03:36 pm
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Richard,Catching up with your blog. We've been to Niagara Falls many times since it is directly on the Boston to Michigan route we take home. We've vwieed the falls from both Canada & US. Much prettier on the landscaped Canadian side. But we haven't done the viewing platform.Maybe we'll try that next time.dorothea
Kanchipuram sarees / June 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm
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nice post
golu dolls / June 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm
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nice post

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