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Henshaw – Interview


Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

PD: What type of artist are you?

HENSHAW : I’ve been told I’m a bit of folk, a bit of Punk, a bit of Indie and VERY DIY, all of which is true but I see myself as a singer/songwriter who writes about what inspires him, and tries to have as much fun as possible.   

 

PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

HENSHAW: I was bassist and singer in a Grunge Punk band who were signed to Revolver Records, the deal wasn’t particularly good for the band and sadly we broke up. What I knew after the band broke up was that I was still having a love affair with music so bought an acoustic and started writing. After playing a ton of open mics someone suggested I record some songs which was great fun and I really enjoyed touring them. I was very happy to be offered some main support slots with Ferocious Dog in 2019, and also some opener slots for Mark Chadwick (LEVELLERS) Gary Stringer (REEF) and Tony Wright (TERRORVISION) and an appearance at Glastonbury Festival.

Since then we’ve obviously had the Covid pandemic which I spent writing and live streaming including 2 streamed 24 hour World tours which I raised money for 3 separate charities including GIG BUDDIES      

 

PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

HENSHAW: Musically anything with big noisy guitars and a “wooooaaaahhh” sing along will inspire me but as much as that bands that engage and make the audience feel part of the event and not just plat “at” a crowd. I was taken to see Nizlopi years ago, I’d not heard a single song, not even the one about JCB’s that everyone went on about but I left that gig feeling like I was in the band. I couldn’t name a single song today (Except the JCB one again) BUT I can remember how that gig made me feel. That one was hugely inspirational for me.

Non musically my inspiration comes from a love of motorcycling, seeing how hard people work to be the very best in the world, and the focus needed to come back from some injuries is insane. It’s difficult to single any rider out as they’re all heroes.  

 

PD: What are your dreams and goals?

HENSHAW: Many and varied, I’m very goal driven having come from an early life in engineering and manufacturing (When I had a proper job) so everything get added to spreadsheets and there are 1, 3 and 5 year goals. They’re all based around growing the size of audiences and socials and getting bigger and bigger supports and obviously selling out more shows. I’d like to do this for as long as I can so whereas I don’t have dreams of selling out Wembley, I mean obviously I do, but I am a realist. The goal for me is to maintain a career by writing songs that mean something to the people who listen and to be able to keep performing those songs live to a room full of people who know the words

 

PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

HENSHAW: I write the songs. As most of my work is solo that works well however I have a band too which play full band versions, they get the songs with a very loose brief of the general vibe and then we get together to work on them. The subjects are far and wide but based around personal experience or somethings that make me very happy or stimulate some kind of response. I’ve been working on some songs over the last few months written from the perspective of the 3rd person. I wrote a song called “With Love and a Handshake” from the perspective of Vincent Van Gogh and the conspiracy surrounding his Suicide / Murder. I’ll be honest though, I write a lot of songs about me so I’m a bit selfish haha   

 

PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

HENSHAW: I have all the usual socials but there is also a separate fan group on Facebook which people who follow what I do post in, so I like a lot of interaction on there. I also do a lot of private messaging regards gigs and key things, today now more than ever is difficult for lots of musicians to sell tickets and get people to decide which of the many shows on each day they are going to, for me it just means we work harder than before, its part of the job y’know?

 

PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

HENSHAW: There are pro’s and con’s, but it opens all genres of music up to a much wider audience, it encourages people to listen to stuff they may never have listened to and puts us in front of a global audience. For me it’s not the B all and end all of everything and there seems to be too much riding on your monthly Spotify count especially when, like everything, numbers and data are up to be manipulated. It’s a shame it appears to have devalued music, specifically the streaming sites to a point where a musician my size doesn’t really look at streaming even being an income, its just a must have and promo tool to get people into a gig and hopefully buy a T shirt or a hoodie.  

 

PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

HENSHAW: Thriller, not because I like the song but just because I’d be living in a much bigger house than I do right now haha. In all seriousness I’d love to have written many of the songs by The Decemberists, specifically “Make you better” or maybe “Holy Water” by Biffy Clyro just because I’d love to have that in my set list every night

 

PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

HENSHAW: I wrote a song called “Nice Folk” which was about a guy who came up to me in a shopping centre and asked me if I had a spare cigarette, I told him that I don’t smoke and he basically chased me out of the place hurling abuse at me, so my major pet peeve is just my lack of understanding where people think behaviour is acceptable when it very obviously isn’t. People who park on pavements without giving thought to the fact someone in a wheelchair doesn’t really need to walk in the middle of the road just so you can get your car more out of the way??? And don’t get me started on politics haha

 

PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

HENSHAW: There have actually been a few but although I’m more a fan of the grass roots festivals and smaller punk festivals being booked to play at Rebellion in August 22 was such an honour. Even to be a tiny part of a line up that included The Wedding Present, Stiff Little Fingers, Billy Bragg, Levs and so many more was insane for me.

 

 

PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

HENSHAW: I wrote 2 albums through lockdown, 1 very much solo with a few guests and 1 full band with big, noisy guitars. I’m currently working on demoing the 2nd half of the band album with the guys in the band, if it sounds like the 1st half it’ll be everything I’ve ever wanted from a record. Also I’m heading to Germany soon with Pet Needs as their main support for a tour, then back to the UK for another support tour that I can’t announce yet and then in March I’m playing a UK tour of house gigs which I’m really looking forward to.

 

PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?

HENSHAW: My new album is soon to be released called “NOBODY CARES, WORK HARDER” and will be available on CD from my website www.henshawmusic.com and all download and streaming sites   

Henshaw links:
Band/Artist location – United Kingdom
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