“Cyanide” could really be about ANY relationship, whether it’s about an ex, or an estranged parent, or even your battle with addiction. That’s what we take pride in… anyone can connect on some level.” – @PremierBandsUnl
Listen to the Interview
Episode #303 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/03/03/episode-303-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW THE BAND HENNESSY
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Ashley Hennessy & Heather Miller
Where it started…
(Ashley) My family has a long line of singers & musicians, but my biggest influence was my grandfather, Gonzalo. He sparked the passion for music in me, alongside Elvis, Michael Jackson, Pat Benatar, and others.
(Heather) My mom used to sing around the house all the time, and we used to spend time together watching old musicals. From there, I joined choir, became leads in musicals in high school, and it all went up from there. I joined my first band as soon as I turned 18.
Our lead guitarist’s daughter, Avery Weigand, actually wrote the song and sent it to us in a demo format. From there, we put our own signature on it, gave it the sound we wanted, and it immediately got attention. The song itself is full of metaphors used to describe an extremely toxic relationship. The “villian” could almost seem sociopathic. We took the song, alongside our 3rd single, “Face That You See,” and recorded them at Direct Image Studios in Nashville with Kenny Royster. We had 2 days to record BOTH songs… so we were physically EXHAUSTED by the end of the day, but we had our crew of close friends & bandmates there.. so it was a great time. Funny story, Heather had a really horrible case of bronchitis while we were recording, and her doctor prescribed her some really strong cough medicine to keep her from coughing all night. She needed rest, but what she DIDN’T expect was how sensitive she was to it. She woke up the next day, freaking out because she felt EXTREMELY loopy, shaky, and out of it. On our drive to the studio from the hotel, Heather kept saying she thought she was going to be sick. Christian could NOT, for the life of him, find a place to pull over on the shoulder of the freeway… but he sure did figure it out as soon as Heather stuck her head out of the window! Thankfully, our good friend Natalie drove around Nashville blindly trying to find the nearest gas station or grocery store to get her a healthy breakfast, fresh fruit, ginger ale, and stomach meds to subside the nausea. Needless to say, she doesn’t take cough medicine anymore…haha!
What we love about our music is…
how dimensional it is. You have two female co-lead singers.. singing songs that are deeply personal, something you can relate to, and lyrically sound. We’ve had MANY fans come up to us and tell us how our music has gotten them through some very difficult times, made them stronger, and simply just made them happy. It doesn’t get better than that. “Cyanide” could really be about ANY relationship, whether it’s about an ex, or an estranged parent, or even your battle with addiction. That’s what we take pride in… anyone can connect on some level. We will be placing all of our songs on our full-length album, along with about 7 other originals. Any avenues & forms of marketing that we can get our hands on & afford, we take full advantage. It will be everywhere..especially on social media.
We are from Houston, Texas…
The music scene here is extremely diverse… and the network of artists here is very well-connected. Everyone knows one another, supports each other, and really represents our city well. You can always catch live shows at Scout Bar, BFE Rock Club, Office Live, Last Concert Cafe, Fitzgeralds, and many others. Ashley & I love to occassionally go sing karaoke with our favorite, MamaCass Turner… or enjoy quality time at our Aunt Ro & Uncle Wally’s “Oasis” with the band family.
Music is constantly evolving, along with WAYS of getting your music heard. Most artists don’t realize just how much time & money goes into creating a radio-ready album. You have to be insanely dedicated & willing to do whatever it takes to get yourself out there. Interviews, marketing, branding your name, merchandise, getting your band on the opening bill for nationwide headliners, etc. It’s a daily grind. We could sit here & go on for DAYS about the best advice we could give, or have heard.. but the bottom line is…if you build it, they will come. We have heard the word “no” (like many artists have) in all of the years we have been doing this, but we have always known that it only takes that ONE “yes!” to change our lives forever. We love making music, performing, and touching people’s hearts. If you don’t have the passion for that, at the end of the day, no one is going to listen to what you have to say.
Everything is so centered around social media these days, that’s it’s almost like a necessary “evil.” Don’t get me wrong, these platforms have done WONDERS for our music & following, allowed us to stay connected with our fan base, and is a universal way of keeping everyone updated… but what I definitely love the most about our band is this: nothing beats a personal conversation, hug, or face-to-face interaction with people. Everyone is human, regardless of their financial status, fame, or paths in life. We try to get in as much quality time with fans at our shows as possible.
Singles vs an album…
I think it’s safe to say every artist would LOVE to put out a full album right off the bat, but sometimes, lack of funding or a record deal makes it much easier to release singles. If you have 2 great singles out there, you have more of a foundation to stand on if you choose to ask your fanbase to help you with crowd-funding to complete an album. We have also found that releasing singles gives our fans something to look forward to by all of the hype that comes along with releasing a new song. It keeps them wanting more, and that’s never a bad thing!
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Ashley & I are HUGE fans of Justin Furstenfeld from Blue October. His songwriting process, where he finds his inspiration for his songs, and the way he commands a crowd are just pure genius. We actually DID get longer than 5 minutes with him at his last 2 shows here in Houston, but it was more about the possibility of him producing our full album, how much he likes “Cyanide,” and just talking like old friends. We can’t WAIT to see his genius go into effect with our music. The other person would be Ellen Degeneres… because WHO doesn’t love Ellen!?!
We think it’s fair to say that most artists have to adapt to the constant changes within the music industry, but never lose sight of the message you are trying to send, the artist you ARE, and always know it’s okay to be original. Don’t lose your integrity.
I am most afraid of…
doing business with someone in the industry who doesn’t have our best interests at heart.
My personal definition of success is..
making this our full-time careers. Touring, radio, etc. We want it all.
I am proud of…
We had a huge concert for The Lone Survivor Foundation last year at The Revention Center that we were direct support for, and that moment…walking onto a stage THAT big, seeing HUNDREDS of our fans smiling, screaming, and singing our songs BACK to us…was a small taste of what doing this will be like.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
to be able to be a successful performing artist, doing what we love every day with our closest buddies, changing people’s lives with our music, and of course… what “normal” people do like getting married, having a kid.. the good stuff.
3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) Ashley is learning guitar which is very new to her.. and she plays drums as well. She wants to actively be a part of the writing & composition process.
2) Heather is always finding ways to perfect her voice through vocal exercises & new techniques… and she’s also writing lyrics as well.
3) We practice often, even if it’s just us two on a random night at the house. Practice makes perfect!
Web Site : http://www.hennessyband.com