Last fall, during Fashion’s Night Out in NYC, I was so excited to attend a performance by The Henry Millers at Bloomingdale’s Soho. They opened for Alexa Ray Joel that evening and I’ve been a fan ever since! The Henry Millers are a band based in NYC comprised of: John MacCallum, Katie Schecter, Philip Nuttle, JJ Lindenthal, and Dan Kirschen.
This past May, they released a music video for “Diamonds.” I was finally able to catch up with The Henry Millers and ask them about their plans for the future, how the band came to be, and about any projects they can share for 2012. I hope you enjoy the music video as much as I do and yes, you can purchase their music here.
N/S: How did the Henry Millers come to be?
The Henry Millers: John and Katie have been friends for years and have always been songwriters individually. When John moved back to the city after graduating College of Charleston, he and Katie started working on songs together. They liked the idea of being a duo and thought that their styles complemented each other. From there, Philip stepped in on the bass and JJ followed on keys. Dan came after a string drummers and has been a godsend.
N/S: When and where was your first live performance?
The Henry Millers: About a year ago at Brooklyn Fireproof in Bushwick.
N/S: Your first song?
The Henry Millers: “Something New” and “Flash Gordon” were written more or less simultaneously and were the catalysts for the project as a whole.
N/S: How do you think each band member provides something unique to the entire group?
The Henry Millers: John is the reluctant leader with a strong creative process and great direction. he’s really the mastermind behind the songs, Katie is a no bullshit co-writer, sounding board and editor, she’s also our sexy. Philip is a big picture guy, the glue. J.J. has a mind for theory and his overall musicianship lends a lot of credibility to the project, Dan other than being the acting backbone of the music as the bands drummer is the reminder that music is supposed to be fun and not to take ourselves too seriously. He’s also a great mediator and a very calming influence on the band as a whole.
N/S: Do you have a favorite song?
The Henry Millers: That’s like asking, do you have a favorite child. Of course I do, but I’ll never tell.
N/S: Who inspires you?
The Henry Millers: It’s a long list of great authors, filmmakers, artists, musicians, songwriters, and historic figure heads. Too many to mention.
N/S: Who writes most of your songs?
The Henry Millers: John does.
N/S: Do you have a favorite memory from your time as a group thus far?
The Henry Millers: It’s a tie between playing out at Brooklyn Bowl and playing Webster Hall studio for the first time.
N/S: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a group to date?
The Henry Millers: Getting signed to Ropeadope Records.
N/S: What inspired the music video for “Diamonds”?
The Henry Millers: That was all Rob Kolodny and the Land of Nod team. He is an awesome director and his team are some of my favorite people.
N/S: What does the rest of 2012 hold for The Henry Millers?
The Henry Millers: Finishing the album and playing some more gigs. Maybe some regional touring if we have the time.
N/S: What has been your greatest challenge as a group thus far?
The Henry Millers: Communication.
N/S: How would you describe The Henry Millers to someone who hadn’t heard your music? What makes your band different from others?
The Henry Millers: The music has a modern alternative direction to it with a pop sensibility and a synthy, chanting electronic edge to it. I think our sound elaborates on some of the upcoming trends in the industry in a way that sets us apart from most of what’s out there. In essence, we have a fun sound without sacrificing the seriousness of what we are trying to accomplish sonically, which I think makes us unique.
N/S: What do some of you like to do in your free time, some of your interests when not practicing for your next show?
The Henry Millers: John likes to go antiquing, Katie is into Yoga, Dan is into reading, JJ is a country club sports enthusiast, Phil is into cooking. Mainly, we like to have a good time and we cherish any time spent with family and friends.
N/S: What do you like best about being based in New York?
The Henry Millers: The history and the camaraderie of other artists.
N/S: Where would you like to see The Henry Millers in 5 years?
The Henry Millers: A friend of mine reminded me that as kids whenever we would come up with a plan, the aim was always world domination. So, world domination. Maintaining said world domination.