My Missing Half – Tightening the NooseMonday, 4th July 2016
Dead Rhetoric: Tell us about the video work you’ve done for the new EP – as you believe in the medium strongly for promotional purposes? Do you think it’s as important to making an impression as the recordings and live performances?
Hennessey: I think it depends. Every band has their strengths. There are some bands where you look at Begat the Nephilim, they don’t have a music video out yet but they can still pack a room full of people because they know their live show is going to be insane. Whereas when you are a four-piece like us, you have one guy who is always stuck to the microphone- there’s somewhat of a limit as to how nuts we can go live. Not that we aren’t trying our hardest to put on a killer show- especially for a band where you have one guy stuck to the microphone it’s huge to capture the energy. I think that video is very important. What helps us is that there aren’t very many local bands who have videos so it’s really helping us stand out a lot.
Elwell: It’s a cool medium. I think they are all really important, it’s good to show that you can do a little bit of everything. There are bands out there with totally killer live shows that can stand alone. I think we are more… we want to diversify what we do a little bit more. In doing so we can appeal to more potential audiences that way.
Matthews: A band is only as strong as its weakest piece of material or content. It’s not absolutely necessary to have a music video but the ones we put out are as strong as the recordings. It’s not like an amateur video that could do more damage than good.
Dead Rhetoric: When did the band start the idea of taking on 80’s classics like “Eye of the Tiger” and “The Final Countdown” instrumentally to open up sets? Will there be other classics possibly taken on in some form down the road?
Hennessey: I think it was about three years ago that Alex came to practice and was listening to “Eye of the Tiger” on the way over. We said we should cover it and just did it. It went over well every time, it got the crowd totally into us, we would just play the first 30 seconds of “Eye of the Tiger” and everyone would be in a good mood. Once everyone had heard that song a million times, we moved onto “The Final Countdown”, which was even a bigger response. We actually tried doing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, but when we strip it down to just drums, bass, and two guitars it doesn’t go over as well as it should, it doesn’t sound quite perfect. It doesn’t sound like we are Rick-rolling the audience (laughs). We ended up not doing that. At our CD release show we ended up going in a whole other direction and started it with it the first 30 seconds of “1985” by Bowling for Soup (laughs). Which I don’t know if we have plans to do that again…
Elwell: Oh, we’re doing that!
Hennessey: It definitely caught the crowd off guard.
Dead Rhetoric: What types of goals do you set for yourselves at this point in your career? Are you content to continue on an independent path or would you like to move up the ranks to a more firmly established metal label deal?
Hennessey: We definitely have plans to keep working and doing everything we can to work our way up the ranks. We want to push this band as far as we can. With that being said, whatever this band’s fate is- we are definitely still happy putting out music and performing. We’ve made a lot of fans over the past couple of years and I’m super grateful for everything that has happened so far. We still wish to keep pushing our way forward.
Elwell: We are going to work as hard as we can. Whatever happens, happens. We would probably be down to sell our soul for a record deal, but we don’t have any delusions of grandeur.
Matthews: The advantage of having a record deal and getting a little bit bigger would be allowing bands to have a little bit of money. I don’t think any of us think we are going to be rock stars, we want to keep things real. It’s nice to be able to support ourselves doing what we love.
Dead Rhetoric: When you have the free time outside of music, what are some hobbies/interests that you like to pursue? And do you believe that friendships are important within a band context?
Hennessey: I don’t think many of us have any free time much outside of the band. We usually just work to make enough money to put back into the band and then are focusing on band stuff when we are not working. I enjoy exercising and seeing friends too. Friendships are a huge importance to everyone, inside and outside of the band. A lot of what we’ve done as a band so far has come from being friends with a lot of people who’ve been able to help us out, and we’ve helped them out vice versa. From one of my very best friends who helped film our first videos and did some design work with us, including our very first logo. There have been a lot of relationships where the people we hung out with and know personally ended up being able to help the band move forward. I think that this band is weird- none of us knew each other personally. John and Alex didn’t know each other or me when they joined My Missing Half. We’ve become very good friends.
Matthews: I consider my bandmates some of my very best friends. I see these guys more than I see my roommate and people I live with. If I didn’t like them and they couldn’t stand being around me… it would make things very tough as far as touring, the studio work and so forth.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve done some self-financed DIY touring over the past couple of years. Can you tell us some of your favorite memories regarding this, and possible takeaways that you’ve applied to My Missing Half’s outlook live today?
Hennessey: We’ve told this story a few times but it’s still my favorite thing I’ve ever gotten to witness on tour, ever. We were booked to play a show in Trenton, New Jersey that was double booked with a burlesque strip show. What the club decided to do was just have both shows go on in the room at the same time. Which was this odd disaster but at the same time there were a lot of people attending, it’s just the audiences were generally confused as to what was going on. I don’t think everybody there understood there had been a double-booked show. What ended up happening was one stripper, she had this electric circular saw that she was spinning around, she looked like she had no idea what she was doing. She came within probably an inch of cutting her face off with it, she ended up cutting off one of her dreadlocks. Right when that happened, one of our buddies in the other band grabbed her dreadlock off the ground, put it on his amp and played the show with her dreadlock hanging off the amp, it just looked so weird. It was one of those I don’t know what I’m doing with my life moments, this is strange, and is this what touring with like.
Elwell: I believe Travis from The Aberration still has that dreadlock somewhere. That was a great tour, those guys were great. Those two are fun.
Matthews: I had a lot of fun with those guys as well. I’m trying to think of my favorite tour memory. Something I learned is that when you are on tour try to book shows either close enough together or give yourself enough time to get the venue by load in. We have had issues where you have a show eight hours away the next day, but the current show ends at 3 in the morning, find a way to sleep and make it to load in the next day- so when you put in an eight-hour drive, that can be tough. If you do that two days in a row, that can be really tough.
Elwell: Charleston, West Virginia was great. That’s a cool area. They have some cool fans there, and the dudes that work at some of the clubs there are super cool. They party hard, they are super cool, we are stoked to go back there every time.
Dead Rhetoric: What are the plans for the next six to twelve months for My Missing Half as far as pushing this EP?
Hennessey: We are beginning to figure out what we will be doing as far as a tour, hopefully we will have something in the fall. We are looking for another great band to tour with. We are also writing more material at the same time, and we have a lot of New England local shows booked right now. We are moving forward, so stay posted.
Photo Credit: Devvon Simpson
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