When I saw Henry Chadwick walk into Pete’s Candy Store, I thought he was a spitting image of one of The Beatles in their earlier years (to find out later he’s a huge fan of them). He definitely channeled his inner British humorist on stage as well, while rocking away without a drummer and a guest bassist. Regardless, the show went on and the crowd laughed and clapped along to his music, which is a smooth mix of 60s rock, pop and indie.
BTRtoday (BTR): Hi, Henry! If Henry is your real name, and not a stage name!
Henry Chadwick (HC): [Laughs] Oh, it is my real name, I’m not clever enough for that.
BTR: How did you get into music?
HC: I grew up with my dad being an audio engineer in the 80s in Hollywood at Cherokee Studios. It was pretty crazy down there. He worked there until my older brother was born – it was too crazy for him to keep the job and have a kid— and moved to the Bay Area. He saved up a bunch of musical equipment over the years and built a home studio. I grew up being brainwashed into music, learning about recording from a young age. And my mom was a singer and songwriter back then, too. She still does that, but doesn’t play shows anymore. So with time I started recording my own bands there and then other people’s bands and I ended up going to a community college in Santa Cruz for recording arts. So one way or another, I’ve been involved with music for a long time.
BTR: How did you start your current project?
HC: I used write and play and front for this band called “My Stupid Brother,” with my older brother George back in the day. We were big fans of Green Day and pop-punk, and stuff, because that was the time we grew up in. We played in that band for a long time. He moved away to New York to get his Master’s degree, and became an adult with a wife and a kid on the way and a dog, so not a lot of time left for messing with bands… And I played drums in another band, and things were winding down, but I had all these songs I wrote and I needed to keep putting out my music, so I started recording my stuff guerrilla style and after sessions, and whatever I could squeeze in. Then I had a few songs that started to sound like there was something… and I figured, I’ll always be me and I should just put it out under my own name… I can’t break up with myself.
BTR: That would be pretty upsetting if you broke up with yourself!
HC: Yeah, that would suck [laughs].
BTR: What inspires you to make music?
HC: I usually make music when I’m not in the best mood ever. Usually it’s a way to work through some stuff. It’s cliché to say, but it’s almost like therapeutic. I just love music, it’s the best thing and make the most sense, and I start writing music to make myself feel better. And it usually it works.
BTR: What are your musical inspirations?
HC: Well what’s tried and true for me are The Beatles and Beach Boys, The kinks, Nirvana… those are the old standards. Lately, out of newer bands, I’ve been getting into Mac De Marco, Cage the Elephant, there’s a lot of cool bands that are sort of in between genres and keeping it fresh and the music alive. I recently went back to a Harry Nilsson kick, that was exciting.
BTR: If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
HC: OH GOD… that might be the hardest question. It’s the hardest question. One album to rule them all… I really… Jeez. I don’t think I can answer that… One album that I’ve always gone back to, since the beginning of time, is Revolver by the Beatles. I love the Beatles and that album is the perfect blend of their early stuff but also starting to get trippy and psychedelic. Right before it was full-blown “other” Beatles.. And I love the sound, I love the songs.
BTR: Do you have a record player?
HC: Yes, I do.
BTR: Good. That’s the only way to listen to The Beatles.
HC: Yes, it’s true, I have my grandmas old record player with built-in speakers, but I need to upgrade to a nice legitimate one.
BTR: How does performing make you feel?
HC: Good, very good. I usually feel very happy after I play a show. I get nervous beforehand and on stage I just feel so ridiculous that I end up having a lot of fun, and after I feel so good because it seems like I conquered something.
BTR: What message are you sending to your audience?
HC: Here we are. Let’s all have a good time, because it’s easy not to, so let’s try to have some fun. I really like it out here, I feel like these are my people out here, it’s cool, it’s my jam. No slight on the West Coast, that’s home. But people seem so no bullshit out here and It’s cool. And the stuff that I like is more popular out here, which is cool. Musically and otherwise, New York is cool, something for everyone.