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The Floorwalkers represent Columbus with soulful rock and roll
|For The Fans, By The Fans. Look Beyond The Mainstream.
The first time I heard them I was on the patio at The Rumba Cafe. I started shushing
the people I was with. Who is that? Their sound drew me in, soulful, natural--it
reminded of music I listened to in the 70s. When we went back into the club, I was
blown away by how young these guys are and by the realization that every person in
the packed bar was in this band’s groove. Of course I went to the front of the crowd to
get a better look. There was Jonathan Elliott singing lead vocals; Kerry Henderson on
guitar; Ben Meinhold on bass; Theo Perry, who plays lead guitar but was playing a
tambourine at that moment; Tom Lasky on drums and Todd Hamric on the organ.
Their individual personality differences come right through yet bewitchingly mesh
together. Personally, I instantly fell in love with The Floorwalkers.
Since their conception in 2001, the band has moved from Chardon to Columbus
honing their sound and gathering fans at campus parties and clubs.
Their debut CD, The Natural Road was released Nov. 19, 2010 after working on it for
literally years in a warehouse studio in Louisville, Kentucky. I have since been able to
catch up with Kerry and ask him a few questions.
Deb: How has your music evolved since you've started playing together?
Kerry: We went from roots rock band, in our early days, to acoustic trio for a short
time, and back again. So we've ended up with songs now from each of those periods
on this album. And due to our eclectic taste in music, more and more we end up
bending genres and pulling influence from a wide range of music. I know that seems
very cliche, but if you heard.
Deb: Describe your band's song writing process.
Kerry: Long, haha! I think it's not so much long as it is well chosen. It happens in a few
different ways. As a full band, we can very quickly come up with great song sketches,
fully laid out, but spend a much longer time honing and shaping them until they're really
ready to play. However, sometimes one of the guys will bring in a mostly finished song
idea and then we all will add to the mix to finish it. Our songs have developed through
every possible route. Some are lyrics or melody first, some are strictly chords or
instrumental first and some are just happenstance when one of us plays something
that catches another's ear and we build off it.
Out Of The Blue Publications
Deb: I know you guys are fans of quite a few local bands. Tell me how the local music scene has influenced your band.
Kerry: There are some great central Ohio bands and some very inspiring musicians. The scene here has really been a lifeblood for our songwriting.
Watching another young band make great music can be a huge inspiration and motivation to get creative, to lock ourselves in with our instruments and
see what we come up with. Thats been so crucial in keeping us inspired musically.
Deb: Where did the name "The Natural Road" come from?
Kerry: "The Natural Road" is named for the last song on the album, written by our bass player Ben Meinhold. It is such a fantastic song, and the phrase
itself plays to the tendency in our band for things to happen naturally. Whether it be songwriting or playing live, we tend to just do what feels right and
play to our instincts.
An interview with guitarist Kerry Henderson
Deb: You guys took your time recording it, were
you completely satisfied with the way it turned out?
Kerry: Yes, we definitely love the overall sound.
Recording music is a totally different way of hearing a
song as opposed to live. So we had to judge on a song
to song basis [to hear] if the parts we were used to
playing on a song were really serving the same
purpose on our record. It became very important to us
to play less, basically. As in every art form, the negative
space is as important to us as the positive. It was a
fantastic experience for us though, we all started to
earn our stripes on this record I think.
Deb: What's the best and worst part of traveling
Kerry: We raised money on Kickstarter and upgraded
our band van; so, thanks to our very generous fans we
no longer need to keep our AAA cards at the ready! The
best is finding out we are all much more juvenile than
we previously thought! The worst is trying to get all six
of us out of a music store, when all we went in for was
guitar strings and somehow that turns into a two hour
tour of instruments that cost more than small cars!
Deb: What is coming up for the band?
Kerry: We've been writing a bunch of new songs and
hitting the road more too. We've also been adding
some festival stops for this summer, so stay tuned.
The Floorwalkers will be appearing Sat., May 7 at The
Newport Music Hall with The Werks and Fri., May 20 at
The LC Pavilion with OAR. Check out the band's
website for more dates, then run out and fall in love
with The Floorwalkers. I’ll go with you!
Watch The Floorwalkers' official video for "Three Wishes" above.