The latest band to generate a big buzz in Baltimore is The Henchmen. The band will be playing at Metro Gallery on April 2, 2016 with Gotham Theory and Brothers Clair. Two Years in the making, this group is the brainchild of singer Kevin Hock and bassist Jim Matusky, band mates from the imcomparable local Alternative Rock band, Loving the Lie. When the group broke up in 2013 the guys decided it was time to move on to something new and the birth of The Henchmen had begun.
“We really enjoyed our time in that band, but we were ready to do something different. Something stylistically we could call our own.” said Hock. With influences ranging from The Black Keys and Foo Fighters to Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra, the guys have coined the term “Mobtown Groove Rock” to describe their sound. The Henchmen’s look harkens back to shadows of the past and the Rat Pack glory days. Dapperly decked out in full suits, the band looks like their ready to sip a whiskey and rock a speakeasy.
The Henchmen released their debut song, “Scoundrels,” this month exclusively on Facebook and it has really taken off. The song continues to receive favorable reviews, and generated over 9,500 listens in less than two weeks. The band’s wide age-range appeal seems to have taken the guys by surprise. Lead singer Kevin Hock said, “We’ve had random people from 15 to 60 telling us they can’t get enough.” Drummer Nick Heflin added, “My co-workers will put it on repeat at the auto shop.” The EP release is said to be this June, for more information or to listen to the song “Scoundrels” follow the band on The Henchmen’s Facebook page.
Hock explained the inspiration behind the lyrical content of the song. “Scoundrels was spawned from a conversation I was having with my younger brother, Steve. So many of the heroes from our youth turned out to be a sham on some level. Hulk Hogan, Bill Cosby, even Jared from Subway! Then, a lot of our true-blue heroes have passed away, unexpectedly.” Hock continued, “David Bowie was a tough one for me. Such a creative force. We were lucky to have him as long as we did, I suppose.” Kevin describes the main hook of “Scoundrels” as echoes of what many people are feeling right now, “All our heroes are missing, dead, and gone. In a world of scoundrels, who’s gonna save us now?”
Members of The Henchmen include local Baltimore Renaissance man Kevin Hock. Not only does he sing, play guitar and piano for the band, Kevin is also well known as the Marketing Director for 24-7 Entertainment. He is one of the strongest advocates supporting the local Baltimore music scene and is nominated for a Maryland Music Award this year in the Largest Contributor category. Usually found organizing the hottest shows in town, Kevin said he felt the call to get back to performing. “I have my hands in a lot of things I enjoy creatively. Supporting local music is one of the most important things in my life.” He continued, “I’m a writer of comic books, concert promoter, etc. But nothing gets my heart racing like being on stage. It keeps me up at night. Just one thought of playing music, and I’m not going to sleep for hours. It’s the greatest rush in the world.”
Bassist Jim Matusky is well known locally as having an explosive, energetic stage presence and a strong sense of humor, he can easily be considered the wild card of the group. Jim cut his teeth playing in a few local bands, the aforementioned Loving the Lie and a group called Outreach before that. “I’ve waited a long time for this,” said Matusky. “We’re finally ready to cruise full speed ahead.” Drummer Nick Heflin began playing under an ironic set of circumstances. “My old band was having a tough time counting on drummers,” said Heflin. “I said, screw it, I’ll learn to play. Now here I am, playing drums as my primary instrument.” Hock spoke of Heflin saying, “We’re really excited to have Nick. His youthful energy and skill set really took the band to a new level. Plus he’s an easy target for jokes about being the baby of the band.”
Drew Pallace plays lead guitar for The Henchmen, but he’s been a familiar face the Baltimore music scene long before he ever joined a band himself. Matusky said, “We would see him around, and he was always the coolest, most supportive guy.” Hock added, “We were both shocked and thrilled to find out he absolutely crushes it on guitar. It just made the decision a no brainer to ask him to start a project.” Drew explained his goal from the beginning was to get people moving, saying, “Kevin said he wanted booty shakin’ music, and that’s what we’re gonna do! If you’re not naked by the end of the night, we’ve failed you.” Kevin added, “In all seriousness, a normal Friday night should be going to see some live music, meeting new people, drinking and dancing until you pass out with a smile on your face, and belly full of Taco Bell at 3am.”
The Metro Gallery is located at 1700 North Charles Street in Baltimore, MD. Tickets for the Gotham Theory album release, The Henchmen and Brothers Clair concert on Saturday Apr 2, 2016 cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available through the bands themselves or online here. This is an 18 and over event. Doors open at 8:00 pm and the show starts at 9:00 pm.