1. Hello, you two, can you both tell us all a little bit about yourselves before you became a country music duo? Sayre: We grew up in a musical family. Momma sings… she cut her first record at Muscle Shoals Sound with the Swampers in the 70s, and dad is an incredible multi-instrumentalist who paid the bills behind a drumset. We had different tastes growing up, but after Shea graduated college I ended up moving in with him in Denton, Tx while I attended the University of North Texas (where he had just graduated). He played in a red dirt band and I grew up a huge country music fan, so we tried writing some songs together and it seemed to work immediately.
2. How did you come up with the name Henley for your group name? Shea: Henley is our last name… we were blessed with A LOT of grandparents haha. Funny enough, the man who raised our dad and gave us all the last name Henley is the only grandpa we never met! AND he wasn’t a musician. But dad’s biological father and our Grandmama were both brilliant musicians. Most of the musicians in our family all carry the name Henley, so it’s an homage to our roots and family history.
3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Alone Tonight?”
|Shea: There definitely was a situation that inspired this song. I came in with the idea for the opening two lines of the chorus “I don’t wanna be alone tonight, I don’t wanna spend the night alone”, and it triggered a memory for Sayre of a past relationship. Sayre had been in a relationship with a country singer who at the time was an up and comer, but now has definitely seen his fair share of success. Sayre: He started out to be the perfect gentleman, but with time the perfect date nights and sweet memories slowed down and it turned into the late night texts when he was in town asking me to meet him at the bar for drinks, or asking me to come over after he had dipped into too many shots of whiskey. Even though I knew his intentions weren’t good anymore I still put myself in the position to meet him after he was drunk, or answer the late night text because being with him in any form was better than being alone.|
4. What is your recording process like when creating new music? Shea: we do everything ourselves with our partner in crime Cody Smith (www.discomyth.com). For this one, I opened my computer one night and made the synth patch and loop you hear. I sent it to Sayre to sing along with and she loved it. She came over and we recorded the vocals ourselves in my detached garage/studio workspace… it’s just a blazing hot 24×24 cinderblock shed with big wooden supports and a tin roof, but it sounds great… Cody played acoustic and steel guitar, the big Moog bass you hear, AND he mixed it. We decided to leave my original loop in as a change of pace to our normal live drums (which I usually play).
5. How would you guys describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Sayre: Real Shea: Gooder than good!
6. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at? Shea: of all the fun shows we’ve done, honestly it always comes back to Winner’s Bar and Whiskey Jam… WJ will always feel like home to Nashville-based artists.
7. When not working or creating music what do you two like do in your free time?
Sayre: I love going to the gym (shoutout to my Redline fam!)… that’s actually where we met our amazing booking agent Jess Mosby. Such a Nashville story. Everyone you meet is in the business!
Shea: If I’m not working on music for Henley I’m probably working on one of the many side projects I have with my friends. It’s a fun way to navigate the distance as our various careers take us all over the US. Especially with the lockdown… it’s been fun catching up via music.
8. What are a few of your guys’ favorite quotes? Sayre: “Don’t suck” – my brother with a big grin on his face just before we hit the stage, or “Center, Breathe, Pray” which is mom’s advice for everything life throws your way.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? hank you so much for having us, and shoutout to our cowriter Kenneth Duncan (who also wrote Centerline and I Forgot About You with us). Be sure to follow us @wearehenley on social media! We’ve got cover videos, acoustic sessions, and BTS (behind the song) content coming at ya.