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An Interview With... R.M. Hendrix
All you need to know about experimental Boston songwriter R.M. Hendrix!
Here at Middle Eight, we are keen to showcase up and coming artists who are working hard to make themselves heard.
Recently we spoke to the aptly named Boston musician R.M Hendrix, who's upcoming album Shamblegloss is set to be released on vinyl, cassette, and CD March 5, with digital release coming a week later.
Incorporating elements of psychedelic rock and noise-pop, Hendrix delivers his trademark shoegaze sound through melancholic lyricism, dictating social issues and injustices, yet maintaining constant melody and tuneful exuberance.
Shamblegloss is far from a first attempt by Hendrix. A brief venture onto his Spotify page you can already find four albums ranging from his 2011 This Dreadful Mess to 2020s extremely well-received War Is on Its Way. Shamblegloss itself is a collection of old and new tracks, involving some remastering and remixing.
'Morning Complaints' is the lead single from his upcoming album and is reminiscent of 90s indie. However, Hendrix's unmistakable experimentalism means it is hard to put a label on; as Hendrix promises of the majority of his music, it's melodic, and it's noisy.
Find out more about R.M Hendrix below!
Who are you and where are you based?
I'm Michael Hendrix, making music as R.M.Hendrix from Boston, Massachusetts.
How would you describe the music you make?
I named my upcoming record Shamblegloss, a fictional word that is a pretty good description of my music. It's always a little broken and a little shiny, threading together shoegaze, jangle pop and the noisier side of indie rock. The official definition of Shamblegloss is "to give a false or deceptively good appearance to any scene, place or thing of carnage or disorder." I'm sure it's in the Oxford Dictionary...
How did you first get into music?
My parents forced me to take piano lessons for years and I complained the entire time. They eventually gave up and I immediately picked up a dusty acoustic guitar and began learning Ramones songs. I liked music but I didn't like the forced structure of lessons and reading sheet music. The immediacy of banging on a guitar and letting out my emotions unlocked it for me. Within a year my cousin and I made an EP under the moniker, Atomic Roaches. There is one cassette of this masterpiece in existence.
Who are your main musical influences?
This is so hard... bands that have shaped me: Medicine, Ride, Superdrag, Teenage Fanclub, Slowdive, Telescopes, Pixies, Radiohead, REM... that just scratches the surface. They all use texture and melody to great effect. That's what I'm into.
Which artists do you currently have on repeat?
MJ Guider, Josin, TRZTN & Karen O, Sigur Rós, the new Thom Yorke/Burial/FourTet single... I was recently obsessed with Portishead too, especially when I was working on my previous record.
What separates you from other artists?
Most artists don't have a last name like me that immediately makes people think of another artist! All respect to Jimi.
What are your plans for the future?
Shamblegloss drops on vinyl, cassette and CD on March 5 and then streams the following week. I'm really excited about everyone hearing these songs and we'll see where it takes us. Best not to make too many plans during a pandemic!
Going through the impressive back catalogue of R.M Hendrix, there's so much to admire. The creativity and innovation is enhanced by Hendrix's desire for individuality and his musical intelligence is plain to see.
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