the band

More Than Just Going with the Flow...

"Tribal Popsters" 10 ft. Henry

Interview by Paul Watkin
Band photography by Suzanne Goodwin

45-second excerpt from "Sunny Day" (various formats)

In the science of numerology, those who fall under the number four are generally rebellious in nature, possess a positive, unconventional way of thinking and are likely to challenge the regulations put forth by their society. Local band 10 ft. Henry falls under this number, and, appropriately, the first lyrics from their debut CD, Oh Oh, are as follows: "To break with tradition, I just got laid in a position that I'd never tried before..."

The founding members and songwriters for 10 ft. Henry, singer Janet Panic and bassist Dragon, moved to Vancouver from Montreal a few years ago and haven't looked back. As Janet explains, "We dropped out of school -- music school -- because they were trying to pound the creativity out of us. So we left, no, we escaped and took our creativity with us!"

band on the beach That creativity works differently for each of them. Says Dragon, "We just go with the flow. Sometimes I'll have music, I'll have the song, just the music and no lyrics and I might be playing that for a couple of months here and there." Janet adds in, "You have to write what you're passionate about... I keep a journal and I find a lot of times you write a lot of negative stuff in it, 'cause you really want to bitch to it... I also write when I'm feeling happy and sort of sometimes combine the two, like in the song 'Sunny Day,' I bitch, but then it's okay."

"Everyone [in the band] does what they do," she continues. "Everyone has their specialty and together we create something really nice, 'cause everybody puts their whole heart into what they're good at and, packed all together, it makes a nice bouquet of whatever we're doing. That's our approach to writing songs and performing. I'm still quite honoured to be able to perform. So often you go see a band and they just sort of leave you feeling flat. We want to be able to give people their money's worth, 'cause everybody's broke and it's great to have people come out and see us and buy our CD's."

10 ft. Henry's style can be loosely described as percussion-driven pop, what their bio describes as "tribal pop." Sensual and rhythmic in presence, their songs carry many mood changes, but bassist Dragon points out that this openness in style is more than just a "whatever happens" attitude: "We're very picky. We want it to come out a certain way, but at the same time we'll go with the flow, I mean we'll jam, we'll make people dance, we'll change something a little bit."

cover of 'Oh Oh' Percussionist Dale Plourde elaborates: "We create a mood with visuals, candles, incense... We like to make it an event, get people involved with the show. We really want to control the atmosphere, set the mood and take people through a little kind of theatrical presence. We want it to be a memorable thing, you know? We want to reach as many senses as possible."

Being in Vancouver has helped, says Dragon: "The music energy in Vancouver is awesome. Better than I've ever felt. There's a lot of people helping out with a lot of support. You know, with people like Alanis Morissette and the Crash Test Dummies, say what you want about them, but they bring attention to Canada and a lot of that is coming to Vancouver right now, and the major labels are really paying attention." Though, lest we forget, 10 ft. Henry is an entity of the number four, so mainstream major labels are not necessarily an immediate concern.

As Janet relates the philosophy behind Douglas Adam's modus operandi, "Just pose a question to the universe, just sort of follow the clues, and it will all unfold for you," it seems the current clues will lead 10 ft. Henry to embark on their first tour outside of B.C. this summer, taking them to Ontario and back. In the meantime, those of us in Vancouver can catch them at Music West; they're scheduled for the Town Pump on Friday, May 9.

So bring your incense and see what the universe unfolds.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on May 1, 1997

Index | Search | E-mail | Info | Copyright

Considering copying some of the images from this story?
Please read this first. Thanks.