Desert Noises follows its dreams, quite literally, to music and the road
Follow your dreams. It's some of the earliest advice many receive, and that's exactly what Kyle Henderson and his bandmates in the indie rock band Desert Noises are doing.
According to the frontman, much of the band's music and several decisions – like the band's name – have come from dreams. And so far, it's working. The band is finding success and hitting the road hard this year in support of its latest album, "27 Ways." A part of that tour is a stop in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Aug. 26 for a performance in the Marcus Center's Live @ Peck series.
Before then, OnMilwaukee.com got a chance to chat with Henderson about following one's dreams, leaving his home state of Utah and coming back.
OnMilwaukee.com: How is it being home for a little bit?
Kyle Henderson: It's a little weird. It's always nice, but we leave Wednesday, so it's kind of like you never really get to reconnect those relationships that you have fully.
OMC: When you started up, you just up and packed up and left town. What was that experience like?
KH: That was a really life changing moment in my life to decide to do that. It wasn't easy, that's for sure. It was a really tough decision. But it just felt like the right one, like something that needed to happen in order for me to progress as a person and progress in something that I love. Whether or not I failed wasn't really the question about it ever, because I don't think there really was any kind of failure. I don't think it could fail. I think the whole point of trying was the actual success.
OMC: From what I read, you had a pretty solid job and a wife back home. I'm assuming that you told her you were leaving town?
KH: Yeah, absolutely. That was kind of ending before I made the decision; it just kind of pushed me in the direction of leaving town.
OMC: You come up with a lot of your songs – and even the name of the band – in your dreams. How does that process work for you?
KH: I have a notepad when I saw the name in the dream, but other than that, it's kind of like a state of mind and being that feels a feeling, rather than actual stories from dreams. Like maybe, when you wake up after a really intense dream and that feeling is kind of stuck with you for a day and you're a little off, maybe that's how the song comes out. Or maybe the dream was really great, and that feeling comes across in a song. Maybe the dream is an actual goal or a dream of something else to happen.
OMC: How do you parse out the dream itself and what it's trying to say?
KH: I guess I don't really think about it too much. I try not to dive into that, and I'm still not sure if they're important. I just know that the feelings I get from waking up from being asleep are definitely important in my day.
OMC: When you left Utah, you also broke away from your past Mormon life. Was that a big, difficult thing to rip away from?
KH: I've kind of not been too religious since I was in high school, so I was living in Utah without that. That definitely was a big moment in my life when that happened, but it wasn't something that formed me leaving Utah in a way. We definitely left the culture and sought new things and experiences that we would never really see in Utah, and I think that's something that's really shaped us as a band now, being outside Utah and being in different environments. I don't necessarily think leaving the religion was part of going out on tour. That was all personal choice and being younger.
OMC: Why did you decide to leave the religion?
KH: I think there's a lot of different reasons, but I guess it was just the feeling I had. I try to really pay attention to what I'm feeling and what's making me really happy and am I really doing what I should be doing and stuff like that. Sometimes, those decisions are the hardest ones; sometimes the right decision is the hardest and the right decision you don't want to make. But maybe you know somewhere inside that that's a decision you need to make.
I don't think that religion is wrong. Everybody should be entitled to do exactly as they wish and believe what they want. It just didn't really fit me.
OMC: How long had you been a part of the Mormon community?
KH: My whole life.
OMC: And your parents were Mormon?
KH: Yeah, and still are. My whole family is.
OMC: How did they handle you leaving the religion?
KH: They're really supportive. They love me for who I am, not what I believe, and I respect them as well. It's a mutual respect. It's something that's really cool between us, because we respect one another. We don't view each other as different for not believing in the same thing. We love each other for believing different things.
OMC: Let's talk about some of your musical references, which sounds like a lot of Tom Petty and a little bit of Led Zeppelin. What about those guys speaks to you?
KH: The timelessness of the music. I think that music will always carry a weight. You can stamp a date on it and say, "Well, this will be sh*t in two years."(laughs) That happens, not that it's not good for a time, but that happens to a lot of music. I like the idea of timelessness.
OMC: How do you go about writing a timeless song nowadays? For me, the idea of timelessness is almost something your song earns or something that happens over time.
KH: I'm still trying to figure that out I think. In my opinion, mostly it's just being honest with yourself, the song and the muse that's directing you to write the song. Having that conversation in an honest way and letting it flow out the way that it comes.
OMC: Your most recent album is named "27 Ways." What's the meaning behind that?
KH: The number 27 is just a number, but it's a phrase that explains that there's so many different ways to go. You've got to choose a path and let it happen I guess. The idea of "27 Ways" is that there's a multiple amount of paths you can go down at any moment.
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