Sound Out: Vic Hennegan - March 2017
Vic Hennegan Vic Hennegan grew up on the progressive rock of Genesis and King Crimson and Spacemusic by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze - which he heard on local college radio station WXPN. Originally from Philadelphia, Hennegan spent his early career performing in rock bands in New York and other eastern seaboard cities. After relocating to Los Angeles, he became a fixture as performer on the desert rave scene. His spellbinding anthems and inspired dance floor rituals eventually led him to a more enlightened perspective, and he has since traveled a deeper musical path.

Hennegan's current work is a complicated interplay between an ingrained pop sensibility and expansive cosmic yearning - and should be celebrated for its big-hearted intelligence. His masterfully multi-layered music creates a world alluringly suspended between the dancefloor and the cosmos. Sustaining a brilliant musical output, Hennegan's work departs somewhat from Spacemusic's focus on the artist's internal state to also reference the external world. His music captures the spirit of innovation, technology and all the positive aspects of our modern age.

Vic Hennegan is also very easy to spend time with, as we find in this delightful interview. Please read on...


Sharknado STAR'S END: Your lovely daughter Rachel is studying Marine Biology at University of Alaska Juneau. Can I assume that this will be the next location in the excellent "Sharknado" TV series?

Vic Hennegan: My daughter loves those movies! She would love to have it take place in Alaska! I know she would want to be on set!

 

STAR'S END: In one sentence, define masculinity.

Vic Hennegan: One who is physically very strong, and yet very sensitive in their heart.

 

The Terminator STAR'S END: What does Technology want from us? Is it at our command?

Vic Hennegan: It wants to rule the world! Mu-Ha-Ha! Mu-Ha-Ha! It's only at our command for now. I love technology! I just worry how far we will take it. I see The Terminator in our future.

 

STAR'S END: Why do people do drugs?

Vic Hennegan: Some to escape. Some are looking for enlightenment. Mushrooms are cool for colors :)

 

Dean De Benedictis STAR'S END: Why does our friend Dean De Benedictis take so long to eat a hamburger?

Vic Hennegan: He needs to explore the meaning of the hamburger, and how it fits into the greater consciousness of society (I love you man!).

 

STAR'S END: What were you like before you heard STAR'S END?

Vic Hennegan: A guitarist. Lost, Lonely and Very Un-Cool.

 

Five Beatles Albums

STAR'S END: What are your top five Beatles albums?

Vic Hennegan: The Beatles' 2nd album, Beatles for Sale, A Hard Day's Night, Help and Revolver.

 

The Nightcrawlers STAR'S END: Please share with us a memory of The Nightcrawlers.

Vic Hennegan: The first time Dave Lunt and I jammed. It was a cold December night just before New Years. I went to his house and we set up in his studio. I had never really jammed with anybody who had as many synths set up like his and who did Spacemusic. I was blown away by his sounds and sequencing. I couldn't set up fast enough to start jamming.

That night my car died in his driveway. I had to leave it, and it sat there for several days - as I tried to figure out what to do with it. I didn't have much money, and I couldn't afford to have it towed. Eventually, Dave called me and said, "you have to move your car." I finally borrowed some money and had it towed.

Dave and I jammed several more times after that, and I've always loved our jams. He was a huge influence on my Spacemusic, and I still have the recordings we did. For me, they were the most fun I may have ever had jamming.

 

U-he Zebra 2 STAR'S END: Please write a haiku for your favorite synthesizer.

Vic Hennegan:

    U-he Zebra 2
    Breath sound and picture collide
    With this I create

 

STAR'S END: Are you an East-Coast guy living out west? or a West-Coast guy born in the east?

Vic Hennegan: Definitely an East-Coast guy living in the west - for sure dude.

 

Venues

STAR'S END: As you have lived in the LA area for a significant portion of your life, please cite your top five celebrity encounters.

Vic Hennegan: Kim Cattrall (at a party), Jennifer Aniston (Walgreens), Jeff Lynn (same party as Kim), David Bowie (Guitar Center), Terri Bozio (Guitar Center), Andy Summers (Guitar Center), Alice Copper (Guitar Center), Jack Nicholson (driving his car), Warren Zevon (neighbor), Annabella Lwin (long story), Tom Petty (at a cafe), Selma Hayek (at a cafe), Bob Moog (at a show), Henry Rollins (parking lot), Jami Gertz (cafe), Jamie Lee Curtis (cafe), Robert Downey Jr (shorter than expected), Will Ferrell (taller than expected)... and so many others (sorry, I got carried away)...

 

STAR'S END: How is it that you have now moved from LA to Taos?

Vic Hennegan: It was time for a change. I've always loved the desert, and found it quite inspirational. Taos is a great little artistic community, and the people are very cool. I love the small town feel, and waking up to the mountains and high desert.

 

STAR'S END: Top five camping trips?

Vic Hennegan: Grand Canyon, Sedona, San Luis Obispo CA, San Gabriel Mountain in CA and Cambria CA. Most of these were with my daughter in our camper.

 

Venues

STAR'S END: You play music in an impressive range of bands and circumstances. Please cite five diverse settings (Galaxy Disco? The Gatherings? Yoga Class? Desert Rave? Dive Bar? etc) and provide a few words about each.

Vic Hennegan: I love playing 5Rhythms and Ecstatic dance events. These events are free-form dance, and I get to play a wide range of my music - from uptempo to down tempo. Desert Raves are always cool. Under the stars, and when the weather is right (like no sandstorms LOL), it is magic. You can feel the energy move through the audience.

Yoga classes are fun, but probably my least favorite, as ultimately I'm just background music, and have to flow with the instructor.

I hate playing in bars. I've played so many bars in my time as a rock musician, I can't even go in to one any more.

But my favorite performances are still live on STAR'S END, and even more so with The Gatherings Concert Series. At St Mary's church sanctuary, the sound system is invariably great. The lights, the video screen, and the audience just always makes for an exceptional evening - so much so that I feel high in the middle of a performance during those shows. When I hear everything in vivid living color, it just inspires me! With many of the other events the sound can be hit or miss, and there is nothing worse than trying to perform with bad sound. It puts me in a bad mood really fast.

 

Five Albums

STAR'S END: You can do so much, and show a deep, diverse discography. What determines the mood of each album release?

Vic Hennegan: When I sit down to create a new album, it's usually a reflection of my current state. For instance Space and Shadows is very reflective of relationships. I was going through a lot of emotional changes from many relationships, with several different women, over the last few years. What happened? Why didn't they work? That's why I decided to do more vocals on that album - I had something direct to say to them.

An Album like Journey to Sirius (which, by the way, was the fastest album I have ever written and recorded - a month and a half from start to press) was more playful for me - with thoughts of traveling through space and imagination.

On the dance side, my album Pure Creative Spirit was very therapeutic. At that time I had decided to quit playing music, and I was going to be a realtor. I got my license, and started working for Caldwell Banker. I pretty much lost my mind, and within months found myself back in my studio. I don't really remember recording the album. I would just sit in the studio and get lost, and escape my day with recording. It felt like I was on a journey. It felt so good that I couldn't wait to get home and get in the studio and just disappear.

Field of Worlds and Mirrors was like that as well. Although, I wasn't as distressed as with Pure Creative Spirit - it was another journey, or an escape, which lead to the creation of the album.

 

Five Locations

STAR'S END: Describe the five significant places/lands you want to visit/commune with in your lifetime.

Vic Hennegan: Jerusalem, which is filled with such history that I would love to explore. Easter Island, and see the magnificent statues up close. Machu Picchu, to meditate with the land at that altitude and be with all the astronomically aligned structures. India, to jam with musicians with synths and traditional instruments combined. And back to England again (what can I say, I'm a Brit at heart. Music, humor, etc, etc).

 

-Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END Interview with Vic Hennegan - March 2017

 
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