A Gentlemanly affair

Alternative band Gentlemen Husbands shares their sound

The band’s EP House of Cards was released mid-2013.
Image by: Supplied
The band’s EP House of Cards was released mid-2013.

It was only a matter of time before multiple-genre band Gentlemen Husbands caught the attention of big-name producer Gavin Brown to produce their latest EP House of Cards.

The band originates from Cobourg, Ont. and consists of members Ryan Hutcheson on guitar, Jed Atkinson on bass guitar, Dan Farrell on drums and Derrick Ballard as the lead singer. According to Hutcheson, they’re open-minded with their sound and tend not to focus on one specific music style.

“The fact is that we literally listen to everything. We’re as big a fan of A$AP Rocky and Drake as we are Keith Urban and Springsteen,” he said. “We’re big into pop stuff – from straight pop to hip hop to folk music to rock music. And that’s why it probably comes through so much and why we have a lot of different sounds and play with a lot of different genres.”

On the new EP, some of the main tunes are folk-country based but have a surprisingly strong pop-alternative twist, which is what caught the attention of eccentric music producer Gavin Brown.

After hearing the finished product, Hutcheson knew that there was a method to Brown’s madness.

“He’s a crazy guy – everyone will tell you the same thing,” Hutcheson said. “He’s so good at what he does and we got along really well. It was an enjoyable process working with him. There were a lot of decisions that we weren’t sure of at first when we first tried them, but then after it was all done we realized that he was right.” Having written over 100 songs in the six years Gentlemen Husbands has been around, each member has ample experience writing music.

According to Hutcheson, the fact that the members have been friends since before high school allows for mutual, often brutal honesty while they’re song-writing.

“It’s very brother-like — we’ve known each other for half of our lives and we spend so much time together,” he said. “When we’re writing, nothing really changes. We’re pretty quick to shoot down an idea when it doesn’t sound good. No one’s shy about saying they don’t like something.”

As a band, Hutcheson said, the guys remain humble and their main focus is on putting forth good music for their listeners.

“Our job, in our eyes, is just to shut up and play — that’s been our motto since day one. It’s less about a spectacle and more about letting the music speak for itself,” he said.

Gentlemen Husbands plays at the Mansion on Saturday, Sept. 20.


band, Interview

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