In a lakeside town, Gentlemen Husbands grew to be friends long before they picked up instruments together. They learned work ethic before song structure, commitment before ability, and quickly realized the great Americana anthems they were raised on were written about life and love in small towns no different than their own.
Lead singer, Derrick Ballard, would pen lyrics in his father’s motorcycle shop nestled between old bikes and scrap parts. Countless songs were written, with no particular purpose, other than to sing and tell stories of old friends or new lovers.
“It was obvious that he was extremely talented, and even the earliest songs really connected with all of us” says guitarist, Ryan Hutcheson. Hutcheson, along with bassist Jed Atkinson, and drummer Dan Farrell, spent their high school years playing basements and underground clubs in various bands together, but knew they would one day end up collaborating with Ballard. After many years of friendship, Gentlemen Husbands was formed.
“We all listen to a ton of different music and aren’t afraid of blending genres or experimenting with those influences; at the end of the day, we’re just trying to write songs we would want to hear” says Atkinson.
After writing nearly 100 songs, they went to work with acclaimed producer, Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent, The Tragically Hip). Upon listening to their House of Cards EP, the above statements ring abundantly true. The record is loaded with hooks and tales of longing, from the up front, danceable “Wandering Eye”, through the bittersweet ballad “Do It In The Dark”, to the chiming, anthemic chorus of “Shelter Valley.” The songs lend a strong sense of place and give a universal narrative that hits home, while both nodding at tradition and taking the listener to uncharted territory.
“Our mentality is that the song is the nucleus for everything and the only thing that really matters, so our job is to not get in the way of the songs and let them be what they want to be” says Hutcheson.
“I have a problem with the mentality that ‘we can’t be liked by too many people’ or that anybody isn’t cool enough to listen to us.” proclaims Ballard, “We want our music heard and shared by as many people as possible, isn’t that the whole point?”