Q&A: Joey Siara of The Henry Clay People


It has been a busy year for The Henry Clay People. Like the great compromiser, the Los Angeles-based outfit has seen years of hard work pay off in 2010. With the release of its album, Somewhere on the Golden Coast, in addition to touring with Silversun Pickups, Against Me! and Drive-By Truckers, the band is poised to finish the year strong. Recently, Bestnewbands.com caught with Joey Siara to discuss the band’s upcoming appearance on Parenthood, what he thinks about playing Austin City Limits this weekend and his thoughts on the band’s busy year.

DK: How did you guys get the appearance on Parenthood? Besides the obvious exposure, how do you think this will help the band’s music?

JS: To tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure how the whole thing happened.  Our buddy Steve called us one day and asked if we’d be interested in doing something like this.  We laughed and thought there was no chance of it happening but I guess we were wrong.  It was a trip.  Never done anything like it.  I’m not sure if or how it will help the band. I chalk it up to just another bizarre life experience.  They were nice to us and fed us well and didn’t seem to mind that we all make terrible actors.

DK: Austin City Limits is going to be huge. Who are you guys looking forward to seeing? How long is your set and what are you planning on playing?

JS: I’m very excited for ACL.  We got to play last year and it was a blast.  Very muddy and wet but fun nonetheless.  I guess I’m most looking forward to LCD Soundsystem. Very few bands can get me to put on my dancing shoes but I’m bringing them for LCD.  Also excited to see Richard Thompson.  Our set is like 45 minutes I think.  Not exactly sure what we’ll play.  We usually come up with our setlist five minutes before the set…or not at all.  We’ll see how we’re feeling.  I’d like to keep it spontaneous.


DK: Are you excited to play with Drive-By Truckers? Did you know them before this tour?

JS: DBT are fantastic!  This is our 2nd tour with the Truckers.  We did a few dates with them last spring and we really hit it off.  I think our music compliments each other nicely and I’m pretty sure we’re a fairly easy, lo-maintenance band to tour with.  Give us 45 minutes of stage time and a case of beer and we’re happy.  Jay from DBT has been joining us on stage along with various members of their crew.  I really would like to stay on tour with the Truckers as long as possible.  Can’t say enough nice things about them.


DK: What does the rest of 2010 hold for the band? Would this be considered a successful year in terms of accomplishing the band’s goals?

JS: We get home in November and will most likely sleep for a few weeks.  Post-tour coma time.  We started doing some recording and I think the main goal for the the rest of the year is to just write and record and write and record.  I’d like to get like 30 songs done by January.  I’m feeling pretty happy with where we are creatively, we’ll see how ambitious we can get.  I’m pretty happy with how this year went.  Spent most of it on the road.  Learned a whole lot.  Of course, I’ll never be totally satisfied, hence writing a new record, but this year was definitely an adventure and that has become what the whole band means to me.  Just a big weird mid 20s adventure.


DK: Which city has been the kindest to the band and why?

JS: That’s tough.  Detroit, Portland, Atlanta, and Boston are all up there.  Their crowds tend to come rowdy and ready to drink, which is usually a pretty solid predictor of a good show.  Of course, we’d be nothing if it wasn’t for the music scene in LA.  We owe TONS to our band buddies and everyone who helped us get our start back home.  It will always be the most fun to play on the homefield.  I’m giddy about our Halloween show at the end of the month with The Little Ones.  Brainstorming costume ideas…


With appearances on television, major tours and festivals, expect to see big things from the Los Angeles band when 2011 rolls around