Interview With Jeff Henson of Duel
You might know (of) Jeff from his plank twanging in Texan hard rock band Duel, or from producing/engineering credits on Clutch, War Lung and a ton of other album credits. Either way he's a rock solid dude. Pay attention to the last point if you take anything away from this interview.
If you were to introduce extraterrestrials to music using only 5 albums, what do you choose?
Well first of all, if aliens are coming to me for anything, we are all doomed. I am not remotely qualified to sum up music in only 5 albums, feel like you’d have to start with Bach or something and present a lot of music I’m not educated in. I’d try to just find 5 albums from different continents and give the basis of the different thoughts on music.
Who or what inspired you to pick up a guitar?
One of the first friends I had when I moved to east Texas had a dad who owned the local music store. Was already into Metallica, Jimi, Nirvana and stuff like that, so just naturally was drawn into loud guitars.
Duels latest album "In Carne Persona" came out in 2021. How much of an effect did the pandemic have on the writing/rehearsing/recording process?
I’d say not so much on the actual lyrical content, but it did give us more time in the studio to fully flush out the songs and the ideas and have a minute to sit with it without the pressure of having a tour or a label deadline rushing us. I think it led to our finest work to date.
Other than anything Duel related, is there an album you are most proud of being involved with?
Man, hard to say. I’ve worked on over a hundred records at this point in my career in the studio, and I’m super proud of most of them. But also, I’m not very nostalgic, so once I finish a record I’m immediately onto what’s next and how can I make it even better.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Constantly evolving, and always looking to be inspired or influenced by something new. Currently: WuTang, UFO, Ghengis Tron, Mercyful Fate, Death Grips, Clipping, Testament
Studio work vs touring and why?
Apples and Oranges, Live shows are art in the moment and it only lives right there in that place and time. Studio stuff, things I work on people may listen to hundreds of years from now. I love both for what they are, and think they feed each other. I do feel the chaos of touring and constantly seeing and meeting other bands makes me a better record producer and keeps me in touch with what other people are doing.
If there was one song you didn't write but wish you did, what song is it?
Rock Bottom - UFO.
What's 2023 got in store for Jeff and Duel?
Think the current plan for Duel is west coast US in march, and back in Europe in the fall, but that’s not my department and its constantly changing so who knows. For me just focus on making bigger and better records, currently working with Spirit Adrift and several other bands so booked up through January and we will see where the rest of the year takes us.
Anything you'd like to add?
If anyone is reading this, Be nice to someone today.