CowPunk’n the Saloon!
Interview with Gingher Leyendecker of The Hardways
with Jane Porter
Today’s music demands independence, and it feeds off multiple genres all melding and blending to create at times a sound that doesn’t fit an established genre. The Hardways fit the independence stride and with influences ranging from Cow Punk to Southwest Saloon they have hit a unique bullet that is fired up for a night out with free flowing whiskey, good friends, shooting pool and kicking it up to the rock n roll degree.
Female fronted lead vocalist, guitar, banjo picking Gingher Leyendecker took a few moments of time away from the recording studio (album number five coming this year) to talk to us a bit. Looking forward to hearing tracks from this next, yet to be titled, album and their tour to follow.
Jane Porter: Would your music fall under Americana? How would you define it?
Gingher Leyendecker: We’ve been called everything from Cowpunk to Americana to Southwest Saloon Rock. I think we’re hard to define because we draw from so many genres and are able to combine what we are interested in to create a unique sound.
JP: Have you always written and played this style of music or did you try other genres? If so, what were they?
Gingher Leyendecker: Personally I’ve only been in one band for 12 years, The Hardways. You can listen from our first album to the upcoming fifth and hear a lot of evolution in the sound, but I think there is a common thread throughout. The cool part is that we incorporate so many styles into our sound that we’ve never fit into a particular genre. So that is freeing because we can explore different directions under the same band umbrella.
JP: This last year you released “Whittle It Away” did you get to go out on tour to support it?
Gingher Leyendecker: We didn’t do a multiple state tour like we usually do for Whittle It Away. I think it was a busy year for everyone and it was hard to get away. We’re planning some touring this year as we support that album and solidify and record our fifth.
JP: Networking is a huge part of the music industry. How do you all approach it?
Gingher Leyendecker: We all have a lot of different interests and it can be surprising how they fit in to our music. For example, I’m a paraglider pilot and through that we have been able to play at numerous hang gliding and paragliding festivals. We are also all active in the Burning Man community, so we get to play those events as well. It’s so much fun to combine interests and find new and exciting places and events to play!
JP: We had read that you’re going back into the studio. Are you planning a full-length album for 2017 or 2018?
Gingher Leyendecker: Yes, we’re going to start recording album number five in March. We are planning on doing four songs at a time over the course of a few months so we can keep working on and playing the newer songs live. It will most likely be released in late 2017 or early 2018.
JP: Where will recording take place and who is producing it?
Gingher Leyendecker: After working with Studio Cat Productions on Whittle It Away, we knew we wanted to work with Jamie Weddle again.
JP: Who does the songwriting for the band? Where is inspiration found?
Gingher Leyendecker: The lyrics are written by Dan and myself, but we all have a lot to do with the songwriting. On this album we are going to have two songs that originated from bassist Chris Lykins.
JP: What’s the feel of this new albums sound? Working title?
Gingher Leyendecker: Mudflaps and mayhem, monster trucks and moonshine….
We’re probably going to let the fans decide the album title like we did last time!
JP: Videos and touring many times follow new albums. Do you have places that you’ve hit on tours you’ve really loved?
Gingher Leyendecker: We haven’t ever had a bad experience on the road. There are so many great venues out there and cool people to meet and play with. We have musician friends all over the Southwest and we all support each other when we’re touring.
JP: Performing is important, and so is a social media presence. Do you find it a challenge to keep the business side up?
Gingher Leyendecker: Yes! We get so busy that we can be neglectful of social media, which is bad because we realize we have a responsibility to stay in touch with our fans. We solved our problem by finding an amazing publicist, CowGirlZen, who has helped relieve the stress of trying to both create and promote our music. With her help we are able to stay current, which gives us more time to create music!
PJ: Who have been some of your favorite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?
Gingher Leyendecker: We love the bands we share the local scene with the most–the support everyone has for each other is amazing, and we have all introduced our fans to each others music. That crossover allows us to have great shows with lots of people who are able to experience a variety of music on any given night.
JP: Aside from your songwriting, playing, recording, what else might your fans find you doing any given day/night of the week?
Gingher Leyendecker: I’m probably up in the sky somewhere, Chris might be skiing or performing surgery (really!), Dan could be moving for the twentieth time, or playing pool, and Nate’s probably making moonshine….
Find out more about The Hardways: www.thehardwayslive.com
Facebook: The Hardways Instagram: The Hardways