Henbrain is about outrage and isolation, marginalization and disgust, and cats and TV. It’s also about metal, prog rock, and Tori Amos. Intrigued? Bass guitarist Michelle Sontheimer has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her music, the thoughtful artists that inspire her, and the real music of Manifest.
Where are you from? Where are you now?
I am originally from St.Louis,MO. I now live in Carrboro, NC.
Tell me about the music you make.
My music is a more prog-metal version of Tori Amos’ earlier ” angry, pretty” formula. The lyrics are often outraged, and the songs are frequently heavy, but often juxtaposed with a beautiful melody. Ostracization from society, marginalization, isolation, and disgust with fundamentalist ideology are recurring themes. I also write a lot of frivolous songs about cats and TV.
Why are you excited about Manifest?
I’m excited about Manifest because corporate, plastic, skewered-paradigm conforming and exacerbating bs is as ubiquitous as it it disgusting. This is a whole weekend of real music from real people, who have as middle finger for everybody who thinks we don’t belong.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by artists who are more thoughtful in their compositions. My favorites are Tori Amos, Iron Maiden, tool, Yes, Rush, Rossini, and Beethoven. I hate pop music, but I think Lady Gaga is one of the best iconoclasts ever.
Any other Southern women or non-binary or trans Southerners making music that we should know about?