Five Questions with Desert Noises

Kyle Henderson, Tyler Osmond, Patrick Boyer and Brennan Allen are the four Utah-based musicians who make up Desert Noises, the dusky, swoony, dust-strewn Americana quartet. Their expansive, driving sound laps at the edges of memory, recalling the ghosts of past loves, road trips, faded photo albums and dreams not yet realized. Give them a listen and you’re likely to feel the musical equivalent of déjà vu — each songs feels familiar as a pair of broken-in and sun-bleached jeans. Check out their EP, I Won’t See You here.

Desert Noises performs at Jack of the Wood on Sunday, March 24. Hollis Brown and Drunken Prayer also perform. 10 p.m., $5. In advance, Henderson talked to Xpress about becoming full-time musicians, writing on the road, and what’s so great about Toledo.

Mountain Xpress: I read an interview from 2011 where the band was just about to quit day jobs and work at music/touring full time. Have you been able to sustain that? And how did you know you were ready
Kyle Henderson: We quit our jobs and left for the road on our first tour that was booked ourselves. We really had no means of doing it, we just figured we should go for it anyway. Ever since, we have just stayed out on the road and been poor, ha ha. We love playing music and as long as we are on the road making gas money, we are happy.

Your video for “I Won’t See You” just premiered on American Songwriter, and I read about how it uses footage from Patrick’s grandmother’s 1940s vacation videos. This is a literal interpretation of your songs being a soundtracks for someone’s life, but do you think of that in a philosophical sense when you’re writing songs? That they will take on meaning and importance for strangers?
I think you always know, somewhere, in the back of your mind, that people will be listening and interpreting what you write into their philosophies, but it’s not a main thought when writing. Writing tends to be more personal and I think everyone goes through the same emotions. Whether the ways are different, the feelings are still there and that makes for common interpretation.

Your music often brings up mentions of canyons and open roads. Do you seek out those places for inspiration, and are you able to write while traveling? Do your travels impact your songs and if so, how?
Well, growing up in Utah, canyons are definitely an influence and the open road is where we spend most of our time and gather so much of our inspiration. Writing while on the road is always a hard thing, but it does happen sometimes. I think the experiences stick with you no matter what and find their way into the songs.

You’ve seen a lot of the country — what is a town that really surprised you (maybe for its beauty, or people, or support of the band)?
Toledo, Ohio has always been a very pleasant surprise. There is not much going on there but the people make it so beautiful. We love spending time with them and having a good time.

You’ve shared stages with The Head and The Heart, Local Natives, Blitzen Trapper, Pepper Rabbit and others. If you could pick a currently-performing band/musician to share a tour with, who would it be and why?
Probably Tame Impala. Those guys are just wonderful.


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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