Mad Sense: Bitter End Guitarist Jacob Henderson on His New Project, Future Band Plans

Jacob Henderson performing with Bitter End (Photo: Zoe Dillman)

Best known for his guitar work in Texas-based metallic hardcore crushers Bitter End, Jacob Henderson has returned with a new musical venture. "I had been wanting to start a project that was more street rock/punk based," Jacob told No Echo a few days ago via email. "I have never been the main singer for a band and wanted to check that off the list."

The result is Mad Sense, who the multi instrumentalist just dropped an EP called Old Rose with. Jacob continues the Mad Sense origin story: "I work in the health and social services field and deal with heavy issues, addiction, homelessness, diseases. I would come home from work and play guitar as way to process the tragedy I witnessed.

"Over time I started collecting these riffs, licks, and lyric ideas. When the pandemic occurred, things were very bleak, to say the least. We didn’t know when live music, art, or anything fun would be able to happen again. I was fortunate that I still went to work every day, but other than that I was mostly stuck in my room with my cat. Instead of sitting idle I decided to piece together my song ideas.

"Since we had to distance ourselves from others during the pandemic I wrote and recorded everything except drums myself using inexpensive recording gear (Focusrite interface and Reaper DAW).

"I found someone in Canada who recorded the drums at his house and sent me the tracks. My friend Patrick mixed it and put it on streaming services. It was important for me to be creative and artistic despite being in such an energy draining atmosphere that was 2020 and early 2021."

No Echo asked Jacob to dig in a bit more into the Mad Sense stylistic approach, and the band's that influenced it. "The project’s sound is a compilation of all the music I love to listen to. It is a mash up of punk, street rock, garage, Britpop, and hardcore. The more modern bands I was influenced by were Bishops Green, Royal Headache, Rixe, Grade 2, and Alternate Action.

"Releases from the '90s by Stone Roses, Blur, and Turbonegro. '70s and '80’ influences were Rose Tattoo, Ramones, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cock Sparrer, The Damned, Neil Young, KISS, Saxon, and Dead Moon.

"I love the raw Detroit sound of MC5, Iggy and The Stooges and Alice Cooper. Also, some '60s garage acts like The Remains and Blues Magoos. I have always been attracted to raw rock that has excellent song writing and melodies. I complied all these influences, taking bits and pieces here and there, to create my own version of raw aggressive rock with catchy melodies."

With Old Rose out now, the question No Echo posed to Jacob was if he had any plans to flesh Mad Sense out into a proper full lineup: "I would love to play these songs live! This has been the longest period of me not performing live and that needs to change. Currently, I am the only one in the 'band.' I would love to open some shows and play dirty bars.

"If you live in the Midwest and play an instrument hit me up! I do plan on writing another EP for Mad Sense titled 'Midwestern Rush.' I have 4 songs already lined up."

While we had him, No Echo asked Jacob what else had cooking. "The video game House of Ashes used the Bitter End song “Conversations with Death” on their end credit scene, which I am incredibly excited about. I am always writing Bitter End riffs so perhaps those will turn into songs in the future."

But that wasn't it! "Check out a band I played in called Spear. We wrote a single in 2020 called 'Vacant' during the pandemic and I am very proud of that song. I am in the middle of recording another EP for a band called The Deal, it is coming along well, and we should finish it up early 2022."

And Jacob's closing thoughts: "I would love for you to listen Mad Sense, it is a fun listen, has catchy songs, and it is a goal to have at least one song reach 1000 streams on Spotify. 

"As I mentioned before, I love writing songs and if anyone is interested in collaborating on anything, hit me up via email!"


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Tagged: bitter truth, mad sense