Seven Questions In Heaven With Hills Like Elephants

Hills Like Elephants' Sean Davenport was nice enough to sit down and spend Seven Questions In Heaven with us.

Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
Describing my own music is something that I have always had a really hard time with. I never seem to have a problem categorizing other music, especially when I like it, but when it comes to mine I'm always at a loss for words. If I was going to try to sum it up with a slew of genres, I would say bluesy, indie (which by the way I don't really know what indie means these days), dancey, soulful, and experimental rock sort of thing.

Who are your musical influences and idols?
I have a million influences as well as everyone else who is in the band right now. People I have been listening to the longest would include Tom Waits, pretty much anything Mowtown or Stax Records put out, Pavement, Talking Heads, Hendrix, Wilco, Bowie, Pixies, Joy Division and everything else that came out of that whole Manchester scene, Nirvana, Bad Brains, The Band, Dylan, this could go on for days so I'll stop there.

What was the first album, cassette, or CD you bought with your own money?
Actually, I'm really proud to say given the recent unfortunate passing of Adam (MCA) Yauch that one the first albums I bought was Ill Communication on CD with money I got for my birthday. It was that and I think a Bad Brains album.

Is your named based on the Hemingway short story? Are you a fan of Hemingway?
The name is definitely a reference to the Hemingway short story and yes, I am a very big Hemingway fan. I was in a band prior to this named Abigail Warchild, who was referencing one the main characters from the story, Abigail. I had an amazing time playing in that band for as long as I did so it was kind of cool to keep referring to the story as an ongoing tradition of sort. Also in the story the other main character is deciding whether or not he is ready to handle certain things on his own so it seemed like it had relevance when I was starting this.

You have such a unique voice, I'm sure people are hard-pressed to describe it. What's been the coolest description of your voice you've read or heard? The strangest?
Most recently I've been told I kind of sound like Bruce Springsteen or someone the other day told me I kind of sound like the guy from Spoon. I think his name is Britt Daniel? Oddly enough, quite a few people have told me my speaking voice sounds like Nicholas Cage. I still don't know how I feel about that one, but I'm okay with sounding like the Boss.

The video for "Invisible Ink" depicts the band performing in a bathroom while you are sweeping and cooking in a diner. What's the worst job you have had?
The worst job I've ever had was handing out free samples of some sort of yogurt for a day at the Boston Marathon when I was in college. It was hot and I was giving people yogurt. Gross.

Finally, Hills Like Elephants is the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Which five do you choose and what song do you all perform as the final jam?
Um... thats another tough one. Well right after us Joy Division, followed by Otis Redding, then Captain Beefheart, then Jimi Hendrix Experience, and then Talking Heads. At the end we could all come out and play the weirdest cover of "Purple Rain" ever.

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