Henbrain is a five-piece bass-on-bass rock band from Carrboro, NC formed in 2012 by Michelle Sontheimer on bass, Zack Hargett on bass, Erika Libero on vocals, Evan Ashworth on keys, and Keith Cannon on drums. Henbrain self released their first full-length album, entitled "Heavy Pieces of the Sky", in the fall of 2013. That spring they were hand-selected by Mitch Easter, (R.E.M., Pavement) to record with him at Fidelitorium Studios. In November 2014, Henbrain released a 7-inch vinyl EP Hang Glider/333 A.D. containing songs recorded and mixed by Easter at the Fidelitorium.
Easter announced his selection of Henbrain as the winners of his first ‘Bold New Sound’ contest stating: “Their bass-heavy organ freak-out prog rock demo just made our jaws drop when we hit play. We can’t really explain what they sound like but if you imagine Yes in 1969 with Grace Slick on vocals, that will get you pretty close.”
Michelle Sontheimer developed her style of playing by transposing all of her favorite guitar riffs to bass while embracing the low tone. In her own unique style she realized that the songs she had written would require a second bass and envisioned a band where two basses could weave together in harmony. The resulting Henbrain is a heavy, grumbling rock explosion that explores deep tones and relentless rhythmic chugs never achieved by typical guitar bands. The brutal low end is complimented by vocalist Libero's bright soaring vocals that fall somewhere between Grace Slick of Jefferon Airplane and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs bringing a powerful and unforgiving femininity to the growl of the basses. Ashworth's keys range from gritty rock organ that races alongside the dual basslines to spacey soundscapes that bring the music to a psychedelic and other-worldly level. The live show tours with Jesse Barnes, accomplished V.J. (Deja View) who live mixes videos, effects, projection mapping, and crowd oriented feedback into a high-energy, theatrical experience.