Presents: Western Civ – April 2009 Indie Artist of the Month


Western Civ - band photo

Hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Western Civ, comprising bassist Jason Briggs, drummer Bryan Cabler and lead vocalist Rich Henderson, originally were all members of the same small-town Alabama high school class, and have been making music together with virtually no interruption for well over a decade.

While the band’s two previous releases were recorded by the band and manager Misty Dawn  in her living room and a practice room on whatever equipment they could scrape together, in some cases that meant fifteen-year-old, road-worn microphones and stuff held together with duct tape)  their latest release “Shower The People You Love With Gold” marks band’s first large scale studio album.

Recorded by Mitch Easter (REM, Pavement, Let’s Active) at his studio the “Fidelitorium,” the entire album was tracked to a Studer 24-track tape machine and other high-end and vintage analog gear.  The band experimented with a variety of new sound-makers on this album that include a 1950’s set of xylopipes, an authentic Leslie cabinet, a twelve string bass, keyboards from 1960’s and 1990’s, a child’s Bull Roarer and of course a metal folding chair played with a drum stick. gave the various band members the opportunity to respond to the following profoundly philosophical quandaries:


Jason Briggs: Myself (Bass, keys and back up voc) Bryan Cabler (Drums and back up voc) Rich Henderson (Lead Voc and guitar) occasionally with Jason Hall (Guitar, percussion, keys) and/or Kemper McDowell (Percussion and keys) and Ken Larson (guitar)

Bryan Cabler: Three old friends supplemented by various newer ones. Guys who are fundamentally sarcastic enough that they actively undermine each others’ efforts at crowd-banter; guys whose tastes were formed by the discovery of their parents’ old sixties records.

What?Western Civ in the studio

Jason Briggs: We’ve been told it is indie rock, indie pop, post rock, power pop – basically there are too many sub-categories these days, so let’s just say it’s just rock.

Bryan Cabler:
The musical equivalent of a waterfall if the water were replaced with oddly-tuned guitars and didn’t necessarily flow directly downward.

Rich Henderson: Noisy pop music.


Jason Briggs: Because we can’t imagine not doing it!

Bryan Cabler: There just isn’t anything more fun and fulfilling than to make big noise in a crowded space, or at least, we’re the kind of people who think there isn’t.  Either way.

Rich Henderson: Music is my religion.  Can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.  Hell, I’m not particularly good at anything else except making homemade espressos.  I might have a future at Starbucks!

Until When?

Jason Briggs: Until Hell freezes over.

Bryan Cabler: Until it stops being fun, I guess, as hard as that is to imagine.  The trouble with our little tribe in particular is that if we stopped being a band, we’d still be a bunch of people hanging out somewhere playing music and, shit, that’s a band.

Rich Henderson:
Until people decide they want to have children and become all boring and domestic and shit.  Probably another few months at least:


Jason Briggs: Everywhere that we can!

Bryan Cabler: Past: The wilds of Lauderdale County, Alabama.
Present: The People’s Republic of Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Future: Every college town or mid-size city with a hip district of pizza joints and rock clubs that will book us.

Rich Henderson: Chapel Hill by way of Muscle Shoals by way of Elysian Fields.  Completely off subject but I would like to add that I’m glad baseball season is here!  Also, I think people who wear those Bluetooth things should be publicly flogged!

Listen to Western Civ’s “Capitol Steps” at MZ’s Free Indie Jukebox.

Find more Western Civ on:

Twitter: @westernciv

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