Interview with ATTN Deficit Squirrel
Interview with“Guitarist Scottie Henthorn”
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My parents always listened to music and I began singing at an early age. It wasn't until I started to see my friend's older brother's band play at our school talent show that I wanted to pick up guitar myself. This was over 25 years ago!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love playing with my four kids and watching movies with my wife. Music is my outlet, so I can express my feelings, good or bad, through my playing & songwriting. Performing live is the ultimate rush for me, so I get to let loose and not have to be "Dad" for 25-45 minutes every 6-8 weeks.
How long has your band been around?
The idea for ATTN Deficit Squirrel has been around for years, but we didn't finish our first EP until 2018 and it wasn't released until 2020. We didn't play our first live show until 2021, so in some ways, we're old and in others, we're still brand new.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We're based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA and it's influenced us in that we all met in the music scene. Only Jake, our drummer, and Ryan, our bassist, knew each other before playing music. Cincinnati is a cool scene where almost all the bands know each other, have members whom have played with each other, or have collaborated in one way or another.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name of the band started as a joke in a text-message-group and just stuck after we realized how perfect it was for us because all of us have some kind of ADD or ADHD.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our very first show was very special to us. It took many years for us to get to that point after starts & stops. We were ready to finally play live and then COVID hit and we had to wait for over a year to finally perform. We had over 50 people there to see just us, on top of the other 450 people there to see the other bands, so it was the culmination of years of work. You can watch the entire first show on YouTube thanks to Twan Gotti & his crew who filmed it for us.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Cincy area has tons of great venues for live music. Our biggest shows have actually been at a Sports Bar though! MVP Sports Bar & Grille used to be a legendary music venue back in the 80's, called Never On Sundays, so it still has lots of vibe despite the dozens of TV screens throughout the bar. It's got a fantastic stage, so the juxtaposition is interesting. There are still spots ADS hasn't played yet that we'd love to: Bogart's, Legend's, Southgate House Revival, and The Comet are just a few we hope to get in sooner than later.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
For me, personally, it would be:
GREEN DAY, BLINK-182, THE LIVING END, FENIX TX, with ATTN DEFICIT SQUIRREL opening
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Well, my son - who's 7 - is playing the drums now and I'll tell him to just play with anyone at anytime in any type of genre. A lot of my guitar skills were honed while in a Bluegrass band and I'm grateful for the time I spend with that band. As for my younger self? I'd say "bands & projects come & go, so don't be afraid to move on and try something new."
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Go to more of your friends' bands' shows - eventually, you won't be able to as much when you have a family.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
"Fine By Me" means the most to me because it perfectly encapsulates our band's sound and what we're about. Plus, the subject of the song is kind of universal and something just about anyone who hears it can relate to.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
There's a song that we haven't released yet called "One Shot" that we all love to play because it's a bit 'against type' in that it's more straight Rock & Roll than Pop Punk. "Callin' in Sick", which will be our next single in 2023, is requested the most because everyone loves screaming "Suck my dick!" without any repercussions.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We don't necessarily have a "process". Usually someone has an idea and we build off of it. For example, Jordon will record a piano lick on his phone and send it to us in a group chat and it will spark ideas, etc.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I mean… we're called 'ATTN Deficit Squirrel', so I don't think anyone is coming into our songs expecting to hear Bob Dylan or 2PAC. We just want everyone to have a good time and hopefully something we play connects with them on some kind of level.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We don't really have disagreements because we all knew what the expectations were when we came together. We all are willing to try anything out. If it works, great. And if it doesn't, there aren't any hurt feelings. We all want what's best for the song and won't force anything. A great example of this is we actually recorded and mastered a fifth song for our EP, but we left it off because it just wasn't 100% to all of us.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We hope to expand our reach in the area by playing out of town more and continue to build a reputation of putting on fun shows that everyone can enjoy. We've recorded a song with Ben Hannah of Organworks in Leeds, UK and we hope to release it by Summer 2023, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, or anywhere else we whore ourselves out to stay up-to-date!