His sound: High volume chaos, sound and fury
For fans of: The Who, The Stooges, Ramones, Black Sabbath
Chris Hendrix is a boundary pusher, an experimenter. Over 27 years, he took ’80s hardcore punk music in his band Gross National Product to weirder and more intricate levels. “I always described GNP’s sound as like being underneath a runaway freight train, trying to sit up and being knocked back down by it, repeatedly and relentlessly,” he says. “And every time it briefly slows down enough that you think you might be able to get out from under it, a red-hot chunk of metal comes bouncing along and bangs into you, sticking to you, getting under your skin, scorching and searing its way to your very core.”
Over nearly three decades, GNP played punk-rock house parties, got kicked out of The Nick for almost seven years straight, and cycled through seven bassists. “GNP is notorious for the strong physical and physiological reactions we’ve caused in people—dizziness, vomiting, migraines, heart palpitations—and for scarring people’s memories for good or ill,” Hendrix says. “Whether it’s a song’s hook that never leaves your brain or the horrific way I may have been (barely) dressed at a show, I’ve always tried my best to make your experience of us unforgettable.”
Since GNP split, Hendrix has played drums in “wicked, brutal, punishing” metal bands and continued writing words and music. An injury from a few years ago has kept him off stage, but it hasn’t kept him from writing. “Whether love songs or hate songs, truths or fictions, funny or depressing, I’m just spooning up dollops of my heart, mind, soul, guts, blood, excretions, and pain,” he says. “(It’s) lots of pain—physical, mental, emotional, psychological. And it’s all a part of me.” His dream now is to teach his songs old and new to a new band. “(And I’ll) then sit and happily beat drums and cymbals to death behind them ‘til I die myself, preferably while doing so, and hopefully in front of an audience.”
- Hear more local artists in our full Magic City Mix 2016.