So you’re walking down the streets and alleys of London, perhaps wondering where to get some fish and chips, maybe looking for the best views of the Thames, maybe going to work, when you hear some distorted guitar and a man singing “If you like to gamble, I tell ya I’m your man,” and with that enticing snippet, you walk nearer and nearer to see a fellow that resembles something of a Jimi Hendrix-Phil Lynott hybrid shredding the classic Motorhead tune.
Not only is he ripping on guitar and belting out the lyrics, he’s also kicking down his custom drum kit and is a complete one-man rock and roll street show. You’re bobbing your head along, smiling, thinking about cigarettes, whiskey, and leather, and all of a sudden, without warning, he transitions into “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G., and a whole new wave of awe and enjoyment is cast over you.
Yes, Lewis Floyd Henry is the multi-genre mashup king of the streets of London and beyond. He doesn’t just pull out an old Yamaha acoustic guitar with a missing b string and start stumbling through “Blowin’ in the Wind.” No, Lewis is a one-of-a-kind performer with a style all his own, which has rightfully earned him many fans all around the world. While the streets and alleys may be his usual stomping grounds, he is not limited to them. Lewis has shows and festivals lined up throughout Europe in coming months.
We caught Lewis for a quick interview and asked the London street rocker some questions about his unique musical path.
Music Mecca: What was the evolution of Lewis Floyd Henry the one-man band like? Did you play in bands and realize you wanted to fly solo?
Lewis Floyd Henry: I started off playing in a three piece band called “Known” which was together for 7 years. Then the drummer left and moved to Italy so I went back to playing acoustic guitar, and focused more on my songwriting accompanying my playing and my foot tapping a tambourine. Then I used to sit behind my drum kit with my guitar, playing the kick and high hat, and thought maybe I could create a unique set up to play the kind of music that I used to play with my band. So I made a little foot drum kit. It kinda stems from the break up of my old band.
MM: Do you debate getting a band together again?
LFH: Since the break up and the drummer leaving, I’ve kind of given up on bands and working with other musicians. I feel more free being a one man band. I don’t have to rehearse and spend ages working out changes in songs with other people. I can just play a song any way I want and make changes off the cuff.
MM: What’s the most obscure song request you’ve gotten from onlookers?
LFH: People never really ask for me to play obscure music, they just tend to only know mainstream stuff, but I personally am into really obscure 60’s psyche- bands like The Accent, Tintern Abbey, etc.
MM: Do you ever consider taking your talents to the U.S.? Maybe certain festivals?
LFH: I’m not really fused about playing in the USA, but it would be cool if an opportunity arose and someone out there really wanted me to come out and perform, and also hooked me up with a visa. I would definitely take up the offer. I’ve got some fans over there that would like me to, so it would be nice to play for them.
MM: Do you recall the album or artist that struck you in your youth that made you say okay, I want to play music?
LFH: There wasn’t really an album or artist that made me want to be a musician, but I was a huge Michael Jackson fan especially when Bad came out, and I thought he was the man. I chose to play the guitar just as an instrument to learn at Secondary School. But then I got into it and wanted to unlock its secrets. I remember the year I started, Stone Roses released “Fools Gold” and I really dug that song and wanted to work out how the guitar was making those “wah wah” sounds. This was very frustrating when all I had was a shitty Encore classical guitar with metal strings about 1cm off the fret board from Argos.
MM: I notice the phrase “8 Bit Absinthe of Authenticity” on your site. What do you mean by that?
LFH: It just means that my music sounds Lo-Fi Raw and Dirty.
MM: Do you write songs as well?
LFH: Yes I write all my own songs. This question always make me laugh. I’m not like one of these mainstream artists that pays songwriters to write their songs. All of my albums have my own songs on them except for my new album which has mashups of cover songs like “WUTALLICA.” I will be releasing a new album later on in the year which is all new original material.
MM: What’s your pedal situation like?
LFH: I use: the Boss Rc3 for looping, Boss digital delay DD7, Boss Fuzz fz-5, Boss Blues Driver bd2w waza craft, Boss reverb rv6.
That’s what I’m currently using. I like Boss pedals because they’re compact and rugged. They get the job done. I like the fact that when I’m playing drums I don’t have to concentrate too much when I go to trigger one because the button is under a big foot print.
MM: If you weren’t playing music, what could you see yourself doing?
LFH: I’d be a mechanic and restore classic vehicles. Maybe build Hot Rods. There’s something really rewarding about restoring classic motorcycles & cars.
You can (and should) learn more about Lewis and his music on his website HERE.