For years, the all-female Antigone Rising has been a hit-cranking machine. Non-stop touring, some fantastically diverse press and a work ethic that would put to shame, these ladies of rock have developed a sincere respect from seasoned music veterans. The band plays a show at Eddie’s Attic on Friday, May 1, with Lindsey Hinkle.
Founding member, Kristen Ellis-Henderson spoke with the GA Voice about her band, her blog and her amazing family with wife and GLAAD President/CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis.
You and your wife, Sarah Kate Ellis, are like a lesbian power couple. You’re a rock star and she is the CEO of GLAAD. I read her bio, too, and she is a badass!
You’re not kidding! She really is.
You both got pregnant on the same day?
It wasn’t intentional but when you’re lesbians trying to get pregnant, there is obviously some planning that has to go into that. Sarah had tried for a really long time and wasn’t having any success. We decided to both start trying. There was a miscommunication with the doctors and they ordered some In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) medication for her. It was time-sensitive and it forced her to start her IVF cycle before she really wanted to. I was already 2-3 months into trying to get pregnant and it just so happened that it fell on the same day that I was being inseminated and she was doing her IVF cycle. People think we worked really hard to get our cycles in synch or put all of this work into getting pregnant on the same day. You can’t plan that.
What’s it like inside your house?
The kids are in kindergarten. We live across the street from school so our house is the party house. It’s where all the kids stop to use the bathroom on their way home. We like being that house because we keep an eye on everybody.
Give me a brief journey of the band from your beginning until now.
We formed in college at Buckner University. We started as an acoustic quartet. After we graduated, we all moved to New York City and kept it going. Our first big break was a few Lilith Fair dates and from there, we were just a full-time touring indie band. Around 2003, we signed with Atlantic Records and put out our first album as a joint venture between our label and Starbucks. We wrote our first single for that album with Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20. We ended up on some really cool tours with band like the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. We appeared on the Today Show and the Tonight Show – a lot of great opportunities.
Eventually, our label folded but it was fine because we still had our indie ethic intact. We had that huge shot in the arm from the promotion that we got from being on the label. Since then, we’ve been doing it on our own.
You’re distributed by Joan Jett’s Blackheart label?
Yes. Early in our career, we did some dates with Joan Jett. We met her and her management team. We always kept in touch with them because they are such nice people, always helping out. We became good friends with them. When we came back to being an indie band, they were more than happy to distribute us.
Joan Jett said “Antigone Rising is carrying on the feral spirit of The Runaways”. I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I am.
It was mind-blowing to hear that. She’s a superhero of rock stars. She’s not really even human to me.
Or me! I’m a blogger so I really enjoyed reading your blog, “Hangin’ With Hendo”. How do you find the time to regularly post such cool stories?
Typically when I blog, it’s really something that I feel strongly about. It doesn’t really feel like I’m taking time away from anything. I already know what I want to say so I just bang it out.
Once you put deadlines on me, I shut down. My wife and I wrote a book a couple of years ago (“Times Two, Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made”). I was really excited at the prospect of telling our story, but suddenly, we had deadlines and I shut down.
As the editor in chief of my blog, I never give myself any assignments I don’t want. (laughs)
Antigone Rising is performing on May 1 at Eddie’s Attic with Lindsey Hinkle. Is there anything you want to say to your Atlanta fans?
We’ve always considered Atlanta to be our southern home. For a long time, we used to use Atlanta as our home base when we would tour in the south. We have a lot of family and friends down there and are really looking forward to seeing everybody in May.
Antigone Rising with Lindsey Hinkle Friday, May 1 Doors open at 6 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. www.eddiesattic.com