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Interview with Seth Hendershot, April 19, 2013

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:28 - Moving to Athens/Music scene in Athens in 1998

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Partial Transcript: So, Seth...When did you hit town, dude?

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot discusses moving to Athens in 1998 from Nome, Alaska because his band's contract had ended and his girlfriend was a student at the University of Georgia. He explains his perspective on the music scene as skewed since he was playing jazz and jam-rock and stuck to that music scene, instead of the indie rock scene that dominated Athens at the time. He talks about the beginnings of the post-R.E.M. indie rock scene in Athens which started when Jittery Joe's opened in 1994. Hendershot describes a shift of focus at the music venues in Athens from a bar that happens to have a band playing to bars/venues that have an actual listening experience.

Keywords: Brew Pub; Elephant 6 Recording Company; Elf Power; Georgia Theater; Neutral Milk Hotel; R.E.M.

00:06:27 - Late 1990's Jazz Scene

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Partial Transcript: Talk a little bit about jazz back in the early years of you living here.

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot lists the influential jazz musicians, who were being taught by Steve Dancz and Tony McCutchen at the University of Georgia, in late 1990's Athens. He describes them as great players, who were young, hungry, and excited. Hendershot explains that the jazz scene went away because of the venues, but it is making a return. He talks about the different venues he went to in order to listen to Jazz in the late 1990's and early 2000's. He discusses being indirectly taught by Steve Dancz because even though he didn't go college or know him, his friends were teaching him things they were learning from Dr. Dancz. Hendershot talks about how passionate Steve Dancz was about jazz and how he projected that onto his students.

Keywords: Big Band; Boar's Head; Carl Lindberg; Carlton Owens; Carter McMullen; Darren Stanley; Dwayne Holloway; High Hat Club; John James; Melting Point; Porterhouse Grill; The Winery; Tommy Sommerville; Tony McCutchen; Trey Wright

00:11:08 - Athens Jazz Artists

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Partial Transcript: I'm going to throw out some names now.

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot lists many names from the jazz scene in Athens. He describes a shift in perspective when Killick, also known as Erik Hines, brought a couple of jazz players down from Chicago. This opened the minds of Athens jazz artists to new perspectives and approaches to their music. Hendershot discusses Squat, which was a local Athens jazz quartet. They were filling up venues, like the Georgia Theater, by playing original compositions that everyone enjoyed. They also played with other local bands, like Hendershot's Fuzzy Sprouts, even if they weren't a jazz band. He describes one Halloween show that Squat did, where they dressed up and how that describes their goofy approach. Hendershot talks about where many of the jazz artists are today. He and Carl Lindberg play in a band, called the Old School Trio. Carl also runs the Latin ensemble, Grogus, which introduced a resurgence of Latin music to Athens.

Keywords: Carl Lindberg; Carlton Owens; Carter McMullen; Dave Rempis; Dwayne Holloway; Erik Hinds; Gary Hartle; Grogus; Hamid Drake; Ken Vandermark; Kent Kessler; Killick Hinds; Old School Trio; Tommy Sommerville; Trey Wright

00:15:42 - Drumming/Moving to Gwinnett County

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Partial Transcript: You, uh, are a drummer...

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot talks about knowing that music was going to be a big part of his life from a young age. He started taking drum lessons when he moved from New Jersey to Georgia as a consolation for being away from his friends. He talks about feeling comfortable playing drums, how his temperament and personality drew him to drumming, and how drumming is undervalued for making a song work. Hendershot discusses his family's move to Lawrenceville, Georgia. At the time, Gwinnett County was attracting people to move there by having affordable housing and low property tax. He mentions the recent population growth of Gwinnett County and how different cultures have settled there.

Keywords: 1989; Gwinnett County; New Jersey

00:19:01 - Teaching Percussion/Translating Music to Business

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Partial Transcript: So, you played, uh, percussion presumably in high school.

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot lists all the different types of bands that he played in while in high school. He talks about marching percussion becoming a big part of his life and how he became a drumming instructor. His high school drum teacher allowed him to come teach the marching part of the drum lessons once he was good enough. Hendershot discusses his music career shortly after high school. He taught private lessons, high school percussion, and at an independent indoor percussion ensemble. He talks about learning a lot about musicianship and what it means to be part of something bigger than yourself from his time in the ensemble. Hendershot explains how being a drummer in a combo setting translates to the business world.

Keywords: Jazz Band; Marching Band; Marching Percussion; Pep Band; Spirit of Atlanta; Symphonic Band

00:22:45 - Experience with Coffee

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Partial Transcript: As we speak, you are the owner and manager of a place...

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot explains how he started working with coffee in 1995. Hendershot discusses Starbucks and their influence on educating people, especially in the Atlanta suburbs, about gourmet coffee and using coffee shops as a social place for hangouts, dates, and business meetings. Hendershot worked as a barista for 4 years because they were flexible and allowed him to miss months at a time on tour. Once he moved to Athens, he got a job at Jittery Joe's coffee shop and has been with Jittery Joe's since 1998. He explains he wanted to incorporate coffee, a bar, and music when he was opening his own coffee shop, Hendershot's. Hendershot discusses his experience with the Tasting Room, which is a roasting warehouse for Jittery Joe's. Hendershot explains how Charlie Mustard set up a coffee shop inside the Tasting Room that he would eventually take over in 2009.

Keywords: 1995; Boutique Coffee Shop; Broad St; Gwinnett County; Roasting; Starbucks

00:28:15 - Hendershot's

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Partial Transcript: When did you think yes it might be possible...

Segment Synopsis: Hendershot talks about having the idea of opening up Hendershot's since early 2000 and how he thought it was a cool idea to marry coffee, a bar, and a music venue. He discusses that he wanted a place that could offer something to everyone and could be open from six in the morning till twelve or one the next morning. He talks about his choice to locate Hendershot's on Oglethorpe rd. by the loops instead of somewhere near or in downtown Athens. He describes the old service gas station from the 60's that became Hendershot's and the unique characteristics that drew him to that building. Since his lease was running out at the time of the interview, Hendershot talks about looking for a new building but wanting to maintain the integrity that the service station established by moving into an old building and renovating it instead of building a new location.

Keywords: 60's Architecture; Business Plan; Oglethorpe Rd.; Pat Brusack; Ranch House