The Denzels are a band you want to have around all the time, always. If you’re having a good day, their garage-rock tumble can only enhance the mood; if you’re having a rough go at it, its incredibly infectious lilt will get your mind off things for a bit. Their mostly upbeat Easy Tiger EP swings toward elegantly wasted party anthems, but Tommy Hinga’s voice is rich and soothing—he’s an old soul, if we had to put money on it—making the music a toss-up between instigator and source of comfort. Their songs are there for you. They’re whatever you need them to be.
Your first show in NYC as The Denzels—where’d you play? How’d it go?
Our first show as The Denzels was at Goodbye Blue Monday, a quirky little spot in Bushwick. Our guitar player showed up with a mustache painted on his face that was a bit controversial, and we ended up having to walk all our gear home. But I think the show was pretty decent.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a band in this city?
A lot of people think that because we play in a band here we’re probably partying all the time: drinking, doing drugs, getting super weird. But we’re not really into that type of stuff. We do a lot of meditation and yoga.
On tour for a month, what three albums would get the most play in the van?
The five of us (keyboardist/guitarist Aman Ellis is not pictured) are all over the place with what we’re listening to on our own, but we could all get into Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest, Tame Impala’s Lonerism and The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder.
Ideal four-band bill—who’s playing with you, and where are you playing?
Caveman, Skaters and The Teen Age in the middle of Maria Hernandez Park.
Favorite song about NYC?
“Waiting for the Man” by Velvet Underground.
If you had to relocate to another city, where would you be headed?
Probably San Francisco. There’s a lot of good music coming out of there right now, it’s closer to home for most of us, and there’s better Mexican food.
Looking a year down the road, where do you hope to see the band?
Hopefully we’ll be replacing The Roots as the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I think we would be fantastic for the job, so that’s really our main goal at this point.