On The Other Hand
Henry Widener says it was incredible to look into the filled room at Spiderhouse Ballroom and see people look back at him singing along to his songs. It will be something he’ll never forget. “No matter what happens to me that will stay with me forever for sure. That was awesome.” The show in question was his last show with his band For Hours and Ours. Widener and fellow band member Jacob Hamrick started the band when they were in high school, but the history between these two guys goes much farther. Hamrick says he’s known Widener for a very long time. “The kinda the joke story is that his parents changed my diapers and my parents changed his diapers when we were little kids, so we’ve been friends our entire lives pretty much.” Widener says it seemed logical for them to play music together when they were in middle school. And they did. Founding guitarist David Traverso‘s parents let them practice in their basement. Hamrick says it was more of a hangout than a practice. “Be like having a regular sleepover party and then being like oh, well let’s also play some music. It was always very casual.” Widener says it was kinda funny because back then, all he thought about was music. “It was pretty much everything I did, it was like almost like not necessarily less I cared, but the less I ever agonized over with, the more other people started caring. It’s almost like a girl almost. The less you care, the more they do. It’s kinda the same thing.”
For Hours and Ours seemed to have rotating members throughout the duration of the band. Widener says the second guitar slot was always changing, but he says it was when drummer Gabe Conde joined the band that people started to care about the band. Trumpet player Brendan Bond says Conde was the missing link. “We always call Gabe the secret weapon.” That show in July also raised what Widener says was a ridiculous amount of money for Conde’s family to help cover funeral costs for his mother’s death. He says Conde’s father was appreciative when he received the money. It was this circumstance that made Conde leave For Hours and Ours’ last tour early. Clark, who also helped with merch, filled in for Conde on the last few days. It was after this tour, that made Hamrick want a break. “I like to describe it as the best and the worst experience in my life.” But it was during the summer that Hamrick also decided he wanted to move to New York. His roommate asked him if he wanted to move with him and said yes. Widener thinks it was the right decision. “Also, I think his art is amazing and it needs to be exposed to more people and New York is the right place. So I mean on a friend basis, I’m definitely sad, but at the same time, he’s making the right decision. Absolutely.”
So as a way to send Hamrick off and to close the chapter of For Hours and Ours, the band decided to play one last show. They reached out to Vagabond Collective to put together the show. Ricky Valenzuela, co-owner, says they wanted to book a show with as many friends as possible. Cory Green, also a co-owner, says the band played one of Vagabond Collective’s first show. “They’re definitely some of our best friends and we’ve had some great memories with them so when they asked us to be part of their last show and whatnot, it was an honor, honestly.” The show sold out. Before the band played, the venue was only letting one person in only when a person left. Hamrick said before he played his last show with For Hours and Ours that he was really excited to play, but didn’t want to because it meant the end. “I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. It’s very emotional for me right now.” But after the show, Conde said that was the best show he ever experienced. “Best show ever in my life.” Bond said the show was incredible.
“Horribly sloppy and awesome at the same time. It was so much fun. We had a great time. Couldn’t of asked for a better last show.” Hamrick said he wished they played more tightly. “It was a good show. People were going crazy and I think everybody had a good time and I guess that’s what matters.” It should be noted that the band made a pact they were not going to get drunk before they played. Bond says it just went out the window, but Widener says he and Hamrick decided to let it go since it was their last show. “Why not do it the exact same way we did it every single other time and just have a great time?”
Ever since that last show, Hamrick did move to New York. Bond keeps himself busy playing in three bands and Widener currently works and attends school. He recently picked up his instrument like a week or two ago. Bond says he still runs into everyone from For Hours and Ours. “We stay in touch. We’re all brothers, you know?”