Hemenway
20120903_hemenway

…..Long Island has been a hotbed for talented artists-acts like Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Joel, Brand New and Glassjaw all hail from the island. Another group that can be added to that list is the up-and-coming rock quartet Hemenway. Named after a street in Boston where several members attended Berklee College of Music, the members of Hemenway skillfully weave heartfelt lyrics and trained musicianship into meaningful songs.

…..Traces of Rush, the aforementioned Billy Joel, U2, and Dave Matthews Band are all evident throughout Hemenway’s first album, Fear of Landing. The disc contains softer reflective pieces like “Anywhere,” “Calling Me,” and “Words of Others,” among the classic-rock sounding “Charlene,” “It’s Just Living,” and “Anti-Paradise.” As bassist John Soriano puts it though, Hemenway is “a straight up rock band.”

The band is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Peter Kelly (from Yonkers), keyboardist Chris Mosera (a Garden City native), Soriano, and drummer Sean McCormak. All four have either studied or are studying music as degrees. Mosera is currently pursuing a Masters in Education here at the University.

…..Hemenway’s roots took place in Boston when Soriano and Kelly were bandmates in another group. They struck it out with the first incarnation of Hemenasy, asking Mosera to play one show. Kelly and the original band (mostly studio musicians) made Fear of Landing. Eventually, Kelly moved back to the New York area. Soriano and Kelly contacted Mosera about joining the band, and also put out an ad for a drummer. McCormack fit the bill, and the current lineup was complete. Hemenway has toured in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, including and opening slot for Doug Pinnick of King’s X. Lately, Hemenway has been performing live in the New York area and garnering some local airplay, including having “Calling Me” played on Q104.3 in New York City. “Our biggest moment was definitely the airplay on [the station],” Kelly said. “To hear yourself on New York’s #1 rock station, along with Peter Yorn, Mick Jagger, and the Wallflowers, it made us all think that this is possible. Our songs fit the set. The music comes out sounding radio friendly and very accessible.” Mosera added, “Each of us wants to hear ourselves on the radio and see our selves on TV. It could actually happen. I don’t think you can go into this without believing that. We’d all ideally like to make it big.”

…..Even with their dreams of popularity, Hemenway has found that getting to the top has been arduous. Soriano outlined the difficulty of trying to rise to fame in the crowded New York City/Long Island area, which is already filled with many other artists “You have to find something that sets you apart from every single [group],” he said. “You constantly have to look for new markets and new avenues. What record store didn’t we hang up a flyer? What college didn’t we play? It’s still so difficult. It’s so hard to set yourself apart and find something that you’ll bring to the next level.”

…..Especially with a majority of Hemenway’s shows at over 21 venues, finding fans has proved to be a daunting task for the band. Regardless, the group’s members retain a positive outlook on the situation. “Our music is true, good, and stuff we really believe in,” says Kelly, “We write music we like to play and listen to. We’re staying true to ourselves. All my life, I’ve always wanted to do the songwriting/performing thing on the biggest possible level. You have four ambitious people. Success is something we need.” One step in that direction is the band’s decision to re-record many of their older tunes. In April, Hemenway will step into the studio with producer Mike Jackson (Matchbox 20, Christina Aguilera) to create a new album. Kelly exclaimed, “You’ll hear the actual sound of Hemenway instead of [me] with studio musicians.”

…..With a revamped street team coming shortly, the future for Hemenway is quite sunny. Kelly commented on the band’s ambitions “When I listen to music, when I’m blown away, I want someone else to have that feeling,” he said, “It’s all about a shared experience [between listener and band]. I want people to get out of music what I’ve gotten out of it. Hemenway goes further than your average [band]. We’re something different. In three to four minutes, we can take you so many places, but still stay consistent.” McCormack summed it up with, “Just give [us] a shot.” If you’re interested in getting more information about Hemenway, wish to hear mp3’s, or purchase the album, log onto . On Saturday, March 29, the group will be performing at the Bay View Ale House in South Freeport for a Sept. 11 benefit concert.