Founding sisters Cathy and Kristen Henderson have always had the same philosophy. Play better than the boys and make sure the fans feel like part of the family. That philosophy plus writing undeniably catchy songs has allowed this self sustained group to maintain her independence and leave an indelible mark on an industry best known for leaving girl (bands) behind.
In a business riddled with pitfalls, the fans have been the one thing Antigone Rising count on. Their first independent fan funded CD (2000's "Rock Album") raised ten thousand dollars via checks through snail mail before the internet had kicked into high gear. 2011's critically acclaimed "23 Red" raised quadruple that number, with fan perks including bowling and kickball with the band, private house concerts and band members making personal happy birthday phone calls. The fans are the lifeblood of Antigone Rising. They've always been the most critical part of the formula.
Those loyal fans and the soaring three-part harmonies are what eventually caught music industry icon Jason Flom's attention. He signed the girls to Warner Music Group's Lava Records in 2004. Shortly thereafter, he finessed a deal with Starbucks Hear Music, and the band's first major label release hit Starbucks shelves on May 11, 2005. The acoustic based live album, "From The Ground Up," included a hit single, "Don't Look Back," co-written with grammy award winning songwriter, Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty). A video for the song played in regular rotation on CMT and VH-1 throughout the summer and fall of 2005, and a half hour documentary special about the band aired on VH-1 (Listen Up! Antigone Rising). Appearances on The Today Show and The Tonight Show pushed sales over ten thousand units a week, launching "From The Ground Up" into the top twenty of Billboard's "Heatseekers Chart" well into the winter of that year. Tour dates alongside The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers Band, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Rob Thomas followed. Jason Flom's departure from Warner Music Group in 2006 left the band's major label future uncertain. Never comfortable leaving their fate in the hand's of others, the ladies left Lava Records on their own terms with an ever growing loyal fanbase strongly intact.
2009 was a year of birth and re-birth for the band, as founding member Kristen Henderson and wife, Sarah, became pregnant simultaneously; giving birth to their son and daughter in February. Longtime friend Nini Camps, having made several guest appearances with the band, officially joined the fold as lead singer and rhythm guitarist. She too gave birth to a son in December. Henderson shifted roles from rhythm guitarist to bass guitarist, mother of twins, and author, landing a book deal with Simon and Schuster. Kristen and Sarah penned a memoir about their family's unique conception, titled "Times Two, Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made." The book's success pushed Kristen and Sarah into the spotlight in a way they'd never expected, being tapped by GLAAD as media spokeswomen and becoming vocal advocates in the fight for Marriage Equality. That fight landed the legally married couple on the cover of April 8, 2013's issue of Time Magazine - "Gay Marriage Already Won."
With the band's line up officially cemented, and their signature three-part harmonies more intact than ever, Antigone Rising released a live five song EP recorded at their favorite New York City stomping ground, The Bitter End. Simply titled "Live From NYC," the EP was certainly transitional in sound, largely intended to introduce fans to the new songwriting partnership of Henderson and Camps. A little more country than rock n' roll, the songs were becoming less of a personal diary and more a collection of relatable stories.
Antigone Rising's career has been marked by outdoing past accomplishments. As if touring with The Rollings Stones and Aerosmith could ever be outdone, in 2012 the women were invited by the United States Government to travel and perform throughout the Middle East as cultural ambassadors. Headlining arenas in Bethlehem and Tel Aviv at night, performing outreach workshops in remote villages along the West Bank by day, the band soaked in the culture and brought home an understanding of a part of the world most only see via negative news reports. A few years after touring the Middle East, the band also served a cultural ambassadors to Vietnam to celebrate and perform for during the 40th Anniversary of US/Vietnamese Normalization Celebrations. Seeing first hand how music can bridge cultures, unify and bring people together, Antigone Rising returned home inspired to create their own nonprofit, Girls Rising.
Girls Rising (501c3) main objective is to inspire girls to pursue nontraditional career paths. Through outreach workshops the band performs at schools and community centers around the world, Antigone Rising is inspiring the next generation of kids to be game changers! To learn more about the band's nonprofit, or to make a donation, visit Girls Rising.org online!
"Antigone Rising is carrying on the feral spirit of The Runaways." - Joan Jett
Antigone Rising has appeared in a national print (Cosmo, Elle, Vanity Fair) and television campaign for designer clothing company 7 Jeans. They have enjoyed sponsorships with Mustang and Motorola. VH1 aired a half-hour special featuring the band and both VH-1 & CMT also embraced them by playing the video of their single, "Don't Look Back" on heavy rotation. The band has also appeared on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Emeril Live, A&E's Breakfast with the Arts & several VH-1 programs including "I Love the 70s" & "I Love the 80s" episodes.