"Antigone Rising is carrying on the feral spirit of The Runaways." - Joan Jett
"That Was The Whiskey is an absolute hit." - Amy Ray, Indigo Girls
Nini Camps - Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Cathy Henderson - Lead guitar/Backing vocals
Kristen Ellis-Henderson - Drums/Percussion/Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
In more than 20 years as one of America's hardest-working bands, Antigone Rising has established a far-reaching reputation for being true to themselves.
"We stopped worrying a long time ago about whether the 'music industry' understands us," states Antigone Rising co-founder Kristen Ellis-Henderson. “I would even say we're not in the music industry. We're in the Antigone Rising industry, which is a whole different thing. But we've found that as long as we do things our own way, we're always fine."
Indeed, in more than 20 years as one of America's hardest-working, most self-reliant bands, Antigone Rising has established a far-reaching reputation for being true to themselves. While the New York trio’s high-energy performances have earned the long term devotion of the band's fans, Antigone Rising's passionate social conscience continues to manifest itself in the group's tireless activism.
Antigone Rising launched the ambitious nonprofit organization Girls Rising
In 2014, Antigone Rising launched the ambitious nonprofit organization Girls Rising, whose live presentations reflect the same passionate belief that drives the trio's music. Throughout the year, Girls Rising partners with local school districts and youth centers globally to create empowering and innovative programming that's designed to inspire and empower young girls and LGBTQ youth. The band also hosts an annual fundraising weekend which includes the Girls Rising Music Festival and the Game Changer Awards which celebrates the work they do throughout the year.
Antigone Rising has been a pioneering force for much of their existence. Early on, the band established a reputation as a grassroots non-stop touring band, playing upwards of 280 shows per year. By 2003, Antigone Rising's independent success had won them a mainstream record deal with Warner Music Group’s Lava records. Their Lava debut, 2005's From the Ground Up, became one of the first releases to be marketed through Starbucks, selling 450,000 copies and landing Antigone Rising in the Top 20 of Billboard's Heatseekers chart. When corporate shake ups landed the band back in the indie world, their loyal fan base stuck with them, continuing to support their live shows and releases.
The cover of Time Magazine
Antigone Rising has never been shy about standing up for their convictions, and over the years the bands mindset has changed. “We no longer feel the need to prove ourselves” says Kristen, even when it means courting controversy. When she and her wife, Sarah Kate, were photographed in an intimate kiss for the cover of Time magazine, for a feature spotlighting same-sex marriage and parenting, the band embraced the national controversy and even created a song called Game Changer when a young, straight ally faced criticism for wanting to pose with the cover in her senior superlative.
IComing out, having kids, giving back
"I think that our mindset has changed as we've gotten a little older," Kristen asserts. "Now it's less about the need to prove ourselves. I think our younger selves struggled with identity. We thought fame was somehow going to save us from ourselves. Over the years we've learned that's not how things work. Coming out, having kids, giving back. All those things work best for us—not chasing some imaginary idea of how people see us."
By Scott Schinder