Friday, May 16, 2008

Mini-Interview: The Soft Hands

Long Beach's The Soft Hands are jangly and nervous and exciting -- everything that you like about older SoCal acts like The Minutemen, but fresh and new. In short? They make you want to jump around a lot.

Just listen to their song I Hope So and try not to bob your head up and down and/or back and forth within the first twenty seconds. Even those without a pulse will find it catchy, frenetic, and fun.

They're playing our FREE Let's Independent! event next Tuesday night at Boardner's of Hollywood (with The Karabal Nightlife and The Savages) and if you're not already all kinds of excited about it already, you should read the interview below with them and download a few tracks.

How you are you guys doing today?

Good. Good. Good. We're all doing very good.

How long have you all been playing together now?

Almost three years.

How did you meet?

Through the miracle known as Craiglist. Not much you can't get from that thing, though depending on how frequently you use it, a good doctor and lawyer might be handy.

Matt met Elizabeth first, then a couple of months later the Craiglist stork brought us Casey.

What does the name of the band mean?

It could stand for patience and an openness to all ideas and all possibilities. Google seems to think it has something to do with softcore porn literature and religion.

I was thinking it some self-effacing comment about being over-intellectual... What are your favorite and least favorite things about being a band down in Long Beach?

The Long Beach we know is seriously like Cheers. It's small and everybody knows your name. However, we have yet to run into Rhea Perlman or Woody Harrelson or Cliff Claven.

There's a nice diversity in musical styles and personalities of the bands down here but everyone is eager to help, support, and share for the most part.

Least favorite thing is that due to the fact the most national level indie bands play on LA, the music scene here, albeit highly concentrated and wonderful, is not as widespread over the general populous as it is in some places. Still bands in Long Beach are taken care of treated well by the venues and crowds.

You guys are believers in the "no leader, no lagger" philosophy, right? How does that work?

Basically, we're all too scared to give each other orders for fear of what fury we might unleash on each other, but at the same time, we really like being in a band together, so we still get stuff done. So everybody carries there own weight without the use of scales or orders.

I've read that "all of your songs happen purely accidentally."

Um, in some senses they do, but at the same time, if you listen to us or see us live, we play in a fairly basic three piece fashion, so we're not necessarily just throwing out random notes or playing sprawling dissonant epic collages.

Basically, the three of us got together eager to make music. We didn't know each other at all and none of us wanted to tackle the other what to do or what was "right." So what happened was a lot of random pieces were assembled without a blueprint of what we weere aiming for. We've never got together and said, "let's make this type of song."

How did your five-song cd come together?

We recorded with two nice gentlemen named Chris Heckman and James Achor. At the time, they were managing a band who's singer I've know since childhood and in the tradition of friends doing friends favors, they kindly had us up for a weekend to record us at a very generous rate at their fantastic studio in the scenic hills of Glendale. Thanks, Chris and Joe!

Are you planning on recording new material soon?

We are recording a full length album in July to be released in September by Fidotrust Records. Fidotrust is a new label started in Long Beach by some really amazing friends of ours. They recently released a comp of all Long Beach bands called "Trust Us: A Long Beach Comp." Its got songs by over 24 really great bands from down here and we highly recommend it to all intelligent life beings

What's next for you?

Record album. Release album. Tour. Tour. Tour. Tour.

On a personal level, Casey is in search of the perfect burrito, Elizabeth is fixing up this really cool old bike she found, and I am trying to invent the dream machine.

Last question: What are you listening to these days?

Well, we all live together and we've been covertly leaving mix cd's in front of each others doors. So lots of mix cd's? Is that too evasive. Do we actually need to say what we're really listening to and then have the entire readership of Radio Free Silver Lake judge taste in music? ;)

We do always like to listen to whatever song The Happy Hollows leak to their Myspace page. Also, the Long Beach Comp has been in roation at the house

That's it. Thanks so much for your time.

Thank you, Joe.

DOWNLOAD:
- I Hope So MP3
- I'm On Fire MP3
- Up The Ladder MP3

1 Comments:

Blogger Jane White said...

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3:01 AM  

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