Wednesday 16 October 2013

'The Feel Tour' // Interview with Hands Like Houses

Canberra six-piece Hands Like Houses are over in the UK on tour with Sleeping With Sirens. We went down to the sold out Manchester Academy 1 show to check them out.
We caught up with the band before the show to chat about working on their second album, the Australian music scene and their new found love for British band Don Broco

The tour’s been going a few weeks now- how’s been going so far?
JOEL [Tyrrell, bass]- All the UK shows have been massive.
ALEX [Pearson, guitar]- Yeah, and everyone understands us here [laughing].

There’s a good mix of bands- has it been fun?
JOEL- Yeah, we’ve toured with Sleeping With Sirens before so we knew them. And then we met The Summer Set on Warped Tour and The Getaway Plan, we love them.
TRENTON [Woodley, vocals]- We hadn’t formerly met them before this tour but it’s been really good.

You’ve played over here in the UK before. Do you notice differences between here and Australia?
TRENTON- We were talking about this the other day; it’s quite similar in that we’re growing at the same rate in both places. Obviously America is our bigger market and we’ve toured there the most. We did a tour with Pierce The Veil over here before and we’ve noticed this time people have come up to us and said they saw us on that tour. It’s cool to watch the band grow, it’s rewarding.

You’ve been on Warped Tour in the US all summer- it was your first one, right?
ALEX-Yeah, it was really exciting. We got the call when we were actually on tour with Pierce The Veil in America and were driving down the highway and someone that had signal found out and then everyone started going ballistic.
TRENTON- Apart from Warped Tour there’s not much going on during summer; so you either have a really busy summer on Warped or nothing, and it was really encouraging to get that. We’ve grown up on a lot of rock and punk music, a lot of which has come from Warped Tour, so it was very cool to have the opportunity to play.

How did you find the experience and sheer length of the tour?
JOEL-There’s definitely some days when you wake up and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m really not feeling this” [laughing].
ALEX- I think if you realise that yes, it’s going to be hot everyday and you just accept everything, then you have way more fun.
TRENTON- And because we were doing it for the first time everything was new for us.

You released the album during Warped Tour. We spoke to Blessthefall recently and they released a single/album on Warped and said they felt it was the perfect run up to release. How did you find that?
ALEX- Yeah, it was such good preparation. We had a single out before Warped and it was great to see people singing along to that and as soon as we released the album the crowds started growing.

It’s your second album; was there pressure going into making ‘Unimagine’?
TRENTON- Absolutely. The pressure was kind of broken up into two parts. Everyone loves the first impression they have of a band, from the first album, and that in itself has an emotional response that you won’t get from any subsequent album, so I guess you try to exceed expectations in that sense. But, also we had time pressure because we’d had a busy schedule. The first album we had two years to pour into writing and being meticulous, but with this one we had to trust our abilities which was a big thing that came out of it. I hope that we can take the best of both worlds into album three down the track.

It feels like you’ve found your sound and ‘Unimaginable’ is more focused…
ALEX- Yeah, the one thing that we knew was that we didn’t want it to be so all over the place, but without losing the elements to got us to where we were.

With six of you in the band as well, trying to get that balance and please everyone is hard I bet. Did prouducer James Wisner help that?
TRENTON- I think so, yeah. He helped lock down those few little things that we’ve got used to as a band, aspects of our sound that we know and that we might miss. He really helped lock together the way that we had it.
ALEX- He’d be really stern about it; we’d want to keep in all the parts and he’d be like, “Nope”. But then you hear the album and it makes sense.

Australia is doing really well exporting bands at the minute; yourselves, Tonight Alive, Dead Letter Circus to name a few. Is there something in the water in Australia?
JOEL- [Laughing] I feel like it’s weird because like you say so many Australian bands go out and tour everywhere. But over there it’s either indie music or really heavy music and if you play anything in the middle, unless you’re a really big band, it’s hard.
TRENTON- People over there have this mentality that Australian bands can’t be as good as international bands so they don’t go out and check out local music. A lot of bands do try get out there overseas and then come back to Australia when they’re more well known. Bands that do tour Australia first and then get out there work their arses off in Australia for years and then break out.

What bands have you been checking out recently?
JOEL- Don Broco. The Broco Walk is incredible. We’re obsessed with that band.
ALEX- We play their new song [‘You Wanna Know’] before we go on stage. Tell them so we can tour with them [laughing]. They just seem like straight lads, I’d love it.
JOEL- Another UK band, Deaf Havana, we love their new album.
TRENTON- I haven’t gotten into a bunch of new American bands recently, just because there haven’t really been many stand-out American bands. I think the American scene is changing over from heavy stuff to more rock stuff, and they’re not quite there yet. I think the UK and Australia are a lot more forward thinking musically. Tonight Alive though, they’re great. Obviously we’re a bit biased because they’re good friends of ours, but we’re loving the hell out of their new album. 

And finally, what’s next for you guys?
JOEL- After this, Africa [laughing]. No, a few of us are going over there
ALEX- Yeah, we’re gonna do some travelling. We’ve got like two months off before Australian Warped Tour. And then we’ll have a bit of downtime before heading back to the US next year.
TRENTON- But we’d love to come back here next summer.

To read a review of Hands Like Houses' set and the entire tour CLICK HERE