Pop Rock

Hundred Handed – Interview

Thursday 21st September 2017

It’s not every day that you get a personal letter in your mailbox from a band introducing themselves, but that’s exactly what I got from Californian band Hundred Handed.  I always take the time to read everything that comes my way, but with such an exciting introduction from the guys who are proclaiming they’re the happiest band around, I jumped at the chance to write back! Listening to their latest single “Miss California” their sound showcases exactly what they’re all about – it’s punchy, lively and ever so dreamy.  Hundred Handed are out for a good time and have set their lasers to FUN!  I check in with drummer, Drew Langan to find out more.

Hello! I’m Rachel! How are you guys, and what have you been doing with yourselves today?

Hey Rachel! This is Drew from Hundred Handed. We’ve actually been having a pretty mellow day. We’re currently watching Twister (great film, little cheesy) and later we’re going to see a French rapper called MHD at The Fonda. Seriously amazing.

It seems that you’re having a lot fun together right now. What does it mean to be in a band as such good friends?

We are! It means everything. We spend so much time together, we wouldn’t be able to do it if we weren’t best friends. When we started this band, our goal was to have as much fun as possible and to be completely unapologetic about it. So far so good!

You’ve been in other bands previously; but where did you first meet and how did you know you wanted to form a band together? 

We first met when we were hopping on a tour bus to spend the next six weeks together. We both kind of joined the same band at the same time and that was right before a tour. We were always on the same page, especially with the type of music we like and want to make. Ten years and a few barrels of Jack Daniel’s later, were still on the same page.

How do you think your past experiences will help you with Hundred Handed?

They’ve already helped a ton. We’ve been doing this long enough that we knew exactly what we wanted to do with this band from the get go. We knew we didn’t want to be too serious, and that we just wanted to make music that we love, that’s FUN, and makes you want to dance your ass off.

You’ve released 3 singles this year with “Miss California” being your latest release. How are you finding the response to your music so far? 

It’s been great! The feedback we get is always positive and we’re stoked to know that the fun we’re having translates to the music and to the listener. Did I mention we’re having fun?

What’s your writing process as a band; how do you come together to create the final track, and how do you know when a song is finished?

With us, it’s always different. We don’t have some magical formula that we stick to that works every time. Sometimes It starts with a vocal melody or a lyric idea. Sometimes it’s a guitar riff, or a chord progression. As far as knowing when it’s done, we have a studio in our house, so we just lock ourselves in there until we both love it!

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon your inspirations when writing and performing?

Our influences are all over the place. Jordan likes everything from Blink-182 to Daft Punk to Tina Turner. I’ve got Mariah Carey, Slipknot, and a whole bunch of classic rock. All of our influences have had a hand in shaping who we are musically, so they kind of just nudge their way into our writing and performing even if we’re not consciously drawing on them.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

We are! We just finished up a song a few days ago and I believe that was the last one we wanted to finish for an EP. We should have a release date pretty soon.

What’s the music scene like in LA and are there any venues in particular that you enjoy playing?

The music scene here is awesome. There is definitely a ton of music happening, which can make it difficult to sift through, but there’s no denying that that creates a lot of opportunity. Artists can play a lot of shows, and fans can see their favorite artists and hopefully discover some new ones.

What’s the furthest you’ve taken your music so far, and where do you hope it will ultimately lead you to?

Australia is pretty far! Our first show was in Canberra for about 10,000 people. That. Was. Surreal. We want our music to reach as many people as possible, take us around the world, and to the very top at the same time. Total world domination!

Connect with Hundred Handed via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Patent Pending – Other People’s Greatest Hits

Friday 23rd June 2017

Track Listing:

1. Wasted/Wake Me Up
2. Spice Up Your Life
3. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
4. Never Gonna Give You Up
5. Shout Out To My Ex
6. Livin’ La Vida Loca
7. All Time Low
8. Mr Brightside
9. Shape Of You
10. See You Again

Patent Pending are a rock band hailing from New York, and are here with their 6th studio album ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’.  Known for performing covers during live shows the band decided they wanted to release an album of hits for their fans to enjoy.

Talking about the release the band explained that “each song that we chose for this album really helps represent the many different sides of Patent Pending. We’ve always been a band that draws influence from all over the musical spectrum and this project really helped us encapsulate pieces from all of the different genres we love in a half hour of pop-punk chaos! As music can make you feel so many different things and form connections with many songs for various different reasons, the hardest part of the whole thing was deciding which songs to do and choose only 10. We started with a list of 173 potential songs and spent a full week picking away at them, so safe to say this was truly a labor of love…”.”

Now, I have to admit that I tend to tread lightly when bands and artists produce cover songs.  You never really know what you’re going to get, and sometimes it doesn’t feel as though much justice has been done to the original at all.  However, that’s not to say I completely rule them out, in fact far from it.  Some of my favourites in recent years include Black Stone Cherry’s cover of Adele ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and Lonely The Brave did a beautiful version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’; also Amy Winehouse did a fantastic take on the Zutons ‘Valerie’.

When I was introduced to Patent Pending and their latest release ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ I was a bit unsure what to expect at first, but I can hands down say right from the start that it is an extremely entertaining album.  It does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a collection of other people’s greatests hits that have been given a new lease of life.  With a really catchy collection of songs, Pop Punk is probably the most fun genre out there, and that’s exactly what this album is – lots of high energy and fun!

During their Spring Break Tour the band have been unveiling tracks from the album each night.  One of my favourites has to be their mash-up of ‘Wasted/Wake Me Up’ by Tiesto/Avicii, and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.  The newly released video for the track is very amusing and includes paint, and lots of it.  There’s a nice assortment of tracks from different eras, although I can’t help thinking that of all the music the 80’s gave to us, did we have to get “rick-rolled” by the infamous ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. I do really enjoy the intro to this one though, it sounds like the start of an 80’s sitcom.

If I had to select a track that I was most worried about hearing it would be the timeless classic Mr Brightside by The Killers.  The original track is so euphoric it’s difficult to imagine it in any other way.  Got to hand it to the band though, the keys at the beginning gave it the excitement that’s always anticipated with the song and it hasn’t let the original down at all.

Covering a track that’s only recently charted is always a tough call too, but Patent Pending aren’t out to trump anyone they’re just out for the good times.  Their take on ‘Shape Of You’ by Ed Sheeran is quite funky and has been given the upbeat rock treatment with a sprinkling of beatings on the triangle.  However,  ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the original, there’s just a lot more guitar work which makes it sit well with the rest of the album.

Vocalist, Joe Ragosta comments that “the first time I heard this song I knew immediately that it needed to be covered by a rock band. The chorus is so catchy. It honestly reminds me of classic Warped Tour singalong songs. We wanted to beef it up with heavier guitars and push it further out from the pop genre. People we’ve shown it to so far are really excited that they don’t have to feel guilty about loving this tune anymore!””

So there you have it, a party starting album that’s sure to get you motivated and put you in a feel good mood. I have to say that it’s very hard for me to sit here and critique an album full of highly recognised tracks because you’ll already know what to expect, and what’s even better is you’ll already know all the lyrics.

So just buy the freaking album.  You’ll thank me for it.

Connect with Patent Pending via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.