Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Interview with Bo from Hand of Dust

It doesn’t take a brainiac to know that something is happening in Copenhagen. It seems that there are a lot of really good bands coming from one place, and one scene in particular. Iceage is the first band that comes to mind when elucidating this circle of musicians. They were the first band to really get the attention of United States listeners, but they weren’t complacent with just bringing over one band. A lot of this has to do with bands that share musicians, but it also has to do with a limited amount of practice spaces and music venues, as Bo from Hand of Dust explains below. (Nice Segue, Jordan)

I picked up Hand of Dust’s new 7” record Without Grace or Glory because it was released on Blind Prophet Records, which is pretty much a stamp that I’ll like it. Rats off to you, Sean. You’ve done it again.

The dirge-riddled bass line is an immediate indicator of what will come. “For I have read the short stories/Cut shorter by memories/I’ve seen it in the yellow leaves/Of dying family trees.” Death is a theme of this record, whether through the visible ghost of “Without Grace or Glory” or through the changing color of family tree leaves. It’s a serious record that muses on temporality, history, and personal future and there’s a reason that a lyric sheet comes with the record. Lyrics are clearly important to the band and it makes for a more rewarding listen.

They will be playing a show in L.A. with other Danish punk bands on May 16 & 17, which is going to be incredible. I'm debating flying out for it myself. You can check out more about that HERE

You can check out their FACEBOOK PAGE or listen to their music on their BANDCAMP PAGE

Jordan: First off, tell me a little bit about the Copenhagen music scene that you're coming out of. It seems like there is a lot going on right now around the area?

Bo: We rehearse at a place called Mayhem. This is also a venue for shows etc. I think the main thing about our bands is that none of us got together around a table and decided what "genre" of music we wanted to play or what band we wanted to sound like. This seems to be the case with a lot of the stale and empty music many rock bands play these days 

J: Who all is in Hand of Dust? How did you guys meet?

B: I’m the singer and guitarist in the band, Jesper plays bass and Victor drums. When we started playing together the idea was just to perform the songs i'd been writing and playing on my own, in a band setting. After playing together two or three times, it was obvious that this was a band and not just me backed by two friends. I still write the songs, but these days i never feel that anything is done before we've played it together. I always feel that the better i know somebody, the harder it gets to remember how i met them.

J: Your original demo tape came out a while ago. Tell me a little bit about how you made and recorded those songs.

B: Most of the songs on the tape are old and were written before we started the band. the tape was recorded through a mountain of mixes and cables on the floor of Mayhem, by our good friend Simon Van Deurs.  He did quite an amazing job considering the gear used and the amount of on the spot solutions he had to come up with.

J: Did you guys get to play live a lot after this came out?

B: “play live a lot" in Copenhagen isn't that much, as there aren't that many venues. The tape didn't have any kind of impact on us getting shows as most of the shows here are put up by friends or the bands themselves. I will say though that playing live shows is a very important thing for us and that songs always seems to come to me in the days after a show.

J: Have you guys played the US before?

B: No. I've never even been to the states, but Jesper and Victor have. On the 16.th and 17.th of May, Hand of dust, Lower, Communions, Iceage, Age Coin, Puce Mary, Girlseeker, Lust for Youth, Marching Church, Sexdrome, Croatian Armor, Sejr and Deeplands are all coming to the US to play the Church of York in L.A. I'm really looking forward to it, it's gonna be complete chaos.

J: You guys have a new 7" out. What was the process of recording that like? Who wrote the songs?

B: It was recorded in four hours, by Nis Bysted from ESCHO. The first day got canceled so recording was a bit stressed, but in all honesty i don't know what we would have done with a second day. Unless you’re Scott walker, I never understood how anyone could spend months or years recording. The songs were written by me and we tried to get in the studio as quickly as we could after figuring out how we wanted to play them. 

J: How did you decide to get in touch and work with Blind Prophet records?

B: We played a show in copenhagen with Cult of youth september last year. We just talked to Sean that night and after seeing him play live, we felt like this was a person who understood our way of playing music. When Sean is singing a song, he doesn't 
seem to have a choice on whether or not to give in to it. He doesn't think more then two or three seconds ahead. Thats exactly the way i feel. 

J: What is in the future for Hand of Dust?

B: We’ve just recorded two songs, to be released as a single. These songs are great examples of what's been happening in the band and we want to get them out as quickly as possible. How is still a bit uncertain. 

J: Anything else you'd like to say?

B: The brighter the eye, the darker the pupil.

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