Human Hands: Still Surprised When Asked to Play in Other Countries
A friendly talk with the UK's finest emo band
The UK’s finest emo band Human Hands released their “Morning Sun” LP earlier this year that I couldn’t stop listening to for weeks and weeks after that. But the LP wasn’t enough for the emotive trio from the West Midlands and in March they released a split 12″ with Nottingham’s The Blue Period. So I came up in the course of a chit-chat with Chaz, the main force behind Human Hands and Eat a book Records.
Who are you and what was it that made you play music in the first place and more specifically, why this particular style of punk music? What do you think of the term emo?
Human Hands is Chaz, Rob and Clyde—I guess we started making music through boredom and a desire to play out of the city we were living in at the time. Think we play this style as it’s developed due to the changing nature of stuff we listen to over the years—the difference in sound from our demo to new LP is pretty wild but hopefully there is a feeling and vibe in both and all in between. The term emo doesn’t bother me, although I still just see it as hardcore and punk.
What are some of the highlights of being in the band, I know you have been in Japan before and now you’re releasing a new LP and a split 12″ with The Blue Period, anything suck so far?
Any time we get asked to play a gig or release something is a highlight; it still surprises me when we get asked to play in other countries.
Japan was incredible and I’m looking forward to being reunited with Asthenia this summer in the UK.
What lyrical subjects do you cover with the songs; what does meaningful lyrics mean to you? Why don’t you upload your lyrics on your bandcamp page—they’re not as important as the music to you?
Lyrics are as important definitely—being honest I didn’t know you could do that on bandcamp and would rather people contact us to talk / ask for them—most are printed in record sleeves. We used to talk about lyrical content a bit but prefer to leave stuff to people’s interpretation as it is more interesting that way.
Is it nice to live in the West Midlands of England and what about the DIY scene over there?
I see it all as part of the same thing in that we love playing with punk and hardcore bands and would rather play with bands with that background, I guess. As we play so few shows now as we are based in different areas of the UK, it doesn’t feel like we feel part of any regional scene as such but there are definitely a handful of bands we enjoy playing with.
In addition to the last question, you’re also running the DIY label Eat a book Records, can you tell me more about this endeavor and the bands you’re releasing on vinyl and cassette tapes?
It is currently dying a slow death due to real life commitments but the last two releases were the latest Carson Wells LP and The Blue Period 12″.
Do you like collecting records, are there any interesting records you’ve got recently and what is it that still excites you in that kind of music scene you’re part of? What is it that still move you to play in a band and run a DIY label?
We are all record nerds. Mainly just interested in finding interesting and incredible records of all genres, however, I attempt to collect Neil Young bootlegs and anything on Folkways Records. I still love the opportunity it gives you to see different places and make friends in all corners of the earth.
What kind of influences do you have beyond music? Are there any interesting things that you can share about your personal lives or ideas?
Lots but mainly football.
Anything you would like to add?