Q&A with Alex Pearson of Hands Like Houses

HLH-Iam-crop“Quick thanks to everyone that has supported the band and shared our music amongst your friends, we love you and are so grateful. We’ve put everything we have in to DISSONANTS and we hope it becomes your favorite HLH record to date!” – Hands Like Houses

RSD:  We love sharing rad back stories here at RSD. How did a couple of mates from the land of Oz get signed by Rise Records?

HLH:  Ours really just required a whole lot of hard work and patience! Our first album ‘Ground Dweller’ was recorded over a year and a half. The first time we went to America we recorded 6 songs with the hopes to spark enough interest from that to nail a label. We were told we needed an album so we went back home to Australia knuckled down and wrote some more, saved up for a second round of flights and studio time, then returned to America to finish off the next batch of five songs. These rounded off what became Ground Dweller.

RSD:  You’ve played dates on the Vans Warped Tour, do you think that VWT was one of the catalysts that helped broaden your horizons and launch our career?

HLH:  It definitely helped! I’ll never forget us driving down to Florida in our make shift ‘Death Trap Home on Wheels’ when we got the Warped Tour call. We were jumping around so much that we probably almost crashed! Warped Tour is such a great platform to expand your fan base and we worked our arses off that first summer hustling CDs in the line every morning, playing acoustic shows and meeting as many fans as possible. Combining all those things together really helped to establish us as a band.  We were in it for the long haul!

RSD:  You have been steadily building you fan base the last fews years and your first two albums Ground Dweller an Unimagine both reached the the Billboard charts. What can fans expect from your latest record Dissonants?

HLH:  I don’t want to jinx anything, so I better steer clear of projections. But I think we’ve really been able to solidify what we personally love about our band and what our audience loves as well. We’ve taken that and made it more aggressive, more powerful and more anthemic which will hopefully enable us to reach that next level. We want everyone to know who we are and have our songs burnt into their heads!

RSD:  You released the music video for one of your lead singles “Colourblind” a few weeks ago. This a fantastic and engaging song that has the potential for commercial success in our opinion. Can you talk about what went into making this record, the inspiration behind the lyrics, the producer you collaborated with, the arrangement choices, etc.?

HLH:  This song came together better than we ever could’ve imagined and we’ve been absolutely floored with the response from our audience, peers and press. The song centers around the idea of society’s cultural obsession with binary ideas – of being unable to appreciate the whole beauty of the world due to only seeing things as black and white; and not looking deeper for fuller understanding and appreciation of who we are and what we have. James Paul Wisner, who produced the album, really got stuck in to this song. Both of us knew we had something special with it. It all stemmed from the intro guitar riff and the song flowed from there. We wanted aggression and something you could bang your head to. At one point we wondered if we’d gone too far. Haha

RSD:  Everywhere we travel, we seem to run into at least one Aussie that we end up throwing back drinks with at a local pub.  What is about your culture that inspires you to go on walkabout and travel the world?

HLH:  I think it all starts when you finish school. There definitely seems to be an encouragement to take a year off of work and explore, adventure and travel! I personally think that goes a long way to helping you gain some much needed perspective on a personal and global scale. We’re so fortunate that we get to combine all of those with music. It truly is a blessing!

RSD:  Do you think that foundation and cultural commonality is what also inspires you to share your music with the masses?

HLH:  Maybe not that specifically but it plays its part. I think once we started traveling with the band and seeing that we could continue that through our music it became a pretty substantial motivator. We’re from a pretty small city, Canberra, back in Australia and we are continually presented with opportunities to share our music around the world – who wouldn’t be inspired by that?! Haha

RSD:  What is the wildest fan story or experience you’ve had while on the road?

HLH:  We have some really talented fans. We’re always getting different artworks – whether it’s a personal interpretation of song lyrics, re-working some album art or one time we all got drawn as anime characters. I was personally looking the closest to a princess haha. As far as wild fan stories go I think we are fortunate to also have very respectful fans. We aren’t idolized like gods or obsessed over, nor do we want to be. We’re just a really normal bunch of guys that are always down for a chat and a hang with anyone who comes out to a show. That being said if anyone wants to become “the wildest fan story,” they’re more than welcome to give it a shot. Haha

RSD:  Finally, what advice do you have for other aspiring artists who are trying get their voices and music heard by fans abroad?

HLH: I think the most important thing we have learned is to not rush things. Make sure you are confident in your product and its sounding professional and most of all believe in it! People can clearly see through something that isn’t authentic or lacks substance!

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