Interview: House Handshake

#1: Has music always been a big part of your life or did it come later? When was that moment for you?

Darrell: When I was young music was something that was passively in my life, I can’t really remember it impacting me until I was around 12 years old. Something that stands out for me from back then is, my family and I used to travel from Winnipeg (our hometown) to our cottage which was in Grand Beach. It was only about an hour and 20 minutes of a commute, but that was a long drive for my brother and I who were restless children. My mother wanted to keep my brother and I occupied while making the drive and she thought up this wonderful idea of burning a CD almost the length of the drive and printing out all the lyrics into a book for my brother and I to read and sing along with her and dad. I almost feel like it implanted a thought in my mind back that music is an extremely entertaining way to pass the time and it will bring you and loved ones closer if you allow it.

Quinton: I can remember my dad playing his vinyls constantly. I always denied it for some reason. I was very stubborn when I was young. He also took me to the Winnipeg Folk Festival almost every year of my life one year I just started to notice the music. I started to follow my ears to the stages that pleased me. When me and my dad were watching an act on stage he pointed to one of the musicians who was improvising and said something like ”your brother can do that”. I kinda thought to myself ‘that’s easy.’ I really took to music from that point on and it became my identity

Sarah: My mom said when I was a babe (10-12months) I would hum perfect tunes .. from as young as I can remember music has surrounded me my whole life! Singing in congregation meetings 3 times a week, I ventured into songwriting young, played an organ for 3 years,  participating in chores in school, then as I got older I sang with my brother all the time (he taught me a lot) music has always been a spiritual and emotional haven for me. I feel very lucky to have had it encouraged all my life.

Tate: My parents were always playing music throughout my childhood at home, at the cabin and in the car. They both loved the same music and were always singing and enjoying it together, which rubbed off on me and my brother a lot. As I grew up I learned piano but got bored with it and took up guitar after being inspired by School of Rock. My dad showed me the basics and then I took lessons at Mar-Schell’s Music. I found artists that I was into and dreamt about performing like them while I was doing school stuff and playing basketball. Once high school was over I quit basketball and partied like a maniac and developed my musical abilities and discovered that I loved performing, jamming and writing music immensely. It grew exponentially at that point to where I am now teaching, performing and writing as much as possible.

Brennan: I took classical piano as a kid which was fine but it never really moved me. Then on a whim, my parents signed me up for a drum lesson and from the moment I sat behind the kit I knew this was the instrument for me. The sense of power and possibility was overwhelming. Played lampshades and frying pans for 6 months before my parents gave in and bought me a kit for my 16th bday. Never looked back.

Tanner: Music has always been around in my life, my old man taught me the basics with guitar at a young age of 12 or something. Always had fun jams with him growing up, got my first keyboard and practiced with his band, always listened to a lot of music as well, found my passion for it playing campfires late nights with good people. Laws of attraction have brought me where I am today with the people I love doing what I love.

#2: What are some of your favorite albums of all time?

Q: The Wall, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.
D: Hozier, Sublime – 40 oz, Alabama Shakes – Sound and Colors, Sigh No More – Mumford And Sons, Shakey Graves and the Horse He Rode in on.
S: Alabama Shakes-  Sound and ColorSupermodel & Torches  – Foster the People, The Sticks & Eureka – Mother Mother, Master of The Sun – Black Eyed Peas, Adele- 19
B: Maybe…Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA, Nina Simone – I put a Spell on You, Buddy Rich – Big Swing Face, Radiohead – OK Computer, Sting – Ten Summoners Tales.
Tanner: I Don’t think I have any favorite albums, always seem to be changing hearing new rehearing old ones. Frank Zappa’s Man from Utopia was pretty cool, I don’t really like a lot of his shit as well though, Mac DeMarco album two was awesome, find myself hearing him in my headphones often. What I want is to make my favorite album.

#3: What is the hardest and easiest part of making music for you?

Q: It’s always been the instruments for me. I can hear the music in my head, to sing it is no problem but to act it all out on the instruments has been difficult. These days it comes much easier but I know there is always much to learn. Something that comes easy for me is hearing the music in my head before I play it.

D:The hardest part of making music for me is being concerned about other people judgments. The easiest part? Releasing my emotions.

#4: When making music, what does the creative process look like for you and the band?

HH: The songs were usually written during an acoustic session. Sometimes a jam or just an idea that we pull out of the air and memorize it, Write down what it’s about and some lyrics. Then we take it to the rehearsal and we let everybody put their spin on it and we jam it till it feels rights.

#5: What is the biggest dream you have for the band?

HH: Hearing back from our fans and knowing that our music is making an impact on their lives is the biggest thing. Some of that is already happening and we just want to be able to affect as much people as we can.

#6: When did you first play music in front of an audience? What was that experience like?

Quinton: It was terrifying. But I turned it into excitement.

Darrell: Life-affirming.

Brennan: My first gig was at a house party in high school where we played Doors covers because that’s what the singer, who I was in love with, wanted to do.
The feeling of nervousness and exhilaration was one I’ll never forget, have been kind of addicted to it ever since.

Tanner: First time on stage was like smelling you’re grade one classroom or climbing a tree, familiar, odd, nervous, beautiful.

#7: Out of every show you have played, what are some experiences that stick out the most to you?

Darrell: Being on stage and playing for a bigger audience than we normally play for. Watching our lyrics sang back at us from even unfamiliar faces.

Quinton: The parts that really stick out in my head, are the parts that didn’t go so well. We’ve had an amazing time for the most part but there’s been a few hiccups where I’ve learned a lot.

#8: What is the dream tour or festival that you would love to be a part of?

Q: I’ve gone to the Winnipeg Folk Festival most of my life. as per stages to play, the main stage at Winnipeg Folk Fest is my ultimate dream.

Darrell: Now it may not be a festival, I would love to play NPR’s Tiny Desk.

#9: For the rest of the year, what plans do you have?

HH: Back to the studio for EP #2 this one is called Handshake. We’ll do another 4 songs which will be apart of the full self-titled album releasing next year.

Find out more about the band through their website.

Special thanks to House Handshake and Rogue PR for the interview.

Image provided by Rogue PR and House Handshake.

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