From our first meeting with New Hands, we knew we’d be friends. We’ve found a lot in common with the band, from our Tumblr blogs and the Playlists we both post, to finding similar tastes in music, books, movies, and tv, and our connection to McMaster. Not only are they great guys and are newfound bffs, but we are really excited about this band. So excited, that we almost booked them for I Heart Hamilton Tour Presents: The Playlist 1.0 before even seeing them play! From that very first show, we were fans.
After some last-minute prep in Westdale Village at the delightful My Dog Joe over some tasty iced coffees, Avi and I set out on our mission – Rendezvous with New Hands. We enjoyed being back in the Westdale neighbourhood; it had been a while since we had walked around that area. Of course, being Mac alum, the area will always hold memories. After walking in the wrong direction, we did a quick search, consulting with our good ‘ol GPS who we’ve named Jacques. Don’t ask. Once we were headed in the right direction, we heard the soundtrack of Grease blasting as we rounded the corner. I joked to Avi, “I really hope that’s them.” Sure enough, it was, as “Summer Nights” had come on the radio of Spence’s car and he cranked up the tune.
What was even more amazing was, when that song ended, “Hit the Road, Jack” was the next to come on. Avi and I stood there, awestruck, because that song has been a bit of a recurring theme throughout our Tour. Between Jenny, Avi, Carly, and myself, our initials spell JACK and that has been our little moniker. Befitting to the Tour, that song is just perfect, because when we started the Tour a year ago, I declared, “Let’s hit the road.” Arriving at New Hands’ house and hearing that song was a complete full circle moment that I still can’t get over. Just another sign that we click with the band! We knew it was going to be a fun Rendezvous.
It was a hot, summer day, so we decided to do the interview in their backyard, after getting a tour of the house. We can just imagine the shenanigans that must go on with New Hands all living under one roof! (Minus drummer Gordy, as he is about to the tie the knot. Exciting!) Getting a peek at their rehearsal space, I recognized it right away from the live video they shot of “Whichever Way You’ll Have It” (to be their next single). Gordy’s impressive art is also displayed around the house.
We settled in the shade around a picnic table, plenty of beers at the ready, my cue cards, Avi’s camera, and our little mascot for the day was Spence’s adorable dog Chanel, who may even be the brains behind the whole operation. Avi and I managed to cover a variety of topics, from New Hands’ beginning as a band (they were previously The Social Workers), their musical influences, the Hamilton music scene, what it’s like recording with Michael Keire at Threshold Studios, the songwriting process, and, we even got Spence to write us an I Heart Hamilton Tour-inspired haiku. Of course, we knew the Rendezvous Rapid Fire portion would be particularly entertaining. It did not disappoint.
Our thanks to Evan, Gordy, Spence, Pat, and Ben for hanging with us for the day! Watch our interview in Part One and the Rapid Fire in Part Two.
Be sure to catch them live July 28th at This Ain’t Hollywood for The Playlist 1.0!