Hands: Writing Songs the Uncool Way

Hands frontman Geoff Halliday describes the strange writing process behind their catchy songs.
Hands © Erik Voake/Red Bull Media House
By Richard S. Chang

'Synesthesia,' the debut album from the LA band Hands, comes out April 30 on Kill Rock Stars. One of the catchiest songs on the album (streaming at the bottom of this article) is 'The Game Is Changing Us,' which begins with a light synth intro before the guitars chime in. Geoff Halliday, Hands' lead singer, recently explained the unique process behind writing the song.

"Our bassist Alex makes these weird projects in Logic, which is the computer program we use to do most of our, like, sound design," Halliday said. "So he made this weird video game sounding track that sounded like something out of ‘Wave Race’ for Nintendo 64. And that’s where that initial synth bed came from – I don’t know it’s sort of like a cheesy synth thing that starts the song out – but a lot of that stuff came from him. I don’t know, we kind of looked at it as a challenge, to try and turn this totally funny thing into an actual song. And then I wrote a lot of the lyrics very tongue and cheek about that sort of process – just ignoring the cheesiness and dealing with the song as it was. But it was really fun to make."

Halliday adds, "This is the first album we've ever recorded -- for me, I know it is. I guess we were kind of looking at it as every opportunity to create a song is probably a good one. And we'll get a lot more different and outrageous and unique stuff if we don't write songs the same way everytime. So trying to embrace the weirder, not-immediately obvious stuff. You know you hear in a melody, 'Oh, that's going to be the cool song.' But sometimes it's a little bit more interesting to take something that's uncool and sort of force it to be cool."

Listen to the album, which is loaded with summer jams, in its entirety below, and if you're in LA, catch Hands at the Echoplex, opening up for Wavves, on Thursday, April 25.

Check out Hands' profile at Red Bull Sound Select. Follow Richard S. Chang and Red Bull on Twitter for more updates.

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