The guys from Los Angeles pop-rock band Hundred Handed are doing it right and for all the right reasons! Singer-guitarist Jordan McGraw, bassist Matt Black and drummer Drew Langan joined forces in 2015 after years of playing in other bands that didn’t give them the creative high for which they were searching. Inspired by a plethora of diverse artists, ranging from from Blink-182, Daft Punk, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire and beyond, they quickly found themselves bursting at the seams good vibes, sonically captivating jams and a drive to create the soundtrack that keeps the party going! Serving up heaping helpings of unapologetic energy, Hundred Handed have captured the hearts and minds of music fans from around the globe. In 2017, the band has unleashed several inspiring singles with ‘Vibe,’ ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Miss California’. The best part is they are just getting warmed up! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with the guys from Hundred Handed to discuss the formation of the project, the beautiful music they are making together and what the future may hold for this fun-loving band!
Hello, gentleman! Thanks for taking time to answer our questions. I am really excited to help spread the word on what you have created. I have to say I love what I am hearing and I wish you all continued success!
Thanks! Stoked to chat with ya. You might be the first person to call us gentlemen.
We always like to learn where a musician is coming from. Take us back to your earlier years. What are your first memories of music?
Jordan has, by far, the classiest of all first concerts: Celine Dion. Followed it up with Tina Turner, though, who has been one of our big influences actually. The showmanship is absolutely incredible. The songs are funky as hell… and her legs are almost as nice as Matt Black’s.
Who were your biggest influences as a musician and performer?
This band is exclusively influenced by Tom Cruise’s performance in ‘Rock of Ages. ‘The way he really embodied the true soul of rock star mixed with the way they made him look taller without a gratuitous use of platform shoes… we can only hope to get there one day. ;)
Finding your way in music doesn’t happen over night. What went into finding your creative voice as musicians?
We all spent a lot of valuable time in bands that were ALMOST exactly what we wanted to be doing. Touring, having fun, making mistakes, and learning how crowds work and responding to certain things and not to others… that experience set us up perfectly to start Hundred Handed. When we started this band, we quite literally locked ourselves in a room and just listened to our favorite music (whether we wanted it to be a part of this sound or not), watched our favorite concerts, and just chopped it up all night about what our ideal picture of this band would be. Now all we have to worry about is having fun and making music!
At what point did you decide you wanted to pursue music professionally?
We wouldn’t be good at anything else! There was never another option… we just had to figure it out on our own time.
You are clearly very driven when it comes to your career. What has kept you inspired throughout the years as artists and helped to fuel your creative fire?
It’s too much fun getting on stage and having fun with hundreds or thousands or even dozens of new best friends. Being able to create something from scratch and then put it out there for people to have their own experiences with is something none of us could ever let go of.
How did you guys initially cross paths and join forces to form Hundred Handed?
Drew and Jordan were hired to be part of a band about a week before the first tour about 7 years ago… barely knew each other when they showed up to the bus… bus caught on fire… started hangin’… history. Matt Black was the guitar tech for the third band that Drew and Jordan were in… We were always the three laughing the most and hanging out so we tricked him into thinking we were handsome enough to stand next to in band pictures.
Obviously, you guys make beautiful music together. What do you bring out in each other creatively?
We just like to have fun. We’ve all been in bands that lost the fun… That’s our first priority.
For people who may be just discovering the band, what can they expect from you sonically?
Hopefully, something they want to show someone else. We want our fans showing up and dancing like idiots… with us.
You released your debut single, “Love Me Like The Weekend,” back in 2015. How have things changed for you, in a creative sense, since first starting out?
We’ve done some physical and sonic self exploration. The latter has kind of lead us to a more deliberate version of what we imagined our sound to be from the get go. It took the first round of songs to get to the second and those to get to the third.
What can you tell us about the songwriting process for the band?
Honestly, we just kind of stumble into each song without a plan and see what happens. Having too concrete of a formula takes the excitement out of it for us.
When it comes to the music you are creating, where do you find yourself looking for inspiration these days?
Other music, movies, comedy, other artists, artwork, stupid jokes that we can’t help but laugh at… anything that gets us excited.
You guys have been releasing a lot of music in 2017, starting off the year with ‘Vibe’ in January, and followed it up with ‘Celebrate’ and then ‘Miss California’ soon after. What do you have in store for fans for the rest of 2017?
We have been recording music nonstop and the hardest thing to do is keep it in… So we’ll be keeping a steady flow of new music all year. We have a wide set of music with a heavy flow.
Writing catchy songs with feeling is hard to do. Which songs came easier and which were harder to nail down?
I don’t know if I agree with that. A good song IS a catchy song. Listen to Michael Jackson Man In the Mirror and try not to sing along. People are hard to fool nowadays. You can’t sing it, not mean it, and be anything more than a flash in the pan.
What do you consider the biggest challenges you have faced together as a band?
Drew’s bunk smells TERRIBLE.
You are no stranger to playing shows. What can fans expect from you in a live setting?
A GOOD FUCKING TIME.
What do you consider your biggest musical milestones as a band?
We heard ourselves on the radio in Australia. Pretty amazing to hear yourself on the radio on the other side of the globe.
Do you have any plans to put an album together or is the focus more on singles at the moment?
We are signed to our own label so we’re having fun making our own way. You can probably expect our impatience to grow. Singles – EP – Album.
Looking back on all you have done and created so far as musicians, how do you feel you have most evolved as artists?
We got Matt Black to wear super skinny jeans.
Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future — short and long term?
What is the best way for fans to help support you at this stage in your career?
Steal our music, buy our music, but most importantly share our music. We just want people excited about what we are creating. We don’t care how you get there.
You can serve as a great inspiration for so many aspiring artists and young people. What is the best lesson we can take away from your journey so far?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Whatever you want to be good at… Its a muscle. Exercise that muscle or you’ll always be playing catch up.
Where are the best places for us to continue following your adventures online?
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Anywhere! Find us and talk to us! We love hearing from you guys!
Visit the official website for Hundred Handed at www.hundredhanded.com and check out the lyric video for “Miss California” below!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.