Born and bred in Canberra, Australia, Hands Like Houses - comprising of Trenton Woodley (vocals), Alexander Pearson (guitar), Joel Tyrrell (bass), Matthew Parkitny (drums) & Matt “Coops” Cooper (guitar) – are one of Australia’s biggest rock exports. The band has sold an impressive 100k+ records internationally and boasts 85 million combined worldwide streams. During their decade together, HLH have embarked on fifteen full US tours, nine UK tours and three back-to-back sold out headline tours across Australia, while also playing packed arenas with Bring Me The Horizon and A Day To Remember, and headlining UNIFY in 2018.
After very recently announcing that they will be performing at Australia's Download Festival in March 2020, we thought that we would sit down with them to talk about all things Hands Like Houses.
Q: You guys have now 5 studio albums under your belt, and in that time you’ve certainly experimented with new and different sounds and fresh lyrical concepts. Can you talk us through a bit of your process of writing and recording an album? Is it a process where you flush out particular ideas or do you find the idea just evolves with input?
A: Our process has kind of evolved over each studio session we have. For the last couple of releases we’ve all been quite spread out around Australia and the world so we each run home rig mini studios and demo ideas then sending them on to a mega group chat. We are very much a music first band then the lyrics and melody come after that. Some songs have taken years and others five minutes - I guess we try and maintain as little pressure as possible to make sure the songs we get are authentic to us.
Q: How does the process differ (if at all) when you’re writing a single like your last ‘Through Glass’?
A: Through Glass went through a few transformations as we couldn’t quite get the soundscape and song environment right. It took a while to get the verses to feel like they flowed into the chorus. I think it came together pretty quickly in the end over the space of about a week or so in the studio.
Q: Where are you most likely to find inspiration when you’re writing?
A: It always sounds cliche answering this but we really do draw from everywhere. Me personally I’m the most inspired when I’m traveling but writing on the move is pretty challenging. So I have thousands and thousands of voice memos on my phone of ideas that have become songs and ideas that are pure garbage but you can’t always have winners.
Q: Now that you have toured pretty much everywhere, do you feel as though live crowd responses affect your process. Does thinking about how the audience would react play much of a role?
A: I think we really started considering audience reactions to our songs and how they translated live when we were writing Dissonants. We really wanted to have people more involved and I think that’s showed from when we started touring that album until now and probably in to the future. I think every band considers songs that have done well and had great reactions when they behind writing but we try and balance that to avoid writing the same songs over and over. We’re always wanting to move forward and get something different.
Q: There is still a bit of time between now and Download 2020, what can fans expect from you guys between now and then? Any new music on the horizon that we can get excited about?
A: I feel like as soon as we say anything about new music we curse ourselves haha but there will hopefully be a new song out by then. We spent some time in September writing some new music and are excited about releasing that over the next 12 months. We’re pumped for download and super ready to go completely mental - see ya there!
You can catch Hands Like Houses performing live at Download Festival.
Melbourne Showgrounds, VIC - Friday the 20th of March 2020.
Parramatta Park, NSW - Saturday the 21st of March 2020.