Band of the Week

Posted March 5, 2009 in Music

CITY OF ORIGIN: San Bernardino 

MEMBERS: Daniel (vocals); Kenny (guitar); Jonathan (bass); AJ (drums).
KINDRED SPIRITS: If the members of At the Drive-In and Refused somehow mated, their offspring would be half-Swedish, half-Texans and fully gnarly post-hardcore rockin’ delights—just like these dudes!

RECENT RELEASE: Loud Ass (2008)

Now here’s a “house” band that doesn’t play house music: What Hands Are For’s first show was an Ontario backyard, jamming atop dirt with a host of Spanish death metal acts. As vocalist Daniel tells us, the audience comprised of family members—you know, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. And though dust clouds swirled and decibels likely surpassed any genteel thresholds, “they loved us,” he says. “Go figure.”

The cherry on top? “When we were done, they served us nachos, soda pop, and chips,” he recalls. “It was amazing.”

WHAF has since graduated to purpose-built venues with real (read: non-dirt) stages and audiences consisting of more than just those with familial ties. Still, as Daniel explains, his house is his favorite venue.

“We have shows in our house with touring bands and local bands and it’s amazing,” he says. “The holes in the walls here in this house show how much fun we have. And believe it or not, it actually sounds good. The cops have a pretty good time there, too.”

If the police were initially summoned for neighborhood noise ordinance violations, it’s likely no big surprise: What Hands Are For’s latest disc is aptly dubbed Loud Ass. “If you have ever seen us play live, we are unusually loud,” says Daniel. “We just turn everything up as loud as AJ’s dumb drums.”

While WHAF’s dream show is blasting it alongside U2, N.W.A. and Taylor Swift on Mt. Everest playing to Sasquatch (their selections, not ours), they’re getting dreamy about playing yet another house—Pomona’s Glass House. “We’ve seen so many of our favorite bands play there, it really is a dream come true,” says Daniel.

But they won’t be daydreaming around their gear anymore: The last time the foursome played in Pomona (at another venue), a thousand bucks worth of their equipment was stolen. “P-town, woo woo,” says Daniel. Ah, the fun never ends . . .

–Waleed Rashidi

What Hands Are For at the Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865.3802; Wed., March 11, 7PM


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