Tell us a bit about the band. Where are you from and how did you all meet?
Joe: We met eachother whilst studying at the University of Leeds. Leeds is a great place with a great music scene so it was the perfect place to get started as a band! We are now located in London which is giving us an opportunity to conquer a new city with loads of new venues.
If I were to use the phrase “for fans of”, who would you most liken yourselves to?
Finn: Bands like Rex Orange County, Larkins and Circa Waves spring to mind. Also Harry Styles on his most recent album particularly.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest single 6 Weeks? What does this song mean to you?
Alexi: Last summer we were looking through Tom’s instagram and found an instrumental from 2014 that he made when he was 16. That instrumental became the chorus of this tune which we went on to write the rest of whilst cramped together into a grimey Leeds uni house in Hyde Park. It’s a tune made with summer in mind, it’s about a character that doesn’t want to get too deep into a summer relationship – “I don’t wanna call it a fling, but you’re not my everything”.
How, would you say, does this song differ from Red Wine, released back in February?
Tom: We think that 6 Weeks and Red Wine go really well together, as part of what we call ‘Phase 2’ of our journey as a band. They have a similar vibe and could easily sit side by side on an EP. Saying that, every time we go into the studio we try to push ourselves a little and incorporate something new. This time, you’ll hear a lead synth line, as well as a few more sudden textural changes. It’s important to evolve but not to do it for evolution’s sake. If it sounds good, keep it in!
Do you work with any producers to help bring your music to life?
Alexi: We’ve worked with a couple producers but the one who has produced Red Wine, 6 Weeks and the 3rd single of Phase 2 is a dude called Bob Cooper. He’s a genius really and is the only man to have ever equaled and sometimes even surpassed our anal perfectionisim. He is beyond technical and knows more about the art of production than we’ll ever know so it’s a real gift having him in the studio with us. He’s also super calm and collected under pressure which is needed when we’re biting each other’s heads off during the inevitable chaos that ensues during the last few hours of our recording time.
Where do you look to find inspiration?
Finn: I’d like to think of us as musical magpies, happy to find inspiration in a wide range of genres. Alexi particularly is a huge hip hop fan and an advocate for new music, and this has shown more and more as his songwriting has developed. Artists like the Orielles, Michael Kiwanuka and Phoebe Bridgers have come out with albums in the last year or so that have been really big for me personally. We’ve also had times where inspiration for a song has come from a particular scene in a film which can be a really interesting starting point. Having our own distinct sources of inspiration which we each bring to the table is definitely beneficial for our writing process.
What is next for Ten Hands High?
Joe: We have a single out on the 24th of July (probably out by the time you’re reading this) which we can’t wait for everyone to hear. We put a lot of work into this one and think it’s the best song we’ve recorded to date. We have loads more songs in the pipeline which we are going in to the studio to record very soon as well. In terms of live playing, it is uncertain due to recent events but we will gig as soon as we are able to in London and Leeds. We can’t wait to get back playing again, we miss it so much!
How have you been keeping busy during lockdown?
Alexi: Finn’s been crying about having to come home prematurely from his year abroad in Turkey because of Covid. Tom bought an electric drum kit so sits on that until his bum gets sore or he needs to apply to another 47 jobs that will inevitably reject him because he has too high grades and too much experience. I’ve been spending my time trying to write a song that Finn likes and Joe is in love so has definitely been ‘keeping busy’.
Any plans to play any shows when we are allowed back out?
Joe: As soon as we can we will be back in London and in our hometown of Leeds. We can’t wait to start playing again, it’s one of the things we enjoy most about being in a band so it’s been tough over the last few months especially as we had a bunch of shows booked across the country for March. We know though that when we will be back we will be better than ever as we have been working hard over lockdown to continually improve as a unit, so bring it on!
Where can we find out more about you?
Finn: Check out our website tenhandshigh.com for merch, pics and gigs (when they return anyway). Check out our insta @tenhandshigh, for a meticulously curated feed is courtesy of the most anal-retentive frontman in alternatuive music. Our twitter is @Tenhandshigh_ if you fancy some takes on new music which range from tepid to hot. And if you’re at the more mature end of our demographic, do not fear – you can also find us on Facebook.
Anything you would like to tell us?
Tom: Just keep an eye on us in the coming months! Our insta is a pretty good place to keep up to date: @tenhandshigh. We’ll be releasing new music that’s unlike anything we’ve done before and we’re so excited about it. As lockdown eases, we plan to gig as often as possible, with many of our March to July dates rescheduled for later in the year. We have no intention of slowing down. In fact, we are ready to hit the ground running.
I’d like to thank the guys for taking the time to answer my questions and wish them all the best with all their latest music.