Signing Story: Hands

HandsFEAT

Date Signed: October 2012
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Type of Music: Rock/Pop
Band Members: Geoff Halliday, vocals, keyboards; Ryan Sweeney, guitar; Alex Staniloff, bass; Sean Hess, drums.
Management: John Lambremont / Shotclock Management
Booking: Mike Mori / Windish Agency
Legal: Brian McPherson
Publicity: caroline@bighassle.com
Web: http://handssounds.com
A&R: Portia Sabin

Indie rock quartet, Hands, retooled its approach to becoming a viable musical act in 2011. Rather than continuing to perform at small clubs around Los Angeles, CA, on a weekly basis, the four-piece took a step back from the live circuit and focused on creating a team to help promote, manage and market itself.

“We went through a period where we played L.A. as much as we could,” says frontman Geoff Halliday. “We started realizing that playing every week wasn’t getting us where we wanted to go. That’s when we got serious about putting together a team with a publicist and a manager.”

The act also began working with The Windish Agency to handle bookings, who Halliday partly credits for having record label, Kill Rock Stars [KRS], enter the picture. As Halliday explains, Hands was placed on a bill with fellow Windish clients, Milagres, who were already signed to KRS. It was at that show that the burgeoning Hands landed on KRS’ radar as label people showed up early enough to catch its set.

“We began talking to [KRS] after the show,” says Halliday. “It was a little surreal because we’re such big fans of theirs. But, having talked to a bunch of labels, both big and small, before, we knew not to get too excited because a lot of deals don’t work out or are just terrible to begin with.”

The group continued its dialogue with KRS until label owner, Portia Serbin, met with them in L.A. Having sent a demo of the entire album to Serbin beforehand, Halliday says Serbin expressed her genuine interest and the parties proceeded from there.

“It was then that every member of the band started going nuts with excitement. [KRS] basically just gave us a budget and an open palette to do what we wanted. We decided to track the record ourselves, to save money, and then we had somebody really sick mix the record. We sent it to Alex Aldi, who really helped us realize our album.”

Hands’ debut, Synesthesia, is out now.

–Albert Vega