Back in the Summer when the British weather wasn’t doing it’s best to imitate the Indian monsoon, Rock Sins were on sight at Donington Park for the 2014 Download Festival. While we were there we caught with up with Sam Brennan, drummer and all around top man from UK melodic hardcore outfit Heart In Hand. Read on to see his views on Sikth getting back together, touring the world and dealing with drunk people in the snow amongst many other things!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! I understand you guys have been here (at Download) for the whole weekend?
Sam: We got here Thursday and it’s been hectic ever since. We turned up, got the vodka out and it hasn’t gone away since. The struggle’s been pretty real so far.
Jamie: Have you had a good time since you’ve been here?
Sam: Oh it’s been great. The atmosphere has been amazing. Everyone is having such a good time. This is my first proper festival in the UK. We’ve done a few European ones but this is my first time in Donington and it’s awesome, really really good to be here.
Have you seen many bands since you’ve been here?
Sam: There’s been a few I’d pinpointed to watch. I watched Behemoth the other night and then I watched Sikth. Obviously Sikth getting back together was such a tremendous moment.
Jamie: I think everyone wanted to see Sikth pretty much, in such a tiny tent as well.
Sam: They’re playing better than they used to. They’ve been out of the game for seven years and they’re even tighter than they used to be, it’s crazy, I didn’t think it was possible.
As you’ve alluded to this is your first time here at Donington, so you must all be excited for (your performance) later on?
Sam: Excited, but I’m getting a bit nervous. If the hangover doesn’t kill me before then I’m sure I’ll power through. Lots of Red Bull.
Jamie: Well there’s a few hours until show time so you’ve got recovery time hopefully.
Sam: Yeah, I need to eat some food, some very salty food and then get on with it, I should stop crying like a baby basically *laughs*.
Regarding plans after Download, you guys are going out across Europe with Polar next week?
Sam: Yeah, it’ll be fun. Europe is always really good for us. For some reason they just seem to want us. Lots of German shows, heading to Italy, and Poland for the first time as well. So that’ll be nice, hopefully we’ll get a good reaction. The Europeans are always very welcoming and they just go out to shows. They just want to see music, it almost doesn’t matter who’s playing they’re just like “lets go check out this band”.
Jamie: Well that attitude certainly helps.
Sam: Yeah, it’s awesome. So that’ll be a good tour, and then we’ve got a few more festivals, and then we go to Europe and Scandanavia again in November with The Amity Affliction and Buried In Verona.
Jamie: That’ll be your biggest tour so far won’t it?
Sam: Yeah, Miss May I was pretty big but yeah that’s going to be a really good tour. We just toured with an Australian band, Deez Nuts, and those guys know how to drink *laughs* so I’m trying to get my liver prepared for it. But it should be a lot of fun, I’m really excited for it.
That’s quite interesting because I think both in Australia and here in the UK there’s quite a resurgence in the style of music you play so it’s interesting to see bands from both places meshing so well on a lot of recent tours…
Sam: Yeah there’s a lot of integration with that, I like it. It means that hopefully we can get out there soon as we do tour swaps and stuff like that. We’d really like to get out there soon.
Jamie: Even this weekend I’ve heard so many bands say only good things about Soundwave (Festival) for example.
Sam: Oh yeah that would be a dream come true, fingers crossed.
Jamie: Sit in your swimming shorts and play shows in-between.
Sam: *laughs* I can think of worse ways to spend my time! I want to get out to South East Asia as well, Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia…
Jamie: When you do get to those places it’s something special. I remember Sylosis going to India a few years back and they played to thousands of people.
Sam: I know, exactly. It’s like this English band has come all the way here to play music for us. The reactions that friends have mine have had playing out there have been absolutely insane. So that’s one of the reasons I want to get out there.
Jamie: You could literally pick up thousands of new fans in one night.
Sam: Yeah, it’s crazy, so that’s definitely one of the goals and one of the aims. America as well.
Jamie: America is always a tough one because you need to dedicate so much time to it.
Sam: Yeah, and the whole “getting over there” is quite a lot of money. But hopefully in the next year or so we’ll be doing it as there’s been quite a lot of interest from over there. People are always saying “oh come to the US” so hopefully we will get out there at some point, it’d be awesome.
So, I understand there’s a new album in the pipeline?
Sam: We’ve just recorded one, finished recording it in February, we’re just waiting for the mixes to come back now but it should be out, well we’re not 100% sure but we’re thinking September / October time.
Jamie: Hopefully in time for the Amity Affliction tour then?
Sam: Yeah I think it’ll be out for then which would be awesome, so we’ll be able to play a lot of new stuff from that on the tour. I just want to hear it to be honest with you, I haven’t heard it finished so I just hope it’s good. I’m really proud of the material.
Jamie: Well if you guys are proud of it that’s a good sign as I’d imagine you’re your own toughest critics.
Sam: We recorded it at my own studio as well so I just have the fear of whether I did everything properly and by the book and got everything right. But I think it’s there, it should be fine.
A regular question we ask to a lot of bands to finish off with, can you give us a funny or interesting story from your time on the road recently?
Sam: Hmmmmm, I don’t know, I don’t want to say anything too incriminating! If I say anything that gets me or my fellow bandmates in trouble we’ll get smacked bottoms *laughs*. To be honest when we go crazy, we don’t really remember anything! We’re suckers for the drunken amnesia.
Jamie: Sometimes that’s a very useful thing.
Sam: Yeah, but when someone else tells you what happened it’s all so real again and it’s all “oooohh nooo I wasn’t doing that was I?”. The bus tours are always the best. Like one time our guitarist got so paralyetically drunk he fell off the top bunk, came downstairs naked where we were hanging out with the Miss May I guys, butt naked and bleary eyed. We were in Sweden and there was snow everywhere, he went out into the snow, fell over, still naked and was just lying in the snow just pissing and I had to help him up and get him back into bed. But at least he was quite clean because of the snow. So that was a good time, that was fun.
Heart In Hand’s new album A Beautiful White will be released on the 3rd of November through Century Media Records. As discussed during the interview, Heart In Hand will be during Europe with The Amity Affliction during November 2014. Details of the UK dates of the tour are below:
The Amity Affliction w/ Buried In Verona & Heart In Hand UK Tour November / December 2014
28th – Birmingham – Institute
29th – Glasgow – Classic Grand
30th – Manchester – Gorilla
1st – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
2nd – London – O2 Islington Academy
Tickets for the tour are still available (though Birmingham may be sold out) via Seetickets and cost approximately £10 plus booking fees – here’s a link for your convenience if you want to grab some https://www.seetickets.com/Search?q=the+amity+affliction. Lastly, you can also follow Heart In Hand on their official Twitter account at @heartinhand.