Based out of the Los Angeles area, Hands Like Glass is a highly unique band combining atmospheric electronic synths to a melodic metal soundscape – coming up with a winning combination of sight and sound. On the spiritual side of the musical spectrum, Hands Like Glass has just released a compelling new EP entitled With Unveiled Faces. A band very much on the rise, we decided to check in and find out more about the up and coming musical collective destined to become known above and beyond the City of Angels…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Hands Like Glass, and how long the band has been together.
Hey, We’re Hands Like Glass, and we are consisted of vocalist, Mason Premo, guitarist Jimmy Amaya, guitarist, Eddie Intagliata, bassist, Cesar Linares, synth player Jopasety Castillo, and drummer Cory McMahan. This lineup has carried Hands Like Glass since summer 2009.
What is your opinion of the local Los Angeles music scene?
Right now the LA music scene seems to be pretty eclectic as far as diversity and variety. You have genres ranging from hip-hop, R&B, pop, pop punk, death metal, indie, and industrial; it’s almost like a big melting pot of style and influence. We’ve seen that many bands nowadays follow the latest trend and fad leading to a overload of similarity and unoriginality.
What do you think makes Hands Like Glass stand out over the many other post hardcore bands in the area?
Right off the bat, you will notice the electronic element in our style. We tend to write with the synths/electronics as an integral part of the music. Whereas you have guitars, drums, and bass driving the music, the synths take an equal share in the writing process. We don’t have synths for synth’s sake. We treat it as a complete and sustainable instrument. Most synths you hear in post-hardcore bands today sound cheesy and almost silly. Apart from the electronics, the rest of the music is aggressive yet palatable, attention grabbing yet subtle. We don’t necessarily have breakdowns, but we still try get low and heavy by the way we write.
How has your tour with Assemble The Skyline and End The Century been going, and what have been some of the highlights?
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the tour was cut short, but we were able to play a couple of shows with End The Century. We’ve actually played with them many times before, and they have become good friends and band buddies of ours. It’s interesting to see how both of our bands have progressed over the past year. They are really blossoming into a powerful progressive metalcore force in the scene, they have many huge things ahead of them. We would always be down to play and tour with them. Love you ETC <3. Of course, Assemble the Skyline is an awesome band. Having never played with them before, it was great to see a punk/indie band rock out just as hard as a couple of posty bands HAHA. They are all great guys, and although things didn’t quite work out, we would be honored to share the stage with them anytime!
Is there any story or concept behind the EP title With Unveiled Faces?
Mason: Like many things I write about, this comes from a Bible verse in which it speaks of showing others the goodness of God with an “unveiled face,” meaning to not be ashamed and don’t cover your good news; we are spreading good news, good music, and are fairly new and fresh and we wanted to to all of this with an unveiled face.
Where do you get the ideas for some of the lyrics. Please cite two songs and what the lyrics were inspired by.
Mason: All of my lyrics are inspired by real life stories of love, family, confusion, and how God comes in and helps me through all of it. Verdict in 88 is a perfect example, this song is about my father’s struggle with the life he was dealt after his wife (my mother) passed away of cancer in 1988. This song talks about how he almost felt his life was predetermined to be a bad one with that happening. This song is me speaking to God and asking him to help and take care of my father. Another song that is my favorite is Believing in Words; this song speaks of my struggle in believing in others words and actions and how God helps me. God is my main writing focus, as you can tell!
Tell me about the A Winter To Remember tour and how did you wind up touring with In This Moment?
Basically, we met Chris of In This Moment through a battle of the bands we played last summer in which he was a judge. We ended up talking with him after the show about ITM and what they were doing for the future. One thing led to another and he offered us a slot on an upcoming tour date in November at the Key Club in Hollywood. The tour consisted of In This Moment headlining, and supporters In Fear and Faith, Motionless In White, and The Living Deadlights. We had a blast playing to a packed house, and everyone in the other bands was very supportive, that being our third or fourth show.
How long did it take the do the video to She Said and who came up with the concept for it?
Hours upon hours starting at four in the morning! The video concept was thought of by our friend and director Chris Rodriguez (C-Rod). He wanted to have us playing on top of a tall parking structure and have various shots of us walking through an underground subway station. We filmed all the performance shots on a parking structure at Cal State Long Beach and the narratives were filmed at the LA Metro station on Santa Monica and Vermont Ave. Some shots were filmed on an actual moving train, and everyone in the background had no idea there was a video being made.
Describe a live Hands Like Glass show for those who have yet to see you play?
Well, its just fun! Since we were young, performing has been our thing. Over the years it has gotten better and better; we provide tons of energy, and its just super fun to watch us “get low” haha.
Would you consider Hands Like Glass a Christian band – why or why not?
Yes we are, yet not as in your face as others about it, we want to spread good news of God but do it in a tasteful way to not scare away others who might be in need of an encouraging word. We have thought of actually labeling ourselves as a Christian band, but in the industry you have to get to the top any way possible. We choose morals over cheating and stepping on others so when we get to the top, others will see that God was the one who helped us and even if we get one more to believe….we have done our jobs! We are just very friendly guys who love nothing more than to talk with fans after we play; we will be your best friend if you let us!
What other bands were the various members in prior to Hands Like Glass?
Eddie and Cory each were in multiple bands throughout high school, but most recently they were both in a metal outfit called Prey For The Hunters which drew influences from Between The Buried and Me, Still Remains, Unearth, and others of the same style. The band was together for three years since its conception in 2006 before disbanding in 2009. Jimmy and Cesar were in band called Ghost of You, which actually was the backbone of present day Hands Like Glass. This is where the electronic element of the band was born. After a few unsuccessful tryouts, the band actually came across Mason who fronted the band through until the formation of Hands Like Glass. Synth player Jopasety was involved with a band called On Walking With Lions before joining Hands.
Do you have any messages for peeps reading this who might want to check your band out?
If you haven’t heard us before, odds are you will soon… so you might as well be ” an innovator” to your friends and know about who we are NOW!! haha in all seriousness… we work so hard to do what we do and hope that all enjoy the sound that we know, no band has has before.
Upcoming shows include July 21st at the Whisky with Four Letter Lie and August 5th at Shamrocks in Chino Hills with No Bragging Rights.
(Interview and Live Photos by Kenneth Morton)
Hands Like Glass on Myspace