Open Hand

Open Hand
This ain’t your papa’s Open Hand. Frankly, it’s not even your Open Hand. After a series of successful EPs, compiled and released by Trustkill as The Dream, things began to fall apart for Open Hand. By the time it came to record a follow-up, the only member left standing was founder Justin Isham. Retooling everything about the band’s sound, Isham emerged with a new line-up and a new record, dubbed by label promotions as an "epic masterpiece.” While often such claims represent huge hyperbolic exaggeration on the part of marketing departments, the term may truly apply in this case. Once a metalcore outfit with excellent melodic abilities and wonderfully fast and technical drumming, Open Hand are now a melting pot of genres and sounds, bringing together metal, hard rock, emo, stoner rock, hardcore, and occasionally a little Motown flavour, in one wonderful mix. The band allow their many influences to exist side-by-side, fusing them into a single unique sound, rather than forcing them into separate songs or parts. In the chorus of the title track, one can hear the drone of a Kyuss-inspired riff as heavy metal drums crash in the background, and sweet, falsetto vocals float over it all. This is truly original, inspired music making.

With all the changes, did you ever consider changing the name Open Hand? Bassist Mike Anastasi: The first thing I said to Justin when I heard it was: "These are some great songs. Open Hand is over. Let’s start a new band.” He said, "You put a lot of time and effort into this name, I put a lot of time and effort into this name, other guys who have helped out all have. I don’t want to let it go. The kids are going to hopefully understand.”

Is there any sense of this being an important record, commercially, for Trustkill? I don’t know. I’ve heard people saying a lot of good things about it, here and in Europe. I would hope that it would be an important record for Trustkill. Josh Trustkill is a great, great guy, and a good friend of the band. He hung in there for those two years that Open Hand was down.

What has the reception to new material been like live? Our live performance, like last time, is a little harder than the recordings. We’ve been off the road for almost two years, so a lot of people think that the band is defunct. So we’re coming into town and kids are like, "Holy shit, I couldn’t even believe I saw your name on the bill.”