Ones to Watch – Superhanz

Sinead Brennan talks to three quarters of Superhanz about their latest EP and plans for the future

When you hear the word Superhanz you might think of the cocaine addicted musician Super Hans from Peep Show, but believe me, they are not to be confused.

Superhanz are a band from Clane, Co Kildare, and while there are a lot of young bands in Ireland trying to make their way in the music scene, these guys really have something special.

The band started out in secondary school and having mixed and matched members from other bands, they came together to form the current line up we see today.

They started out like most, playing mainly covers and gigging in front of their friends.  For about a year now however, they have been focusing on writing their own material and recording the songs that they are particularly proud of.  Their second EP is out now, and was recorded at Westland Studios in Dublin and produced by Alwyn Walker.  Nicky, the bassist and backing vocalist of the band, said that Alwyn really brought out the best in them and that the final product is something they are all very proud of.

Having competed in, and won, various Battle of the Bands competitions around Kildare, they have developed a solid local following and since the release of their first three track EP last year, they have gone from strength to strength and that is clear with this latest offering.

Tell me about the writing process of your songs.

Nicky: It usually starts out with one of us having an idea and then the rest of us adding to it.

Stephen: But the lyrics are written by myself and then I bring them to the lads when they’re done, and then we might change a few things or even keep them the same.

When it comes to recording, how do you choose which songs to record?

Nicky: We always demo a few songs, listen to them and see if we still like them after a while.

Stephen:  But the songs for the recent EP were basically our four favourite that we were playing at the time.

Rory:  Also the ones that seemed to go down best at gigs.

What does it feel like to see people singing along and knowing all the words of your songs?

Stephen:  I remember once I saw someone I didn’t know singing along to one of the tunes, and it’s good to know that person went out of their way to listen to your song. So yeah even that one person singing along makes you feel good!

Have you been gigging much lately?

Nicky:  We’ve done a few over the past while, mostly Battles of the Bands and stuff.  We’re really trying to perfect the set and have a set of songs that we’re really proud of.

Stephen:  Hopefully there’ll be a few gigs over the summer as we’re applying for a lot of festivals around the country.

Are there any plans yet to maybe combine some of the older songs with the new ones to make an album in the near future?

Nicky: We haven’t really thought that far ahead yet, but when it comes time to making an album we’d like to challenge ourselves by writing new songs especially for that album.

All of your music is available online, have you considered making physical CDs at all?

Nicky: Well I think we’re gonna make a small number of physical CDs, as some people, like ourselves, still like having a CD. Something to hold late at night.

Stephen: But I think the Internet is something we could use to make an eventual demand for a physical CD.

Are there any plans for music videos in the pipeline?

Nicky:  We plan to make individual videos for each track on the EP, even if they are just silly or funny.  YouTube is where most people listen to music online so we recognise its importance.

Rory:  Summer is coming up so we’ll have a lot of free time to hopefully get crackin’ then.

When it comes to Irish bands, are there any you particularly like?  And who would you most like to support?

Nicky:  Yeah there’s a lot we’re interested in. Redneck Manifesto, Planet Parade.

Stephen: Two Door Cinema Club definitely. I quite like Villagers.

Rory:  Delorentos, Bell X1.

Nicky:  So any of them guys that would have us!

The latest EP from Superhanz is available online (details of where to find it are below) and it is definitely worth the listen.  With influences like Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, Kings of Leon and Planet Parade, they have a wide appeal and though their influences are very apparent when listening to their work, there is a uniqueness and freshness to Superhanz that makes their EP something you want to listen to again and again.  And even when you’re not listening, it’ll be stuck in your head as the songs are extremely catchy.

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