Interview: Rejoicing in The Hundred In The Hands.

Brooklyn duo The Hundred In The Hands drop their eponymous debut LP on 20th September through Warp, a record that sounds like Bat For Lashes' Natasha Khan jilting Yannis Philippakis at the altar, choosing instead to speed away with Crystal Castles in the back of a hearse. Dissing Williamsburg, dishing out brief shards of American history lesson and offering opinion on the boy/girl duo band formation du jour, the pair's minimalist post-punk stylings look set to rustle up the weedy acoustic drivel writhing about in almost every iPhone these days...

Dots: With boy/girl duos seemingly all the rage in 2010, The Hundred In The Hands' sound is almost bereft of time. Where do the influences behind the likes of Dressed In Dresden stem from? And are tensions heightened when there's just the two of you?

The Hundred In The Hands:
Being a two-piece makes some things easier and others harder. Neither of us had ever written with a partner and we’d say we've both really enjoyed that challenge. There’s elements of the way in which we approach writing that are different but mostly these difference really complement the other. The difficulty comes from needing to go a little slower when we’re writing because we both need to lay down various parts before we can really hear what the track will eventually sound like. Taking Dressed In Dresden as an example, we were interested in making a track that really moved between the live drums and guitars, and the heavy and cleaner electronic sounds. That interest in analog versus digital processes is something that most of our songs are centered on.

Dashes: With Brooklyn becoming the spiritual home of anything and everything indie how tricky has it been to escape said scene (at least in the geographic sense if not musically) and could Williamsburg and the surrounding areas be said to be finally saturated?

THITH: Brooklyn, and New York is home so thinking about it in that way is not something we really do. We’ve got a lot of good friends in New York and most of them are making music we really love. It’s maybe something that seems a bit boring or whatever to people elsewhere but it’s just normal to us.

Dots: Regarding the five boroughs, there seems to be an evasion almost of Manhattan. Is it really that inspirationally vapid?

THITH: Not at all, it’s merely more expensive. In truth, most of the really culturally explosive things are in Manhattan. The galleries, the museums and a lot of really amazing things are all there. There’s not even a movie theatre in Williamsburg which is ridiculous. You should also know that Willamsburg is one of the ugliest neighbourhoods in all of New York; one of the only neighbourhoods that doesn’t look like a film set. We daydream all the time about being able to move into the city.

Dashes: Foals reworked Pigeons rather superlatively recently. Were you to handpick a contemporary artist to interpret any one of your works thus far, who would top the list? And to what extent does it thrill you to have artists as notable as Foals offering their take on your music?

THITH: We have been really lucky to have already had so many amazing artists do mixes for us. It’s always exciting to see what they do and often inspires us in our own writing. Off the top of my head, I’d say we’d be super psyched to do something with the band The Holy Ghost who are our neighbours. As we were finishing up our LP last year we were in and out of studios either just before or just after them and everything we heard off their forthcoming LP just blew us away.

Dots: Many may still be a tad perplexed by your name, The Hundred In The Hands. Sounding almost biblical, to what does the moniker refer?

THITH: It’s the name of a battle and major victory for the Native American forces led by the Lakota and fighting on the plains in the mid 1800’s. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were a part of it and, as the story goes, the outcome was predicted the night before by a shaman who rode in and out of the warriors’ camp declaring that he had too many enemies to carry in his hands. In the battle, close to a hundred US soldiers were killed.

Dashes: With your self-titled debut LP still a little way off, is the heady anticipation getting to you, and what's to be expected from the record?

Yeah, we’re both anxious to get it out there and for people to finally hear it. We made both our EP and LP at the same time last year and whereas the EP is a bit more blissed out and hazy, the LP is more awake. It’s tighter and cleaner with a bit more going on.

Dots: In the midst of the thriving British festival season, how significant do you feel these shows may prove to be for The Hundred In The Hands?

THITH: Who knows? It’s just really exciting to be playing shows and getting the chance to go so many places. We were at Latitude in England a couple days ago, Holland yesterday, and now we’re in Paris. Are you kidding me? That’s ridiculous.

Dashes: And finally, when will we see you again on these shores?

We’re in the UK until the end of August and in the US on tour through October, but hopefully we’ll be back in the UK in November.

   The Hundred In The Hands - Pigeons by Warp Records

The Hundred In The Hands' Myspace.