Five & Five – Handsome Distraction

Handsome Distraction is a four-piece band from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and their latest EP Fight or Flight is a short, but diverse five song effort drawn from many influences. Disa, one of our rock chicks took the time to interview lead singer Devin Perfect to find out about their upcoming plans, including touring.

Handsome Distraction is:

Devin Perfect – Vocals/Rhythm Guitar

Joey Arthur – Lead Guitar/Vocals

Chris Weaver – Bass/Vocals

Kyle White – Drums/Vocals

Part I:

1. EMURG: How did you come up with the band name?

HD: We had a list of potential band names when we first started and couldn’t decide which one to choose. At our first gig, we decided that after every song we would introduce ourselves as a different band name and let the reaction of the crowd decide. We get a lot of positive response on the name, clearly the crowd was right that night.

2. EMURG: What artists/bands/songs/albums influenced you?

HD: For Devin, it’s Dave Grohl’s rise from the ashes of Nirvana to Foo Fighters’ frontman fame as inspiration for determination and focus. Pearl Jam’s Ten, Incubus’ Make Yourself, Foo Fighters In Your Honor, Big Wreck’s In Loving Memory, with inspiration from individual players like Dave Grohl, Brandon Boyd, Ed Kowalczyk, and Ian Thornley.

For Joey, The Offspring was huge as were Pink Floyd and Tool, with inspiration from individual players like David Gilmour, Buckethead, and Kirk Hammett.

For Chris, it’s The Beatles, Beck, and Oasis with inspiration from individual players like John Paul Jones and Tim Commerford.

For Kyle, it’s Black Dahlia Murder, All Shall Perish, Between the Buried and Me, and Arch Enemy, with inspiration from individual players like Gene Hoglan, Mike Portnoy, and Danny Carey.

3. EMURG: What are you listening to right now?

HD: Devin made a New Years resolution to buy albums from indie artists only in 2012. Right now he is listening to The Deadwax Collective (Vancouver), Go For The Eyes (Calgary), The Body Politic (Nanaimo), and Stuck on Planet Earth (Toronto).

Joey is listening to The Offspring, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Sum 41, and Dethklok.

Chris is listening to The Doves, Johnny Cash, The Velvet Underground, and Neil Young.

Kyle is listening to Black Dahlia Murder, All Shall Perish, Between the Buried and Me, and Arch Enemy.

4. EMURG: What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?

HD: That’s a question for after the Fight or Flight tour. We have some fantastic venues lined up across Canada this August and are sure there will be some very memorable shows.

5. EMURG: If I want people to remember one song from our band, it would be…

HD: Kyle and Devin say “Bad Neighbourhood”, Chris and Joey say “Against the Grade”. What we can all agree with on this is that we can never stop trying to write a new favourite.

Part II:

1. EMURG: In the song, “Bad Neighborhood,” you describe a terrible place to live. Is this song based on an area in Vancouver, or is this about a fictional place?

HD: “Bad Neighbourhood” was inspired after driving through the notorious East Side during a trip to Vancouver and the recent Robert Pickton murder trials. A friend from Vancouver called the residents of the East Side, including Pickton’s victims, as “the forgotten” and that sparked the chorus line “Please, check in once and a while, this bad neighbourhood might eat me alive.”. It’s really an ode to all “the forgotten” in cities around the world.

2. EMURG: What’s the real story behind the lyrics in “Knee Deep?”

HD: This is an answer Devin won’t even give the band members. Many have tried to guess, but Devin has never exposed the roots of these lyrics. All we know is hearts were to blame and he was knee deep in trouble.

3. EMURG: Where do you draw your inspiration from when you are writing new music?

HD: Our sets have been described as eclectic and balanced as we don’t follow any specific genre/style format for writing. We write more on feeling than theory and often create a song from a single idea jammed out at practice until we are all satisfied.

Many of our songs have come from someone riffing while we are working on another song (that never ends up being used). Sometimes Devin comes in and says “We need a song with this beat” or “that rhythm” and we just start building. Lyrics are either written on spot as Devin feels the tone of the song or after when he feels there is a story he needs to tell.

Our greatest source of inspiration comes from the members of the band, we feel the audience can tell when a band member is disconnected from the music and think its important to embrace all our styles and tastes. You can tell from the influences listed above that we could never draw from one particular genre/style.

4. EMURG: What do you guys do in your down time when you’re not making or playing music?

HD: We are pretty sure Devin never stops thinking about the band and the music, his dedication is full on! When he is “off” he likes to do graphic design, rebuilding old scooters, memorizing where EVERY Tim Horton’s location is, and hanging with his “little genius” 22 month old daughter.

Kyle has recently developed a love affair with golf, he’s a sci-fi nut with gamer thumbs and when he can escapes to the outdoors to camp and hit the beach.

Joey is studying Computer Science for Graphics and Gaming, a fan of Futurama who also enjoys busting a gut with a good comedy, and travels back home to Seattle when he can.

Chris is a huge fan of Toronto Blue Jays baseball, has a quiet addiction to collecting baseball cards, finds enjoyment in watching American politics, drinking Corona, chomping down on Big League Chew, and growing his hair long then cutting it.

5: EMURG: You’re on a tour of Canada through the end of August. Do you have any plans to come to the US later this year?

HD: Yes, we are planning a mini tour down the west coast from British Columbia, Canada through Washington and Oregon in the late Fall/early Winter 2012. There are bigger tour plans for 2013 which will include more dates in the US and talks have begun for a tour to the UK.

British Columbia is yet another hotbed for talent with bands that have popped up in recent years such as Jet Black Stare, The Veer Union and Burning Borders and here’s Handsome Distraction, the next in line of what seems to be another one of BC’s finest bands.