Interview: Richard Conroy Phillips from Dead Hands!

Interviews with Tom Gardner from Harbinger, Harrison Cook from Reclaimer and now, in the third of our exclusive interview series post Upsurge Festival, we caught up with Richard Conroy Phillips aka the voice of Birmingham’s Dead Hands! One of the most memorable acts of the weekend, they were easily the biggest surprise package!

Your set at Upsurge Festival was a real eye opener! A brilliant, energetic and chaotic mix of Hardcore and Extreme Metal. There is no doubt you guys leave it all on the stage! What are your main influences?

Well we’re kind of always evolving to a certain extent. Our live versions of the songs from our EP (“Nobody Exists On Purpose”) are played really differently from the original recording. We have some mainstays like Converge, The Chariot and The Dillinger Escape Plan. More recently though we’ve been into bands like Nails, Full of Hell and Cult Leader.

There was a distinct “play as hard as you can” vibe about your set with everyone pushing themselves to the physical maximum for each song. Do you guys have any pre-show rituals? How crazy do your rehearsals get?

Firstly, thanks very much! It’s nice to know our transition as human beings to salty puddles is appreciated over the half an hour we prance around like bell ends! We don’t have any rituals really. I mean we all like a drink, so I guess making sure none of us are too pissed for our set is a semi regular thing! Practices are almost eerily sedate affairs. You’re unlikely to see us standing up. Most of the time it’s chats for months about what we should be doing.

The Nicolas Cage Tee you released as a fund raiser for recording looks ace! How is the material coming along?

Slow and steady. We’ve been around for 2 years but only really been a solid unit for 1 of those years. We’re recording a single soon which might be self released or shopped around to a few labels, so keep your eyes and ears semi open for that!

Back in May, you did an 8 date German tour. How did it go, playing in a traditional heartland for Hardcore? Who would you like to go out for a European run with next time around?

Firstly, everyone who touches an instrument should try and play in Germany, it’s incredible!! The experience for us was individually one of the best of our mostly short lives! A huge shout out to Bonny at Red Beard Tour Services for literally being our Dad, tour guide and best mate. He was like a father figure who continually supplied you with never ending beer, so probably a bit shit as a Dad but thumbs up all round as a best mate!

We’d love firstly to go out there with our forever baes Heriot from Swindon. Their crushing both musically and romantically. Aside from that I’d say God Mother, Ilenkus, Sharkteeth Grinder or Worry would be nice. Or a massive inconvenient almost impossible to book tour package with all those bands would be the tits.

You narrowly missed out getting on the bill for this years incarnation of Bloodstock. What are the chances of seeing you at UK Tech-Fest next year with that new material?

Oh we’d sell loved ones and organs to play that festival! My own agenda is to cover every UK summer festival from Creamfields to the Lancashire Black Pudding throwing festival. Basically, I want us (me) to live in a tent for 4 months and play music each day for half an hour to people with varying levels of enthusiasm!

You can download a copy of “Nobody Exists On Purpose” by Dead Hands over at bandcamp!

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