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Man Hands Wants To See

Spray Paint In Austin

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Image retrieved from Man Hands Facebook page.
Tempe-Based Rock-And-Roll Four Piece Prepares To Migrate Toward Austin, Texas, For The 27th Edition Of SXSW With A Stop Off In El Paso And With Hopes Of Seeing Spray Paint — Of Whom They Are Fans


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 14, 2014 — Man Hands is steadily becoming a recognizable name in the Phoenix music scene. Their music is a composite of the eclectic tastes of their four current members mashed together with the essence of former members.  

Their reputation is growing behind great opening sets for acts like The Thermals at downtown’s Crescent Ballroom, as well as opening for Intelligence at Tempe’s Yucca Tap Room, and also headlining their own shows at venues like the Yucca and The Lost Leaf. Man Hands was also able to open for Audacity, Wax Idols, White Lung and New Sensei at Stateside Presents’ Rampage Fest.

Their front woman Jackie Cruz is also the driving force behind Vagfest, a three day music festival highlighting ladies in music. The event has gone on for four years, with the fifth year coming up the first weekend of May.

Before the next Vagfest can happen however, Cruz and her cohorts will be heading East to Austin to perform as part of an unofficial showcase at South By Southwest.

“We weren't even going to go this year until another band asked. Because I always thought it would be stressful trying to figure out how to get there. But a band called Sour Notes does a showcase every year at Cheer Up Charlies: they let them put together a showcase every year and they found us on Bandcamp and asked us if we'd like to be involved. So I said yes, and so we are doing a trade show. They are going to come out here to Phoenix and I am putting a show together for them when they play out here,” said Cruz.

Responses are by Jackie Cruz on behalf of Man Hands.

Name of Members / Instrument:
Matt Spastic, drums; Marcus Berry, guitar and vocals; James Hannah, bass; Jackie Cruz,  guitar and vocals.

Album’s, EP’s, and singles released:
Man Hands (self titled, cd) 2012
Misadventures (cassette, cd) 2013

Number of trips to SXSW:
We played Austin over the summer but this will be our first SXSW trip.

Means of travel (Van, bus, train, flight etc):
I just bought a 2014 Dodge Caravan, so that's how we'll be getting around.

MTM: What does your band stand to gain from going to SXSW?
MH: More than anything I think it's going to be a fun adventure. We'll get to make new friends and see a ton of great bands. Last time we went to Austin we met some of the nicest, most amazing people. Also, getting the attention of a label that we're interested in and new fans wouldn't hurt.

MTM: Does your band plan on playing shows on the way to SXSW? If so list them.
Yeah, we're going to hit up El Paso, since it's halfway to Austin. We have a friend out there that puts on a lot of shows and gets all the bands heading through to Austin.

MTM: If you’ve been before what has been your best SXSW experience, if not what are the highest of high praises you have heard about the experience?
MH: Honestly, I haven't heard much praise. People have described it to me as a "clusterfuck" (haha) but I really don't care. I need to experience it for myself. Plus, I enjoy chaos. It makes me feel alive.

MTM: What’s the worst thing you have heard about SXSW?
MH: I've heard that it's a pain in the ass to get around, people everywhere, etc... but I'm fine with that. People love to complain so I don't put much stock into it.

MTM: What other bands or events are you most looking forward to at SXSW?
MH: I'm really excited to see Spray Paint! We heard them for the first time, while in Austin, last year and were pretty impressed. I'd also see Tyvek and Big Freedia.

MTM: What will make Phoenix bands stand out in Austin?
MH: I think if a band is unique, they will stand out. If they have their own style and aren't trying to sound like everyone else, people will pay attention. I get bored easily, so that's what I look for in a band.

MTM: Who would you most like to meet there?
MH: Well.....I'm not sure if Deerhunter is playing this year but if I met Bradford Cox I'd probably follow him around for a bit, until I creeped him out.

MTM: Where/what else besides SXSW are you looking forward to doing/seeing while in Austin?
I'm looking forward to seeing friends. Our band buddies, Crooked Bangs, Foreign Mothers, and The Sour Notes all live in Austin so it will be fun to chill with them. I'm also looking forward to discovering new amazing bands.

MTM: Why do you think it is important for your band to attend SXSW?
I just think this is the next step for us, as a band. Maybe a label will dig us and swoop us up and maybe they won't. You never know, but we have to at least try!

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at
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