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Small Leaks Don’t Sink

Small Leaks Sink Ships

Small Leaks Sink Ships — Glass Hypnotist.
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Small Leaks Sink Ships bass player Jim Mandel Jr.

Macias said the group still gathered and honed their craft, “playing music was more stress relief than anything else.”

The remaining members would jam together, but also grew individually.
“Ryan got way more into the technical side of piano,” said Macias, while London experimented with a new electric drum, which could take artist samples.

“We experimented with all kinds of sounds,” said Van Rooy.
“All that stuff really made us mature fast,” said Mandel. “There was a lot more honesty, and straight forwardness. We also matured as musicians.”
The chemo however, became an ordeal all its own. It turned out Hancock’s chemo drugs gave him a terrible allergic reaction, which at first the doctors thought was scabies.
Hancock had a skin rash all over his body, and at many times couldn’t touch himself or anything else. His band mates had to open doors for him and take many other precautions to care for their sick friend. Some times things were so bad, Hancock couldn’t even walk with his hands at his sides and was forced to move with his arms bent at the elbow above his heart to keep from swelling.

The experience with cancer transcended the band and even reached into their tight knit fan base.

“For me, it was like my little brothers were away for awhile, and I was getting messages in a bottle, I didn’t know what was going on,” said Chris Weebothee.
It ended up being his girlfriend who figured out the problem. Hancock was having a rare adverse reaction to the chemo drugs, which were in his blood. So every time he would bleed or bring his blood to close to the skin it would scab over. It got to the point where his eyes were swollen shut and completely covered in skin irritations.
The doctors also told him that while healing from the allergic reaction he ran the possibility of his throat closing up. So for a week his band mates stood ready to bring him to the hospital at a moments notice, and more than once they had to. All on false alarms.

Hancock to this day, more than one year after recovering, still has discoloration on his arms and around his neck.
“We were really picking up steam before Ryan happened, and again before Judd happened,” said Van Rooy.
Small Leaks Sink Ships escaped another near death experience together, and now with Hancock back, they are preparing to bring their hard atmospheric sound back to the masses. They were getting ready to play a reunion show at Mesa Community College’s Legendfest on April 20, when yet again a member wound up hospitalized.
Guitarist Rafael Macias dropped his Vespa and broke his collarbone.

“When it happened all I could think was, oh god don’t let it be broken, this shit can’t be happening,” said Macias.

And, like his band mates his luck didn’t turn for the best. Most clavicle injuries the bone splits in two and can be reset pretty easily, in Macias’s case it shattered into four chunks, and Macias now has a metal plate in his color bone, “but I don’t have nearly as much hardware as Ryan,” he said.
With all the metal body parts Mandel said, “It’s going to hard for us to tour nationally.”
The band was once again down a man and unable to perform. SLSS would remain sidelined until Aug. 8 when they played a small “warm up show” at Sail Inn, before their grand re-debut to the world in downtown Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom.
Small Leaks Sink Ships packed the house at Crescent for their comeback show, and it was more than just a comeback for the experimental rock music and the band members, but also for a group of devoted fans, “it was like a homecoming,” said Weebothee.
Hundreds of SLSS fans showed up, and were hugging and smiling joyfully for the return of their favorite band. Many were old friends who took a hiatus just as the band did. But the crowd still new all the words when SLSS hit the stage and they sang along and chanted for their favorite songs.  
“We don’t censor our music in anyway, it can be vulnerable, or aloof, just so joyfully playing,” said Garner. “Or our song Glass Hypnotist where it’s just like there’s a party, you can have it if you want it.”
“Our music isn’t always happy it comes from a sense of struggle,” said Van Rooy, “but a lot of good music does.”
“It’s like a huge hug for your eardrum,” said Macias.

SLSS can be found at, and are currently looking to tour outside of Arizona but will be playing a mid November date at The Lost Leaf as well as a confirmed Dec. 5 show at MCC.

Jeff Moses is a freelance writer and photographer from Teaneck, N.J. and is currently living in Mesa, Ariz. He has been published in The Mesa Legend, and The Highway Herald. Contact him by calling 727-385-0624.
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