Interview: Wino of The Hidden Hand

posted March 30, 2007

by Patrick
Photo by Anna Hrnjak

Wino of The Hidden HandFirst, let’s talk about the latest Hidden Hand album, “The Resurrection of Whiskey Foote.” It’s a concept album of sorts. Care to explain where the idea for it came from?

Bruce cooked it up, it comes from our fascination with history, our area Maryland is pretty rich with historical sites and stuff, so after we talked about it for awhile we realized we wanted to go with it.

Was the band’s approach to this album any different from how you wrote and recorded “Divine Propaganda” or “Mother, Teacher, Destroyer?” How long did you spend recording the new album?

It took a while; we had a few unexpected setbacks but the process was basically the same. We brought some ideas to the table, others we cooked up in the studio. We set up a computer in the rehearsal room, and taped arrangements then went back later compiled ideas, burned discs and listened.

The Hidden Hand has now gone through a couple of drummers, but it hasn’t seemed to slow the band down. How did you and Bruce meet up with your new drummer Matt Moulis?

He is the guy we always wanted, but was in other bands. Evan leaving turned out to be a blessing in disguise, cause Matt was free and now he’s in the Hand. He is so good, he really lays down the rock without overplaying, but he can really swing too. He's the best.

With all the bands and Hidden Hand drummer changes you have been though, is there anything you have learned about keeping a band going strong? What ways have you found to balance family life and life on the road?

Planning ahead far in advance is the trick, it’s all about the planning.

I know that you like vintage guitar pedals and equipment. Is it a Parachute Wah that I hear you using on “the Lesson?” If you had to pick one guitar, one effect pedal, and one amp, what would you play?

That’s actually a mouth wah on that track, but good ear. I use a chute all throughout the new record. Les Paul, Sunn model T {original} usa big muff.

You are about to go on a European tour with Stinking Lizaveta. It seems like you are good friends with that band, and I think I have seen Yanni (guitar for Stinking Lizaveta) at nearly every Hidden Hand show I have seen in Philadelphia. Have you ever thought of collaborating on anything together?

Maybe that will happen soon!

Is there anything you plan on seeing or anything you’d like to do while you are in Europe?

We will visit AVEBURY circle while in the UK, as well as the 'HENGE. On tour there is never enough time to sightsee, but there is quite a lot of stuff left to investigate, especially in Britain.

What gives you inspiration these days? Are there any books or music you’d like to recommend to our readers?

I don’t do fiction, but recently read a great book on Kit Carson and the American West called “Blood and Thunder".

On the Hidden Hand “Devoid of Color” DVD I saw that you had quite a vegetable garden growing. Is there anything in particular you’d like to try growing this year or in the future?

I do hot peppers, white sage for smudge, herbs, tomatoes. I think this year I will try to grow some more exotic peppers from seeds.

Any final words of wisdom, or anything you’d like to talk about?

Thanks to everyone for making our last US tour so great, and thanks for diggin’ the new record!