The Handgrenades Prove to Be One of Metro Detroit’s Most Explosive Bands

By: Scott Davis | October 23, 2017

With roots going back to 2008, the Handgrenades are one of metro Detroit’s most prominent indie rock bands. The band has played everywhere; not only the metro Detroit music scene, but throughout the country as well. They’ve played in New York, Pittsburgh, and they just rocked the stage at the DIY Street Fair in September. You could say the Handgrenades are starting to blow up.

The four member group consists of Andrew Pawelski, Nick Chevillet, and Jesse Sheperd-Bates all rotating on guitar and vocals, while Joby Kaslowski rocks the drums. The band roughly formed when many of the members were still in high school, and they have been playing with this particular lineup for about four years.

The band is self-described as indie rock and melodic, but they definitely bring the energy during their live shows. The songs might be pop oriented, but they tend to go much harder during concerts and cut loose. That was the case at the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale and the band said they were feeding off the crowd’s energy.

“It was a really hot day and we weren’t sure if people would come out and suffer through the heat with us. We were doing sound check on our instruments and we looked up and there was thousands of people out there. It was awesome,” said Shepherd-Bates.

The Handgrenades released their first EP in 2011 in the form of “Three Cheers For The Wonder Years.” They released several EPs over the years, but they finally released their second full length album last November. “Tunnels” features many catchy songs including “Wrapped in Plastic” whose music video had the honor of premiering on PopMatters.

After putting in a ton of work on “Tunnels” and spending most of 2017 touring, the Handgrenades plan to take a little bit of a break during the winter and come back in the spring with something new.

“We have a place up north that we go up and write. There’s no internet or phone service up there so we are pretty much forced to make music together. Our plans are to go away for a while and come back with a new EP, single, album, or something special,” said Shepherd-Bates.

The Handgrenades are very active on social media and encourage everyone to follow them on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Be sure to visit their website for more information on their music and concert dates.

As part of #MusicMondays on ChevyDetroit.com, we’re asking local artists about their favorite places and memories of metro Detroit to see what makes them tick. We asked Jesse Shepherd-Bates these metro Detroit themed questions:

What’s your favorite restaurant in metro Detroit?

The WAB.

What’s your favorite concert venue in metro Detroit?

That’s a tough question but I’m going to go with The Fillmore. It always sounds good and they snag the biggest bands.

Jesse Bates-Shepherd in the Handgrenades

Jesse Bates-Shepherd in The Handgrenades

Is there a secret spot in metro Detroit you love?

Einstein’s Bagels on Woodward and 11 mile because I can hide there and work, for some reason I focus really well there.

One word to describe the music scene in metro Detroit?

Effervescent.

The one thing every tourist must do in metro Detroit?

Visit Hamtramck. You can hit the whole city in a day. It has the most art per square mile, it’s a melting pot, and you can see anything and everything. Hamtramck Disneyland is awesome too. There’s no spot in the country like Hamtramck.