For being fairly new on the scene, The HandGrenades aren’t having any trouble finding success. Last year, the Detroit-based foursome put out their first full-length album, The Morning After, released a music video and played SXSW, an annual music and film festival in Texas.
These are impressive accomplishments for this band on the rise, composed of Andrew Pawelski (vox, guitar, bass), Tom Pawelski (vox, guitar, bass), Nick Chevillet (vox, guitar, drums) and Joby Kaslowski (drums).
The HandGrenades got their start with Chevillet and the Pawelski brothers during their high school days; Kaslowski became the band’s drummer a few years later. Since then, they’ve released the aforementioned full-length album as well as an EP, Three Cheers for the Wonder Years (2011).
“I think the fact that we include three-part vocal harmony in our songs sets us apart from other bands,” Chevillet said. “There aren’t that many bands out there that do it.”
WIth the exception of Kaslowski, everyone takes turns with vocals, and sometimes there’s a tradeoff between the guitar and bass during live shows. Playing in front of large crowds and feeding off that energy and excitement is one of the best parts of performing, according to Chevillet.
“We have great fans, our live shows usually include a lot of girls dancing, which is always nice,” Chevillet said. “Our families are also diehard HandGrenade fans, which we are thankful for.”
For a band heavily influenced by The Beatles (they go to a Beatles convention in Chicago every year), they also draw from life experience (girls, booze) and more modern artists like Radiohead, The Strokes, Dr. Dog and Blink 182.
The HandGrenades are a tight knit group of guys, which just might be the key to the band’s success. Their song, “See You Round,” is currently featured in the 2013 Chevy Equinox commercial, and later this year they plan to put out their sophomore release.
“We’re just slowly recording a new album right now and playing out of town as much as possible without having to quit our day jobs,” Chevillet said. “Five years from now, we plan to be making a living off music—touring, writing and recording.”