WHAT IS PULSE?

Pulse Music Journal is Saskatchewan’s hub for music indulgers. We ‘eat/sleep/breathe’ the music and entertainment industry – plug into our outlet while we highlight new music, recap live performances, and interview the biggest names, local legends, and the newest initiatives surrounding our local music scene. We are honoured to be a leading cultural staple in the Saskatchewan music and entertainment scene.

WE SUPPORT SASKATCHEWAN’S ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC SCENE

Whether it’s reaching out to a newly released project, musician or creating a spotlight for local talent to be heard on any of our stages, as well as opportunities to be heard opening for larger acts on our full-venue stage. We look forward to reopen and launch our newest concepts that strongly support the local music in our city. The local music scene is super important to us – we are a small city, but we have big dreams. Let’s grow and support each other – putting Saskatchewan on the map for premium music and entertainment experience.

IT’S TIME FOR THE HOURHAND TO MAKE SOME NOISE

The Hourhand is a Canadian Rock power trio hailing from Regina, SK. Their stage presence consists of long-time music comradery from Gray Farrow, Cole Van Woert, and Dawson Dressler. The three-piece are creating heavy hard-rock sound, energetic stage presence and taking their own approach on modern rock.⁣⁣⁣⁣ Coming off of a successful 2019 filled with live performances, Battle of the Bands win, an opening spot for a sold out One Bad Son show – the band had their eyes set on 2020. 2020 didn’t pan out what the band had hoped for, but they are making the best of it while working on new music. The Hourhand are ‘next up’ for hard rock coming out of SK, keep your eyes and ears open for this three-piece.

The Hourhand chats with us about how the 3-piece band came together, how they decided on their white pant dress code, performing for a new crowd outside of their hometown, opening for One Bad Son, how their ‘Live At Coors Event Centre’ EP came about, the evolution of their sound, new music in the works, and so much more.

WHO IS THE HOURHAND?

THE HOURHAND: The Hourhand consists of Gray Farrow on bass and lead vocals, Dawson Dressler on percussion and myself, Cole Van Woert on guitar and vocals. The story may vary if you ask each of us individually! From my perspective, it started when Gray and I first met in a rock band program back in like late 2014, and we gelled as musicians in our early teens by learning tons of covers in this program. That’s where I learned two things very quickly, Gray and I have a similar taste in music, and anytime the group screwed up, follow Gray, the dude is a machine and a monster of a musician! After a few seasons in the rock band program, at the tail of 2015, Gray told me about this unbelievable drummer he knew through his school’s jazz band. In December of 2015, we got together with Dawson for the first time. We were all 16 years old and the first song we played together was Rush’s YYZ… mainly because we didn’t have a vocalist at the time! We were an instrumental cover band looking for a vocalist… until Gray discovered in mid 2016 that he could sing! From there we were practicing in Dawson’s basement once or twice a week. It wasn’t until February 2017 that we put on the white pants and performed our first show as The Hourhand, which was actually in Saskatoon! 

WHO DECIDED THE HOURHAND DRESS CODE?

THE HOURHAND: None of us. The White Pants chose us. All hail El Denim Blanco. Haha!  Okay, actually, If I recall correctly, I came up with the idea when I saw a picture of Robin Zander’s (Cheap Trick) in an all white suit from the early 70’s. The idea was to stand out. If we made people think “Who are those guys in white pants?” they’d at least remember us for something. It was kinda funny, but it worked early on, so we kept doing it! Eventually we may phase them out. Maybe we’ll save them for special events or something! 

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

WHAT MADE YOU STAY TRUE TO THE CLASSIC ROCK GENRE?

THE HOURHAND: Well I’ll start off by saying we each bring our own influences to every aspect of the band. The common inspiration I think is, authenticity. This music is our language, and we believe that whole heartedly. When we write and perform our music, we are interpreting rock and roll, we are interpreting the music from the blues, grunge, metal, pop, country, and jazz genres. Some more than others, but it’s all intertwined in one way or another. We are telling stories of our experiences and ideas, sometimes making personal statements, sometimes leaving things open to interpretation. We don’t write to pursue a “classic rock revival”. We write to satisfy ourselves, not trying to be anything we’re not. We want our music to be an authentic representation of the three musicians in The Hourhand 

WHEN YOU GOT VOTED IN AS A NOMINEE FOR BATTLE OF THE BANDS DID YOU EXPECT TO WIN?

THE HOURHAND: We never go into a BoTB expecting to win. We expected to be challenged and have to prove ourselves. When we enter a competition, our main goal is to win over as much of the crowd as possible and to take the audience on a musical journey. After that, we expect and plan on connecting with fans, other musicians, and people in the music industry. So no matter what the end results are in any competition, We always expect that we’re gonna leave with a larger circle of friends and fans – and we did! 

HOW DID IT FEEL TO HAVE THE SUPPORT FROM A WIDER DEMOGRAPHIC?

THE HOURHAND: We love Saskatoon. The response we got was amazing! It showed us that our hard work is paying off! Considering we’re Regina based, we realized that there’s as much interest in our stuff in S’toon as there is in Regina, so growing a fan base here in Saskatoon was always a goal. In 2019 we started making our way up here every chance we could and as a result, the crowd was full of familiar faces. It was those familiar faces that helped in putting us on that stage and we fully recognize and thank our fans for their support and love.  

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Taste The Sun – 4.5% alcohol.

HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR ONE BAD SON OPENING SET?

THE HOURHAND: Well it all starts with the white pants, which are always stored in the cabinet of a grandfather clock the night prior to the show… Jokes aside. – We actually work very hard to shape our show in a way that it runs smoothly. The setlist, choreography, and overall appearance of the performance must be balanced and flow without any jarring or awkward stuttering. We typically prepare for about 45 minutes of material and cut/add as needed to fit the required time frame. Then we play around with the “pressure”  – that is, certain songs are designed to amp up the audience and some are written for the purpose to release all that pressure. You gotta balance the pressure in a show and make breathing room otherwise you lose the attention of the audience.  

HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC EVOLVED SINCE OPENING FOR ONE BAD SON?

THE HOURHAND: Since that show, we were riding high with new drive and determination. We had dates booked to tour western Canada in late spring to late summer 2020. All of which have now been postponed/cancelled prior to announcing and promoting the tour (thanks COVID…). 

That’s when we decided to start a new evolutionary process. We got straight to writing and demoing a whole new group of songs with the intent to improve our music and live show. We’ve also had a few online mentorship sessions with Jon Harvey of Monster Truck and Jared James Nichols. – Their personal experiences and insight have really aided our progression into this evolved sound we are always striving for. 

As for audible changes, we’re adjusting the gain settings a little closer to Classic/Blues Rock and focusing on vocals and vocal melodies. I’ll be singing with Gray significantly more than before, so we can chill out on double tracking a bit. We also updated our gear to suit this change, Dawson picked up a beautiful old 70’s Ludwig kit and I’m setting down my Kramer in favor of a Gibson Les Paul and a modified Fender Strat. Then Gray snagged a Bass VI. I’d say our sound is developing a more “vintage” feel to it. 

YOU SHOWED UP TO IMPRESS, AND TOOK IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. 

INSTEAD OF PERFORMING A SAFE SET, YOU TOOK YOUR PERFORMANCE TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND IMPRESSED 1,000 NEW FANS. HOW DID THE PERFORMANCE EVOLVE INTO RECORDING AND FILMING YOUR SET THEN RELEASING AN ALBUM OFF OF IT?

THE HOURHAND: It was one hell of a coincidence. Like I said, we started making our way up to S’toon as often as possible. In May 2019 we enrolled in a BotB held by Prehistoric Productions where we were up against a number of local bands including our good friends in Dirty & The Perks, who ultimately won the competition. I guess we made a strong impression on the judges as they awarded us a generous 2nd place credit towards filming a music video with Prehistoric Productions. At first we had no clue how or when we’d end up using the credit. Fast forward to December, and the Battle of the Bands win gave us the privilege of performing on the amazing Coors Event Centre stage. One of us joked about doing a live album, and we realized we still had that credit! So we hit up our buddies at Prehistoric and they were fantastic! We also got into contact with Andyy Coulic and organized getting the audio recorded. We wanted it to be authentic, none of that “fake live” stuff. No fake audience noise, no overdubs, everything is real. You can hear every mistake and every perfect note. If you want to experience exactly what the audience heard on December 21st, 2019, you can. 

WE LOVE “HOBO AND THE BULL” AND “SHE’S TAKING OVER”.

WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS? IS IT A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT OR DOES ONE OF YOU TAKE THE LEAD?

THE HOURHAND: Thank you! Glad you like them! I’d say it’s both, the majority of the time. Everything builds around a strong vocal hook, phrase or idea, which is Gray’s forte as the vocalist. There are countless musical ideas that we have come up with that don’t have a final vocal part. When the vocal idea is established, it’s a non-stop collaborative effort from all three of us. As any songwriter knows, there’s no perfect “works every time” method to writing, it’s always trial and error. Hell, one of the songs we performed in December at Coors Event Centre has been completely re-written since. As for Hobo and The Bull, Gray came in with the “Bang your fist against the wall, let the pedal hit the floor” line for the chorus. It all sprouted from there! At the time we were all really into Achilles Last Stand by Zep, so at the very least there is some influence from that in my part during the verse, also note the slight gallop-feel throughout the song. I personally was also really into Heart’s Barracuda at the time, so you can trace that inspiration to the chords under the guitar solo! 

WHEN WILL “SHE’S TAKING OVER” BE OFFICIALLY RELEASED?

THE HOURHAND: No official release date for that one! We demoed She’s Taking Over at the start of lockdown and have yet to re-record an updated demo as a few things have been altered since then. We’ve had a few conversations discussing, If we want to record and release it like we did with Hobo as a single, or save it for the new album. 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HOURHAND, SEE BELOW

UPCOMING EVENTS

WHAT EVENTS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO…

March 8th

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May 4th

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July 30th

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Nov 3rd

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME…