Closing in on two years together, Stealing Handshakes are on the airwaves. The band made their debut last year and performed at the ‘Hometown Celebration’ hosted by the City of Pampa and the Pampa Chamber of Commerce on July 4th. The band has been in the works of making their own music, a joint collaboration, from the beginning.
“In the beginning, we were getting to know each other, how to work with one another,” Nolan Burr (lead guitar/ lead vocals) said. “We can make songs a lot quicker now because of how close we’ve gotten over time. But we’ve been making our own stuff and getting it ready to put out.”
The band performs original music entirely that each band member contributes to in some capacity.
With the majority set-list being original music, the band occasionally has one or two cover songs. The genre of the band is best described in a lot of words, it is a bit of everything with parts of alternative, indie, folk, and, of course, rock. But the band leans more towards a 90’s sound, with a heavy backing of Blues. While being together for a year. The band has played around 10 gigs since the last article was published in July of ‘22.
“We got to play on News Channel 10 in the morning on ‘The Chat’,” Burr said. “It
was a super cool opportunity for us. Ryan and I knew him from our previous band. We just reached out to him about what we were up to now and we wanted to have us on the show.”
In addition to that, the band has also had their music played on the local radio, along with an interview with Tim J. Texas of KGRO/KOMX. Since the release of their debut single, the band has been shopping their music around to get it played in more spaces.
“We’ve done our local radio, and News Channel 10,” Burr said. “Our songs play on the local radio for a while. We were just told that our music would be played for another time on a radio station in England. It’s also played on stations in Brazil and France. We’ve just been shopping our music around as much as we can.”
The debut single is out, but there is more to come. A collaboration between the whole band takes time and focus to create.
“It’s tedious, you play the same thing 30 times trying to get it perfect. Friendly criticism,” Burr said.
The band has numerous songs in the work, planning to release another single and an Ep before the end of 2023. The single-out ‘Ellipsis’ was chosen by the band to be the debut song for one reason.
“It was the one that got the best feedback,” Rylan Hathcoat (guitar) said. “We’d played it at our gigs and people liked it.”
“We played with a band from Long Beach and they told us that it was the song we needed to put out,” Ryan Rivera (lead bass) said. “They loved it and encouraged us to record it.”
The band plays their music for audiences and determines what the best ones to put out are. But the process of taking a song from the stage to the radio is a lot of work.
“The studio we record in, one of the guys plays in a band himself so it was a lot of help to us,” Burr said. “We had to make edits to the song and allow them to produce it a bit.”
“It was long, so they told us ways to shorten it to get it radio-ready,” Rivera said. “At first you’re against it because you’ve been playing it for so long, but it works out.”
Burr and Rivera knew the recording process from time spent making a single with their previous band. The band splits the writing process evenly, but Burr is credited by his bandmates as the lyricist.
“We always tell him to ask for help,” Daniel Garcia (drums) joked. “But we have no clue what to do, so we really don’t mean it.”
The debut single tells a story about a man losing the love of his life, pointing to the name.
“The song tells the story of a relationship. The guy can tell by the actions in it,” Burr said. “Ellipsis is just an indication that it’s over, so the name of the song goes in hand with the meaning in the lyrics.”
The band is continuing to work on music, book gigs, and grow. The next gig is planned for May 26th at Hoots Pub in Amarillo. Ahead of the show the band is making new songs, hoping to have some ready for the show. The 26th show will be ‘Stealing Handshakes’ first time performing with ‘Ghosts of Gray County’ another Pampa band. After that, the band will perform on July 1st in Albuquerque.
All information regarding performances, announcements, and any other questions can be found and answered on the bands’ Facebook page Stealing Handshakes, or any other social media site.
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