Disposable Hands revamp musical language for new generations

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]New EP The Waiting Room blends elements of Animal Collective, Joy Division, Beach Boys[/pullquote1]

BY JULIA BYRNES ’13
Contributing Writer

As an Indian couple who intermittently fight and aggressively stuff their faces with Danish, NYU sophomores Charles Pinel and Sam Radseresht inhale more than just their curbside cigarette. They witnessed both this year’s best comeback, and the birth of their band name: “Fuck you and your disposable hands.” When I spoke to Pinel and Radseresht, they responded that NYC is both the source and the channel for their creativity: “The city itself is an outlet for our creativity as most of our songs focus on the way New York tortures a person’s mind. We wanted to express many of the things that are overlooked about NYC — things that people experience, and think about all the time, but dare not say in conversation because this is the day and age of making your life look perfect in the eyes of your peers.” Rather than resort to conventional means for expressing anger, they strove to present these sentiments in the most relatable language: music.

Pinel and Radseresht began their musical collaboration in September 2012, spawning the birth of Disposable Hands. The ability to create emotions out of music is one incredible feat that few effectively overcome. This experimental folk rock group had been following separate solo paths for quite some time prior, yet, a chance homework assignment freshman year made them realize they were speaking the same language. Although Pinel is a native Parisian, and Radseresht was born in Dubai, they realized this connection in their assignment to record an acoustic, indie interpretation of Flo Rida’s well-known tune, “Good Feeling.”

Disposable Hands is not simply music; the duo is slowly creating a new language for our generation in which all art forms are infused into expression. Although inspired specifically by Animal Collective, Joy Division and The Beach Boys, it is clear the band’s path is not guided in any distinct direction. Their obvious passion for making music surfaces in this inclusive nature of their collaboration. Seeing the need for a visual translation of their work, they collaborated with music video director, Tom Byrnes, on their song “Cactus No. 9.” The outcome proved how creativity could arise anywhere, but it takes a particular type of person to see it when the opportunity arises. With a budget close to $0 and Byrnes’s already-owned Canon EOS 5D, the group worked with what they already had, without a crew, and without a plan. Production took around two hours, but the editing process was a three-month procedure due to a variety of factors.
In addition, collaboration, even between friends, can be a stressful learning process. When asked about the video’s inspiration, Byrnes responded, “I guess you could say that because both the band and I are big fans of Stanley Kubrick’s films, we were going for a kind of crazed, stark-white, enclosed atmosphere. The song itself discusses the feeling of being trapped, indecisive, and paranoid. The location we found gave us all the feeling that we were Danny from The Shining but also that we were inside a quarantined, sterile space in something out of 2001. Real film-nerdy stuff, but that seemed to be the inspiration.”

Although the initial compilation was spontaneous, the actual production required a solid agreement from all sides. Radseresht and Pinel sat down with Byrnes and discussed how both sides of the vision would merge. After much work, all parties were speaking the same language. With limited footage, Byrnes was left to visually achieve the emotions that Disposable Hands established musically. With these expectations, the most difficult aspect for Byrnes remained in the extensive process of “editing and re-editing…and re-editing”.

The music video proved to be a great learning process for all parties with a rewarding payoff. Disposable Hands was able to prove its capability to communicate sentiments musically, and Byrnes was able to demonstrate his ability to transfer musical emotions into visual representation. In addition, the group saw the challenges of taking on such large tasks single-handedly. Radseresht and Pinel are responsible for the majority of the writing, production, and collaboration of Disposable Hands. In addition, Byrnes essentially directed, shot, and edited the music video in its entirety. With the film in its finality, Byrnes reflects on its outcome: “It really paid off, which reminded me again of the beauty that lies beneath the challenges and struggles in filmmaking.”

With that being said, Disposable Hands illustrated that, due to the nature of its sound, the members are completely different bands in the studio and on stage.

It is clear both Pinel and Radseresht devote an extensive amount of time to the details of each song’s construction. However, this has made its transition to the stage more difficult.

“The emotions behind the songs are much easier to construct in the studio environment because you have the ability to make absolutely anything happen, and there is a world you can create that cannot be replicated on stage the same way.”
Yet the inclusive element of Disposable Hands arises again as the band strives to establish another method of communicating emotions to an audience. “As exciting as the studio setting was, we felt the need to sing to someone and not to a computer console.” And sing to someone they did. Since the release of the debut EP The Waiting Room, Disposable Hands has performed numerous shows and intend to continue to do so.

When asked if this was the direction in which they desired their careers to go, the duo responded: “Without knowing it, we both fostered our love for music in similar ways. When we were kids, we would both spend hours in our room, standing up with our guitars, and talking to the wall thinking there was an audience on the other end. Anytime I would see a ketchup bottle I would think of it as a microphone. The idea of performance became an obsession.”
Finally fulfilling their childhood dreams, Radseresht and Pinel no longer have to talk to walls or defile condiments. The ambient nature in which they express nostalgia and paranoia with such exactness is chilling. This is the type of music that should be listened to in a quiet, secluded place with headphones. Unless you tend to boogie alone, these tunes should be left out of the party setting.

“There really isn’t any other option for us. Plus, when Charlie was eight, his older brother was accidentally run over by a Mercedes Benz that was being driven by a French businessman, so that was the end of his interest in having any traditional career.”

So there you have it. Look out for their EP The Waiting Room and allow it the same amount of care and attention Disposable Hands
allotted it.

Questions? Email Julia at jbyrnes@fandm.edu.

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