To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
Most bands build a wall. It’s a barrier of affectation, image, persona, usually to protect fragile egos behind even flimsier talent and creativity.
There is a quiet confidence surrounding Hanzelle. On a basic level it stems from faith in their training as musicians and comfort as a collaborative. Even more than that, the courage to create rather than reproduce is what will brand Hanzelle as sincere representatives of the dark unexplored corners of musical possibility.
At some point during our conversation, each member commented on the privilege of performing and participating in the creative process, which they graciously extend to the audience.
“We are like an audience of the audience,” quipped Jeremi Morris, adding, “it’s a group effort, them and us. I watch their reactions, and that’s where I like to keep it . . . fun.”
Who is concerned with fun anymore?
Fun is typically only associated with commodities, things that can be bought and sold, the stuff they make commercials about. Hanzelle’s brand of fun is more concerned with sincerity and playful innocence.
Through the lush arrangements and fuzz of this year’s effort, Bio-Electric Flower Pot, you could catch a thread being spun out of the wooly mess of electro gizmo goodness. It’s not a thread that’s being knotted to another rope, but rather a refinement of the same fiber. The new compositions still employ the various talents and unconventional trappings of the band, but they focus more into a pop sensibility. The lyrics are accessible hooks without sacrificing atmosphere.
So, to clinch a victory in the Blue Rooster’s recent Battle of the Bands, on unfamiliar turf, in front of a crowd that might be less than receptive, you invite your friends, buy them beer, and do what you do best on stage: have fun, play fantastic music, and tell the truth; it worked. Out of 32 local bands, talent and innocent fun won.
My distinct impression upon meeting Jeremi, Steven, Dustin, Peter and Casey, was that I was with a group of people who know how to communicate. They have the strength and talent to do it without pretension, the absence of ego to collaborate, and the generosity to invite the listener to join them. Essential to their concept of creativity and fun is that we participate. Who are we to deny the completion of their masterpiece, and how could you say no anyway?
Listening to Hanzelle, I get the sense of a community that has discovered the secret to “infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour;” they rise to meet each measure of brilliant pop music, but rather than hold onto it or take a rest, they pass it on to us.