SXSW: Handsomebeast on Being Robbed by Aliens and Jacking Lumber

Written by on March 25, 2015

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I met with Handsomebeast, a Houston band who classifies themselves as a funky-space-rock-bump-n-grind genre, at Spider House this past weekend in Austin. In a world where everything is classified as indie rock it was refreshing that a sub-category was provided. The boys grew up in the same part of town and all ended up at Loyola University in New Orleans. They will describe their meeting as one of those beautiful movie scenes where eyes lock across the room and everything just feels right. It’s an evident bromance.

I always love asking how band names came to be.

NICK: I don’t know if we should pay homage to Will Ferrell or Ron Burgundy, but we’ll give it him. It described the music because of the beast aspect, but we are very handsome beasts at that.

TONY: There’s a lot of energy; we are gentlemen.

CARLOS: I just thought everyone was beast at their instruments and vocals.

NICK: Pee Wee is very handsome, it’s like Pee Wee and the Beasts.

Ironically enough Pee Wee was absent at the time of the interview. He was stuck in Katy due to a huge wreck. His band mates spoke very highly of him. The running term was “handsome.”


Pee Wee performing with Handsomebeast at Love Goat

This was the first SXSW they have performed together. A few others were in a side project that performed a few years ago by the name of Group of Gancho.

Last year the lead singer, Nick, sang on the streets, or as he says, “I was working the streets.”


Nick performing with Handsomebeast at Love Goat

Handsomebeast has a new EP, Sexy Face Reaction Time, in the works.

TONY: It’s a powerful name, we know.

NICK: It’s going to be released in all of its glory April 18th at Wonky Power Live, which is this super cool music institution. They have a recording studio where they record bands and it’s also a venue.

The boys were excited to share the lumberjack story. The single off of the new EP is “Exotic Lumberjack.”

NICK:  It is a story of a woeful, very busy, hardworking lumberjack who spends all of his time in exotic mountain top forests jacking lumber. He spends too much time away from the girl he is in love with who is down in the city. She’s cold. She’s cold as ice! …She’s not nice… She causes him a lot of frustration, but he loves her anyways. Separation anxiety….it’s a whole thing!

They are working on video for it now; keep in mind the location will have to be quite exotic.

TONY: We have the wardrobe, we just need the location.

Nick has been designated the lumberjack and commented, “The beard is started now, the steroids haven’t gotten in yet so we can’t start it.”

The steroids were a joke. The Rogaine to the face? Perhaps not. This must be authentic. Each had a bit of commentary on the tracks from Sexy Face Reaction Time.

CARLOS: “Torn” in pretty cool

TONY: It’s interesting that he brings that up. “Torn” was actually one of the first songs we wrote as a group, we just never found the right arrangement.

NICK: We have played it at every show for the past five, six years and it’s the first time we’ve gotten it onto an album.

JACOB: “Doodoo Bird” is the next sexy back, right?

Everyone agrees.

TONY: It’s better than sexy back.

Tony performing with Handsomebeast at Love Goat

Tony performing with Handsomebeast at Love Goat

JACOB: “Space Vixxxen” is a song about a sexy alien in a bar…

NICK: …who robs you…

TONY: She’s featured on the cover. She’s really…striking…

NICK: It’s a Polaroid of our friend Liz,

JACOB: They airbrushed her, it looks really interesting!

NICK: It was a four hour make-up session.


Handsomebeast also records all of their work themselves. Band members Pee Wee and Jacob have built up King Benny Studios in Houston. They all record there along with recording other Houston bands. The group not only creates a different style of funky music, a genre that is underrated, but they are committed to getting the Houston music scene rolling.


Jacob performing with Handsomebeast at Love Goat

Great friend of the band and writer from Austin, Andre added, “They hope to see as many people as they can at the EP release party. The EP is just the next step for the band. It showcases their professionalism, the sound production and the song writing. Sexy Face Reaction Time is going to be a big deal, one for the musical history books.

Be sure to come out to the EP release party April 18th at Wonky Power Live and check out the band:

Official Website (“Exotic Lumberjack” streaming for free now here)





By Corina Carrizales

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