Q&A—The Hundred In The Hands

We sat down with Brooklyn-based duo The Hundred In The Hands — Eleanore Everdell (vocals, keyboards) and Jason Friedman (guitar, programming) — to talk about their latest album, experimenting with new grounds and what it’s like to work together musically and emotionally.

FAULT: Hello! You’ve recently just starting touring your new album, Red Night. Congratulations. First off, you’ve both played in previous bands, but how did the two of you meet and what sparked The Hundred In The Hands into becoming what is today?

Jason: Thank you! Yeah, had been in the Boggs and released a few records but by the end, it was just me and whoever I could find to play with. A month before a U.S. tour I had no band at all, and through friends met Eleanore. Practiced everyday with this motley group and then left on tour. On the second night we started dating.

Eleanore: So our first date was a month long, traveling across the country in a van. We realized we were in a good place when we weren’t sick of each other by the end of it. Following the tour, we were given some studio time and went in with just a sketch of Dressed In Dresden. Making that track together in the studio felt like something new and so became the beginning of THITH.

FAULT: You were able album to record this album on your own terms. Can you explain a little bit about that (What was that like? Why? Etc.)

Eleanore: It wasn’t about keeping control or anything because Warp is amazing and we always felt in control working with Richard, Chris Jacques or Eric. On the first record, we had made maybe 75% on our own and then chosen producers who we thought could take it a step further. It was amazing working with them, but this time we wanted to have some of the imperfections and dirt remain on the surface. Also, we wanted to be able to experiment with the production and make some of our own mistakes.

Jason: So, we built a small studio, a tiny windowless box and made it a place we could go whenever we wanted and just play with the studio. We’ve always loved the romance of people like Lee Perry using the studio as an instrument.

FAULT: When you starting creating Red Night, what was your state of mind going into it?

Jason: Musically we wanted to make something that felt unified. On the first album and EP we were still learning to write together and one way we did that was to go back to the records we loved and go into it like each track was it’s own universe. This time, we wanted to make the record feel like a singular universe and for us that meant letting go of some of the pop blueprints.

FAULT: Did you have any problems, or mishaps, while making the album?

Jason: Yeah, it was sort of my job to learn the engineering part and I don’t really know what I’m doing other than what I’ve managed to glom from producers I’ve worked with, and I bought a few books and just sat down and tried to fill my head with as much of it as possible.

Eleanore: We also didn’t have the biggest budget so we had to make do with a lot glitchy things that could get pretty maddeningly frustrating. Still, that’s part of the process I think. You need discomfort to get at successful accidents.

FAULT: In comparison to your self-titled debut album, Red Night carries a bit more of a grunge. It breathes of heartbreak. Is there any backstory behind those vibes?

Eleanore: It is heavier, dirtier and darker. We were really feeling some more contemporary electronic artists like Andy Stott which are slower and rumble and you have to follow what’s moving your body or it will feel forced. But yeah, there was also something dark just hanging over us when we started and it took a while to get to a place we could really make the record. The first few months were stop and start. We had a draft of “Stay The Night,” which sounded a lot more like the first record and was at that point fictional, but all about dysfunction and unease in a relationship — “should I stay or should I go” — and as it turns out, there was something in there that needed to be answered before we could get to a better place.

Jason: One of the first things we had written was “Empty Stations,” which was partially inspired by the passing of Trish from Broadcast and Gerard from TVOTR. I used to busk in the same subways as Gerard and I wrote this thing on our Zine after he died reminiscing about the sound of his guitar echoing up the steps. That became this idea of memories and things you’ve lost continuing to reverberate in in empty city spaces and also an idea of tuning in between radio stations to an almost supernatural space a space to punch into the beyond. So, there was something dark hanging over us when we started. These songs about death and dysfunction and heartbreak, but at that point not about us and I now think that’s because we were indirectly writing about something we didn’t know how to talk about. But once we did, and once we got to a better place, the record opened up and took off.

Eleanore: One of the first things that came out after that was “Lead In The Light.” Bridging that, from the darkness of “Empty Stations” to the better place of “Lead In The Light,” that became the arc of the album. A long night moving through tunnels and streets trying to get back to the one you love.

FAULT: What did you set out to accomplish with this album (i.e. techniques, etc.) that you feel turned out really well?

Jason: The things I had the most fun with were manipulating the guitars. Tracks like “Stay The Night” and “Red Night” really don’t have a lot of synth work in them and are mostly guitars slowed, pitched and warped. It’s a kind of process that really is only possible with the tools now available.

Eleanore: I did a lot more experimenting on this record with layering vocals. Both to create harmonies and tone clusters, and also with lyrical lines overlapping as with the song “Red Night.”

FAULT: Why did you decide to use “Red Night,” as the title track?

Jason: Within that arc, “Red Night” just felt like the heart of the record, the place where you admit how much someone means to you, but there’s still that tension in the overlapped vocals with some blood and guts and some apocalyptic visions which compliments some of the other themes and the walking through the valley of death theme of the LP. It was started late at night, with Eleanore out of town and me not sleeping and when she got back and started layering vocals, it was an early sign of where we wanted to take the record.

FAULT: From your own point of view, as musicians who are continuing to gain momentum, how would you describe this record in terms of growth from your debut?

Jason: It’s a harder record to get ahold of I think, but we were looking for something that would demand more attention and have a certain arc to it.

FAULT: So far, how was the crowd been reacting to the new stuff and the addition of the drummer? 

Jason: It’s been great and it feels like we’re starting to get ahold of the new tracks. Playing with Brad has been so much fun. When it was just two of us, I would find myself turning around and staring at a speaker. It’s nice having a human there now.

Eleanore: The crowds have been really great in Europe these past couple weeks. I’ve been thinking that the new songs and older ones compliment each other well in a live context.

FAULT: Since this is FAULT Magazine, what is your FAULT?

Jason: The thing that kind of works out for us is that each other’s strengths kind of answer the other’s deficiencies. Eleanore has an amazing ear for harmony and the actual music part of music, which I am often useless at.

Eleanore: I can get bogged down in the micro aspect of something and really lose perspective of the whole. But yes, luckily Jason calls me out on that as I do for him.



CHICAGO, IL Empty Bottle
WASHINGTON, D.C. Rock & Roll Hotel
NEW YORK, NY Mercury Lounge


— Interview by Rachel Eleanor Sutton [Photo Credit: Heather Culp]