INTERVIEW: Handmade Moments

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We have been great! We have just landed home in New Orleans after a long year of touring the USA and Europe, and it is so good to be here!

From all the songs out there, why did you choose to cover Erykah Badu’s “Phone Down”?

We chose to cover “Phone Down” because it is a testament to the era we live in. Nowadays, almost everyone has a smart phone. While it is convenient to have all of the world’s available information at our fingertips, we often find ourselves disconnected from one another even when the apps are designed to connect us. A few years ago, we played music at a summer camp for adults where campers would arrive and workers in hazmat suits would confiscate all phones, watches, laptops, and tablets from campers with tongs. The goal was “digital detox” and to connect with each other by disconnecting from technology. It was a beautiful experience, and I had been listening to Erykah Badu’s mixtape on repeat at the time. “Phone Down” had been stuck in my head, so I decided to learn how to play it!

What was the approach you went after with this song?

It was all very unplanned. I was walking around Oakland with my ukulele strumming chords until I found the chords that supported the melody for “Phone Down.” Then I played around with it on our looper, laying down beatbox and harmonies. Joel picked up the upright bass, and that was it!

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We filmed this video in Venice, Italy. We had a day off during our European tour, and the concept came together there: beautiful, touristic place, but your boyfriend can’t appreciate what is all around him because his face is buried in his phone.

The single comes off your new album Number Ones – what’s the story behind the title?

Throughout the years, we have been recording music and touring around the world. We have also been releasing a lot of cover videos, but we had never made studio recordings of our most popular cover songs. This is a compilation of songs our fans have been requesting.

Was this always meant to be a cover album?

Yes. Our fans have been asking for these songs to be recorded for a few years now, so we decided to make this for them.

How was the recording and re-writing process?

It was very simple. We are an acoustic duo with heavy beatboxing, and many of these songs, we have been covering for a while. Our versions of these songs are raw and stripped down. Minimal production. What you hear is what you get!

What was the selection process like on what songs to cover?

We covered these songs because they are songs that we love! All of the original artists of these songs are huge inspirations to us. It was a very organic process. Usually, if a song that we loved was stuck in one of our heads, we would learn it and start playing it. It’s like scratching an itch.

Did you find inspiration for the songs and lyrics out of the tracks itself?

So much. Especially “Lucky Old Sun” made famous by Louis Armstrong. That was one of my favorite songs as a kid.

Any plans to hit the road in 2020?

Oh yes. We will be in Germany for a few weeks in Febuary, Whigfest in Florida, and many more shows and festivals to come!

What else is happening next in Handmade Moments’ world?

We are hunkering down for the winter and recording a BUNCH of original music. We are SO excited to share more tunes with the world!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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