In this column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in the Blank.
Stephen Favazza of Hands and Feet never intended on being what's referred to as a "solo artist." With that term comes the assumption of one man or woman sitting onstage with an acoustic guitar (or an iMac) and generating music -- all alone.
"At first I just wanted to record music and introduce the songs I wrote to others who might be interested in playing with me. The Hello,Hello.... EP is what came out of that. I have never really been into solo acts too much. Saying that, I have seen some amazing people play some amazing solo shows, but never thought it was for me," Favazza says.
Hands and Feet feels especially distinct, owing to Favazza's talents as a multi-instrumentalist. Although he works under the guise of electronic pop, many of his samples stem from home recordings of keyboard, bass, guitar and melodica.
Favazza writes the music himself and performs along with live manipulation of homemade samples. He recently eschewed the ever-present drum machine for tracks of real drums and hopes to bring percussion into live performance.
Projectionist Caitlin Funston often augments the live set with striking stop-motion video. Favazza works with Funston's projections to create layers of multimedia interplay:
"It's almost like a shield. It is placed on top of me while I play. I feel the songs are stronger, and I feel more comfortable playing them live, and I can improvise with both the computer and live playing a bit more coherently," Favazza adds.
Since his start in 2010, Hands and Feet has released one self-titled full-length and an EP titled Hello,Hello.... EP. Next month will see the debut of the project's first vinyl LP, Sour Times. This is a hallmark for Favazza, but it's not a task he takes on all alone.
"I am putting it out as a self release, but with the help of Farfetched. I just got in with those guys right when I got done with the record. I am going to have a bunch of folks in the Farfetched family do some Hands and Feet remixes, and I hope to put that out with the label. I am also working to release it with the Sour Times record," Favazza adds.
[Note: The FarFetched Collective is a wonderful, diverse music label based out of St. Louis. See for yourself.]
Click through as Stephen talks more about his work as a solo performer in Hands and Feet. Stephen Favazza
I make music because... I grew up in a kind of musical family. I guess it is in my bloodline.
I'm most inspired by... Ghost stories, film, my peers.
The most difficult lesson I've learned while playing music is... Well, that seems to change quite a bit. As a solo performer, I have learned that it is a little bit harder to get people's attention. I go into shows thinking and knowing that well over half the people at the show don't care about what I am doing. It is my job to try to change that.
My dream lineup for a show is... Joy Divsion, A Certain Ratio, Codeine, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, the Notwist, Hands and Feet.
What I like most about St. Louis is... We have a strong, familylike community, and I feel that it is getting stronger and stronger.
The best post-show food in St. Louis is... EGGS BENEDICT!!!
Hands and Feet w/ CaveofswordS, Laydeefish, Hylidae The Heavy Anchor 9 pm | $5 | 21+
Previously from our Fill in the Blank series: - What We Won't See - Travis Bursik - Black James - Shitstorm - Shark Dad - The Uncredibles - The Ded Bugs - Stonechat - Les Gruff and the Billy Goat - Nato Caliph - Jah Orah & KD Assassin - Zagk Gibbons - Britches - The Maness Brothers - Con Trails - This City of Takers - Syna So Pro - Eric Hall - Pink Sock - Scrub - Pet Rock the Musical - The Glass Cavalry - The Blu Skies - Animal Teeth - Popular Mechanics - Brotherfather - Bad Dates - Beauty Pageant - Pillow Talk - The Tennis Lesson - The Funs - Brothers Lazaroff - Quaere Verum - MME - Sarah Bollinger - Little Big Bangs - Everything Went Black - Lions Eat Grass - Kevin Harris - Laika - Heavy Horse - Barely Free Partial Prisoners - The Defeated County - Lizzie Weber - Kenshiro's - B.E.L.L.A. - Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship - Humdrum - The Blind Eyes