Handsome Family Interview

We had a chat with Rennie from Handsome Family ahead of their Sheffield Memorial Hall date on March 18.


A whopping 21 years and 9 albums into their career, Brett & Rennie Sparks, AKA The Handsome Family earned recognition in early 2014 when T Bone Burnett chose their 20013 song 'Far From Any Road' as the theme to the cult HBO series True Detective. With the song racking up over 5 million YouTube views the band have since sold out gigs across Europe, Australia and the USA. March 2015 will see The Handsome Family play an extensive tour of Ireland and the UK, including Memorial Hall Sheffield on March 18.


Hi Rennie, how are you?

Pretty good. It’s 2pm and I’m still wearing pajamas. 


You last played in Sheffield two years ago, at Greystones. How was it?

Full to the brim. Great, but crowded.


Excited to be coming back in March?

Always. The UK has been a great place for us. Who knows why. When we first came over people would say to us, “You seem like Canadians. You’re really Americans.” — to an American that’s sort of insulting, but I think they meant it as a compliment. Our world view is so limited.


You recently rose to fame with the True Detective theme song, how did that come about?

Who knows. I must have saved a dog from drowning in my last life. We really have no idea which is lovely because I don’t have to feel like it was some kind of nepotism that got us heard by that show. I do think the song really fit well with the show. So mostly I’m just honored to have been a part of it.


Are you a fan of the show yourself?

Of course. They played Captain Beefheart and referenced Lovecraft. I was tickled.


(If yes) Rust or Marty? 

I think we all have to like Rust best. He’s the visionary, doomed hero.


How has the show affected your career?

It’s found us some new fans in strange places. We get a lot of fan letters from Iran. Amazing.


Your last release was two years ago, do you have any plans for a new record in the near future?

Yes, we’re in the midst of recording it and we’ll probably play one or two of the new songs at concerts in March.


Can fans expect any new material for this tour?

Yes, we have a new song about the world’s smallest horse and one about a thief lying in a ditch with a bullet in his gut. Our love/hate with America continues.


What’s it like touring as a married couple?

Don’t know any other way to tour. Seems okay to us or we wouldn’t keep doing it. It would be far worse to continually leave your loved one behind while you went off across the world. THat sounds like a recipe for divorce. 


What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Finishing up our new record, painting a lot of portraits of cats and dogs, raiding my bee hives for honey.



Get tickets for Handsome Family in Sheffield here.

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