Luis touches on the current tour, success in the UK, his love for Nandos and British chocolate, the new record out next year and more.
Alter The Press: How's the tour with Bring Me The Horizon going so far?
The Secret Handshake: It's a cool tour, its awesome, everyone is metal except for me, its great, kids are very accepting.
ATP: The genre of their music and yours is very different, and especially as you are the main support, how are the reactions each night like?
TSH: It's cool. I think it takes kids about a song or two to realise that they are going to have to have fun otherwise it's going to be painfully miserable for everyone. Its fun. It takes them a couple of minutes but when everyone is into it, everyone goes nuts. It definitely doesn't matter as much as I thought it was going to.
ATP: I guess you were invited on the tour because of the Drop Dead Clothing connection? (Bring Me The Horizon vocalist, Oli Sykes' clothing line)
TSH: Thats how we met yeah. Oli spoke to me and said 'I'm a fan and I want to sponsor you for Drop Dead' and thats how it started. Kids know me here in England as well so.
ATP: Apart from Drop Dead, you are sponsered by Johnny Cupcakes too?
TSH: Yeah, i've never actually met that dude but I hit him up a while ago and I said 'I really like your stuff' and he said 'I really like your songs'. He sent me some stuff and that was it, he's awesome.
ATP: You've been over here three times in just over a year, what's been your best visit?
TSH: Probably this one, it's been really interesting. The last was great but this one is really interesting because it feels like I actually have to try harder to win the kids over, its not easy. The other ones i'd come out, everyone knew who I was and knew the songs but this one I come out everyone is like, 'Who's this guy? What's he trying to do? There's no guitars on stage, what's going on?' but we play and its awesome. It's fun. You have to work harder to bride the gap.
ATP: You were supposed to come over here with Cartel, they cancelled so was there a reason why you did as well? You originally had a date in Glasgow booked around that tour.
TSH: I really don't know what happened. They cancelled and my agent spoke to me and said, 'I don't really think you should go on your own' and I was like, 'Okay man, whatever. It's you call'. So I stayed home and got some more writing done.
ATP: How did you feel when you came over here for the first time and you were pushed to the headlining slot?
TSH: It was bizarre. Very cool. The first time here for me was very different me you know, when you do your first tour of a different country, it has its own interesting freshness of it. Your looking around thinking, 'I've never been here, i've never eaten here, i've never slept here', everything's new. I already did that in the US and to do that here was cool.
ATP: I hear your three favourite things it the UK are, Nandos (Portuguese themed Chicken restaurant chain) Asda (supermarket chain) and Kit Kat's.
TSH: Thats entirely true. I had Nandos today, Kit Kat's yesturday and I haven't been to Asda once on this tour, which is really weird. I have been to Tesco (supermarket chain) and we had chocolate croissants. There's no Nandos in the States which sucks, I wish there was. Kit Kat's in the US taste like shit but here they taste great so I buy lots. Kinder Bueno too and someone told me try Wispa bars (classic British chocolate) but there disgusting. Nothing but hype and overrated. It's indie hype.
ATP: Is there a reason why you haven't toured Europe yet?
TSH: We were supposed actually. This tour had a European part before the UK trip but we were going on a tour the same time but I wanted too. I get so many e-mails saying, 'Come to Germany! Come to Belgium'. A lot of these names i've never heard of. I'm like, 'Sure! We'll come to the United Emirates one day'. Its crazy but I want to, its a matter of time. I think it'd be really crazy to go there but we'll need to be on a support tour to get us over there.
ATP: You used to drum in a metal/hardcore band, and even supported The Locust at one time, tell me about that.
TSH: Yes, we opened for The Locust once in Oklahoma city. I was 18 and it was awesome. It was cool to come from that world and to do this. It makes me appreciate it more from drumming a metal band making no money, sleeping in a van, eating one taco a day because we were poor, you know what I mean? We slept on floors, played house shows and to come from that to play places like the Astoria is interesting and makes you appreciate it. Its like you can say, 'Dude, I played some really sketchy show, where the dude ran off with the money, the guys from The Locust were doing cocaine in the back' its really sketchy and to be here is really cool.
ATP: Now your an electronic/synth artist, what made you take such a drastic change in genre?
TSH: I don't know, I don't think it was planned. I really liked The Rocket Summer. He did this thing where he'd play all the instruments on the record and have other people play them live. I really wanted to do that but I really wasn't good at any thing and i'm still not really. I can play drums, sorta play guitar, sorta play piano so I think it was a necessity to make it electronic, it was the only way and pass it off as that. It worked, people liked it, received it well and kept doing that. It went more a dance route.
ATP: In this country, the press coverage you've been getting has been comparing you mostly to Hellogoodbye, how do you feel about that?
TSH: Its an easy comparison to make. Its bubbly, its pop, its American but I think we're different. They are a rock band when it comes down to it and I'm the opposite of what a rock band.
ATP: Your album, 'One Full Year', what made you choose 'Gamegirl as your first single in the UK and not 'Summer of '98'?
TSH: I didn't man! It was a bummer. I wanted 'Summer of '98' but the label wanted a 'setup single', I don't know what that means. We went along with it. I like to play it live but I don't like song.
ATP: 'Gamegirl' was released on 7", you got any plans to release any of your albums on vinyl?
TSH: I'd love to one day, maybe on the next record. At the moment, we're talking to my friend who's in Less Than Jake and he has his own 7" label, so we're going to have a special sort of thing for the next record. We'll probably sell it on the webstore or something cool.
ATP: Is there any chance of your first album, 'Antarctica' being released digitally or on CD?
TSH: No! Never! Its terrible, its a horrible album. Its crazy because all the dudes in Bring Me The Horizon all have it on their iPod's and they listen to it and show me. They go, 'Oh, we're listening to this song!' and its like 'Your listening to this music I made when I was 18 years old' and I'm so embarrassed by it, because its terrible! I'm glad people like it though. People ask if I have copies of it and I do. I have about 100 copies of it in my house and I don't want to sell them or give them to anyone because people might think its new and think 'This is horrible! This guy sucks!'
ATP: From videos online and seeing you live, you've played a set with your keyboard, with a laptop or with a band. Which do you prefer and most comfortable with?
TSH: I like playing the set up we have now. I'm just singing, we have a laptop, Chris and Dennis are playing bass and drums. Its fun. It kinda helps it rock a little more, having bass guitar helps it move a little more and it gives it more presence. Its my favourite stage setup for sure.
ATP: You have a lot of merch on your site. Do you design it or does someone do it for you?
TSH: No, I wish I did! We get all these British dudes to do it! I wish I could design it myself. I can make music but I cannot draw. If kids were interested in stick figure shirts, I would make them.
ATP: You've toured pretty much non stop last year, when do you see yourself having a break?
TSH: After this tour actually. I'm going to have three months off and i'm going to record the new album at home. Its really pop, a straight forward pop album. Definitely influenced by 90's television US TV shows like 'Full House'. I wrote a song about Uncle Jessie and its really 90's. Every song has a 90's feel. Its really like Axl Foley/Beverly Hills Cop. It has that 80's/90's feel without being too pretentious or too dance.
ATP: Any future plans to return to the UK soon?
TSH: I want to. Its on the brain right now, we're just trying to plan out when. The next record is out stateside in early April/late March so I think probably around then and do a proper headline tour. It's been a longtime coming.