Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Zack Rettke - Lead Vocals
Taylor Allen - Drums
Brandon Wortarm - Guitar
Kyle Pfluger - Guitar/Vocals
Kyle Kriegshauser - Bass
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to A Better Hand? How long has the band been around?
-We all come from local pop punk, post hardcore, and heavy bands. When Zack and Taylor’s previous band ended they formed the currently known A Better Hand. Brandon and Kyle P. joined not long after, leaving their current band. Kyle K. was discovered by the guys at a show while he was playing with his previous band. He was the last piece of the puzzle and ABH has officially been around since 2015.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
-We have never changed the band name, but the origin comes from when Zack and Taylor had to begin fresh with a new band. The meaning behind our name is that you can always have a fresh start. In the words of playing cards, no matter how bad a hand you are dealt in life, you can always count on A Better Hand. Everyone goes through hard times, but the most important thing is how you come back from them. A Better Hand is our fresh start, and we want that to inspire people to never give up.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
-Brandon is our riff master 3000. He starts writing most of the songs and gets guitars and the structure down. When we start to refine things, everyone jumps in and really that’s where things start to come alive. Zack does most of the lyric writing, but it does become a group event at times. Often leading to some very funny lyrics that usually don’t make the cut.
Our biggest theme thus far is having fun and positivity. We want to focus on the positive things and we know that no matter how much we grow, that will always stay the same. Our latest EP touches a lot on chasing your dreams and that is mostly because of the point we are at in our career.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
-Our biggest inspirations are State Champs, As It Is, Carousel Kings, All Time Low, and A Day To Remember
. Although when we are writing we get inspiration from so many different sources. Zack and Taylor get a lot of inspiration from pop music while Brandon and the Kyles will listen to really heavy bands.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
-For the most part Green Day is our biggest reason for starting bands. Zack had a lot of inspiration from blink-182 and Taylor from Good Charlotte. Thinking back we can all agree that having band DVD’s and watching MTV when we were kids was what made us want to play music. We thought the band members looked cool haha!
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
-We spend a lot of time making sure our rack gear and lighting is set up and ready to throw on stage. Most of us like to stay busy, Taylor warms up on his practice pad and does a lot of moving to get his body warmed up, Zack does his best to stay hydrated. Raising Canes chicken fingers is probably our only pre show ritual. It fuels us so we can have lots of energy on stage! Right before our set starts we put our hands together and on the count of 3 we yell “Burn it down”. Then we do.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
-It’s hard for us to choose just one. When we traveled to New York to record at Nada Recording Studio we came up with the name for our newest EP “The Longest Drive”. It was such an inspiring trip and recording process for us. We got to work with John Naclerio and Kyle Black who really made it a life changing experience. Recently we got the opportunity to open for As It Is and that was truly the highlight for us as a band. Playing with a band that has inspired us so much was a dream come true. Not to mention, they are all really good genuine guys.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
-Hands down All Time Low. Those guys look like they know how to have a good time and we would love to be in a tour prank war with them. Their DVD’s look like they are always having the time of their lives on and off stage and that’s what we always try to do! Also State Champs can come on our imaginary tour. They are the stuff. The real stuff man. For real. Word. Pizza.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
-For us, this is more than a dream. We know we are going to live this life no matter how hard things are, because this is the only thing that makes us truly happy. We don’t have back up plans or other careers to fall back on. A Better Hand is it.