Cut Off Your Hands

Cut Off Your Hands released their debut LP, You & I, via Frenchkiss Records on January 20th. Since then the New Zealand band has spent a lot of time touring North America, including a stop in Austin for SXSW, but they haven't reached NYC yet - not since CMJ 2008 at least. That changes this Saturday, April 4th, when they open for Ra Ra Riot at Webster Hall (Tickets here).

If you're looking for something more-intimate, and less-Ra-Ra-Riot, you can wait until May when COYH will be back again - this time to play a few east coast headlining dates including one at Mercury Lounge on Thursday, May 7th. Tickets are now on sale. All dates below.

No word if the April 4th or May 7th shows will feature drummer Brent Harris, who posted a March 29th message to the band's Myspace announcing his intention to leave the band because of hearing problems possibly related to drumming and live music.

That message, three videos, and all tour dates below...

Hey everyone,

This is Brent here... I have some news to share with you as friends, fans of the band or anyone else who has supported us over the past three and a half years.......

At the age of 16 I started losing my hearing; it began as a mild hearing loss which didn't overly alarm me or my specialists. Over the past six years however, there has been an uncertain yet steady decline in my ability to hear. At the age of 19 my hearing got to the point that I needed to wear hearing aids. Since then, the deterioration has slowed but is still steadily eating away at my ability to hear all frequencies. Recently I have started to lose hearing in frequencies which up until six months ago have been good. These frequencies are important for speech recognition and general functioning in everyday life. I have seen several different hearing specialists over this time and no one has been able to diagnose a real definite reason for the loss. One of the obvious guesses at a cause is loud music and the fact I've been playing the drums almost everyday for about 11 years.

My audiologist has told me of patients who are 90 years old, fought in wars and worked coal mines for most of their lives and yet still have better hearing than me. Some people have resilient ears, others do not and these inconsistencies in the tolerance of the human ear are very hard to measure. I haven't played the drums without wearing ear plugs for six years now, yet still my hearing has degenerated. There is a chance that I was just born with a genetic predisposition for hearing loss, something beyond the damage that drumming can cause. After CT scans, MRI scans and 30-plus hearing tests, my specialists are still very unsure as to what is happening. However, there is a possibility that I have a low tolerance to noise exposure which is causing my ears to give up. Whether or not drumming has been the sole culprit I am told my exposure to loud music could be aggravating and accelerating the loss.

Sadly, the only way to know if drumming is inducing or aggravating the loss is to plainly stop playing loud music for 12 months - which in turn has made me decide to step down from Cut Off Your Hands for the next year. This decision represents much thought and was incredibly difficult for me to make. The concept of life outside of Cut Off saddens me; we have all devoted so much of ourselves to make this band work. I'm now thoroughly addicted to making music and it hurts to know I wont be sharing it with the guys I have enjoyed it with over the past many years. I don't feel good about it but I believe it's the right thing for me to do.

It is uncertain what the future will bring for me and Cut Off. I hope with all my heart that I can return to playing with the band but only time can let that be known.

I'm not writing this to ask for sympathy or pity, we all have shit going on in our lives; I merely want to say that I'm not giving up on Nick, Phil or anyone else who has shown support for what we have been doing. I believe in what we have done so far and I would still very much be apart of it if I had my own way.

By no means is this a disintegration or ending for the band. There are many more songs that need to be shared with you and we are all very excited for what 2009 has to offer.
Much love

CUT OFF YOUR HANDS | still fond

Cut Off Your Hands - 2009 Tour Dates
04/03 - Hamden, CT Alumni Hall w/ Manchester Orchestra, Bear Hands
04/04 - New York, NY Webster Hall w/ Ra Ra Riot
04/29 - Hartford, CT Trinity College - The Mill w/ Flosstradamus
05/01 - Washington, DC Black Cat w/ U.S. Royalty
05/02 - Philadelphia, PA North Star
05/07 - New York, NY Mercury Lounge
05/08 - Providence, RI Jerky's
05/09 - Allston, MA Harpers Ferry

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