Hank & Cupcakes

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Hank & Cupcakes
Origin Tel Aviv, Israel
Genres Electropop, indietronica, indie pop, electronic rock
Years active 2008 - present
Labels BMG Rights Management
Website http://www.hankandcupcakes.com

Sagit Shir (born September 5, 1980)

Ariel Scherbacovsky (born October 27, 1979)

Hank & Cupcakes are a Brooklyn-based electropop band formed in 2008 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The group consists of husband-and-wife duo Sagit "Cupcakes" Shir (drums, vocals, piano) and Ariel "Hank" Scherbacovsky (bass guitar). They took their name as a reference to Hank Chinaski, the literary alter ego of American writer Charles Bukowski and one of his real-life lovers, Pamela "Cupcakes" Wood.[1][2] On October 22, 2012, the band released their Ain't No Love EP on BMG Rights Management,[3] with the first single "Sweet Potion" being premiered by MTV Hive on October 9, 2012.[4] Their full-length debut album, Naked! was released July 2, 2013.[5] The group's second LP, Cash 4 Gold followed in 2014.


Early history[edit]

The couple first met when they were 19 years old while playing in a band in the Israeli Army in 1999.[6] Shir was a singer in the band, while Scherbacovsky was the sound technician. The couple continued to play music together in different projects following their time in the army, starting with a cover band performing songs by The Beatles, Suzanne Vega, Tori Amos and Paul Simon. They eventually founded a band called Maim Shketim (Hebrew for “silent water”) with guitarist Ronnie Reshef in 2002, and began writing original songs and developing their own musical style.[7] The threesome broke up four years later when guitarist Reshef relocated to New York City to study classical composition in 2006, and Shir and Scherbacovsky were married that summer in Tel Aviv.

2007 - present[edit]

In 2007, the couple decided to study Cuban music in Havana, Cuba and enrolled in Spanish classes at Havana University to obtain student visas. Once there, they studied privately with drummer Ramses Rodriguez Baralt, who has played and recorded with world-renowned jazz musicians such as Chucho Valdés, Ibrahim Ferrer and Roberto Fonseca. Shir and Scherbacovsky practiced four to seven hours a day in addition to studying music theory and attending classes at the university. Originally, they had planned on staying in Cuba for an entire year but the stress of living under a totalitarian regime became very difficult for the couple and they returned to Israel six months later. During this transitional period, they began working on new material together (which would later become the music of Hank & Cupcakes) and realized they needed a change to expose themselves to new things in order to continue growing and evolving as artists.[8] They set their eyes on New York where they assumed they would meet other musicians to fill out the rest of their band. However, after rehearsing daily for several months together, Shir and Scherbacovsky discovered that they had found their musical style and didn't need other musicians to complete the group.[9] Shortly thereafter, Hank & Cupcakes had their first-ever performance at Sublime Club on April 23, 2008 in Tel Aviv.

The couple relocated to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in August 2008 where they rented a rehearsal studio and, feeling inspired by the city, began writing more songs and performing in small New York venues like Crash Mansion and Cameo Gallery. At their first show, they had only 13 guests - including Scherbacovsky's parents who were visiting from Jerusalem.[10] But the band never turned down a show and soon found themselves doing three to four concerts every week, building a reputation for their "infectious energy" and "explosive live show" with each successive performance.[11][12][13][14]

In October 2009, Hank & Cupcakes were asked to play in front of a live audience on the FOX TV show, Fearless Music.[15] After the taping, the owner of Fearless Music at that time, Lee Heiman (former manager of Sugar Ray, The Smithereens, Mike Peters), signed on to be the duo's manager. Over the course of the next two years, the bass-and-drum duo developed a rabid fanbase in New York City and slowly made their mark in the United States as they began playing more shows outside of New York.[16][17] The band played select dates across Europe and the Middle East, including playing to crowds of over 2,000 in Barcelona and opening for Placebo at the first ever Pic.Nic festival in Tel Aviv. Shir and Scherbacovsky were then offered a publishing deal by Chrysalis Music prior to the company being sold to BMG Rights Management, who still decided to move forward with the contract.

Hank & Cupcakes were soon invited to play all over the United States at such festivals such as CMJ Music Marathon in 2010 as well as The Bamboozle and The Roots Picnic in 2011,[18][19][20] and were named as one of 15 artists The Huffington Post predicted to break out that year.[21] In August 2011, the band unveiled a music video for their song "HIT" which Shir and Scherbacovsky wrote in response to someone in the music industry telling their manager that the duo were "cool" but lacked a hit single.[22][23] That same month, they recorded their first full-length album with Swedish producer and guitarist, Ludwig Böss, at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin where landmark albums from such artists as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, R.E.M., U2 and many more were recorded. Just before the band independently released their debut album (which was then originally Naked), the duo entered an agreement with the new Master Division of BMG Chrysalis US who had them improve the recordings and subsequently, the release date was delayed until early 2013. Their first single off the album, “Liquid Mercury,” debuted later at #38 on Billboard‍ '​s Top 40 Indicator chart in March 2012.[24]

The band continued to perform extensively throughout that year, starting with a sold-out New Year's Eve show with DJ/producer Deadmau5 at NYC's Pier 36 on December 31, 2011.[25] They were also invited to record and film a live version of their track "Sweet Potion" at Adrian Grenier's private studio, the Wreckroom, in June 2012.[26][27] Upon the worldwide release of their three-track Ain't No Love EP on October 22, 2012, Hank & Cupcakes premiered the "Sweet Potion" music video on VICE's music discover site, Noisey.[28][29] Acclaimed producer and DJ, RJD2, later collaborated with the band to create a remix of the track which Prefix called "a serious heart pounding infectious number" when they premiered it on February 8, 2013.[30] In March 2013 Hank & Cupcakes played several sold out shows during SXSW.

Musical style[edit]

Hank & Cupcakes draw a lot of inspiration from the events of their life and the energy of New York City with its vibrant streets, nonstop movement, graffiti, and art in addition their time of musical exploration in Cuba.[31][32] Quick rhythms and bass playing define their musical style, combining heavy drumming with funky disco riffs and synthpop elements. Their sound has often been described as a "huge wall of sound," sonically rich and full as if there were more than just two members in the band.[33][34][35] The duo have managed to create a new hybrid of indietronic music with their unique fusion of disco and funk rhythmic patterns, raw dance beats, groove-laden bass lines, rambunctious synths, sturdy hooks, emotive vocals and catchy lyrics.[36][37][38] Shir's powerful, edgy voice brings to mind Katie White of The Ting Tings and Beth Ditto of Gossip,[39] while the band's music has also drawn comparisons to the The Ting Tings and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.[40][41]





  • "She's Lost Control" - Joy Division cover (Spin 360, February 2012)


  1. ^ Wood, Pamela (2010). Charles Bukowski's Scarlet. Northville, MI: Sun Dog Press. p. 240. ISBN 9780941543583. 
  2. ^ Brown, Lauren. "Hank & Cupcakes to Artists: Scare Yourself!". CulturePOP. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "US: Hank & Cupcakes Release New EP Ain’t No Love". BMG. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Marissa, Muller. "Hank & Cupcakes Wrestle With Disappointment on 'Sweet Potion'". MTV Hive. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hank & Cupcakes". BMG. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Prewitt, Catherine. "Getting to Know: Hank & Cupcakes". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Prewitt, Catherine. "Getting to Know: Hank & Cupcakes". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Bono, Salvatore. "Exclusive! Hank & Cupcakes". Officially A Yuppie. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  9. ^ McCall, Tris. "Hank and Cupcakes Offer a Tasty Alt-Pop Sugar Fix". NJ.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hank & Cupcakes". BMG. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Grady, Mick. "The Interview: Hank & Cupcakes". Goodbye Babylon – Culture. Reborn. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Deliso, Meredith (15 June 2010). "Funky Fresh Sound". New York Post. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  13. ^ McCall, Tris. "Hank and Cupcakes Offer a Tasty Alt-Pop Sugar Fix". NJ.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Cubillo, Vanessa. "An Afternoon with Hank & Cupcakes". The GROUND Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Hank and Cupcakes - Ain't No Love - Live on Fearless Music". Fearless Music. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Grady, Mick. "The Interview: Hank & Cupcakes". Goodbye Babylon - Culture. Reborn. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Matthews, Cameron. "Hank and Cupcakes Move From Israel to Cuba to Brooklyn". Spinner. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  18. ^ Siegler, Mara. "Best of CMJ: Ten Listen-Worthy Bands". Guest of a Guest. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "10 Rising Acts You Need To See At Bamboozle 2011". Fake Walls. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "The 4th Annual Roots Picnic". Okayplayer. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  21. ^ Bono, Salvatore. "15 Musical Acts Positioned to Break Out in 2011". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  22. ^ Chattman, Jon. "Achtung! Hank & Cupcakes Debut 'Hit' Video (NSFW)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  23. ^ Prewitt, Catherine. "Getting to Know: Hank & Cupcakes". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  24. ^ "Billboard Top 40 Update" (PDF). Billboard.biz. 
  25. ^ Clarke, Kristyn. "Hank & Cupcakes Wrap Up 2011 with Tour Dates Including NYE with Deadmau5 in NYC". Pop Culture Madness Music. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Hank and Cupcakes". Wreckroom.tv. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  27. ^ White, Caitlin. "Adrian Grenier's Wreckroom Gives Bands a Free Shot at Fame". Spinner. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  28. ^ "Music Video Premieres: Hank & Cupcakes - 'Sweet Potion' (Official Video)". Noisey. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "About Noisey". Noisey. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  30. ^ Barretto, Clyde. "Prefix Premiere: Download RJD2's Remix Of Hank & Cupcakes' 'Sweet Potion' + Remix Contest". Prefix. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  31. ^ "Hank and Cupcakes". Brite. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  32. ^ Muhr, Susi. "Hank and Cupcakes: Bus to Pleasure Town". The Deli Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  33. ^ McCall, Tris. "Hank and Cupcakes Offer a Tasty Alt-Pop Sugar Fix". NJ.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  34. ^ An, Rebecca. "Getting Naked with Hank & Cupcakes". Alt Citizen Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  35. ^ McKeon, Jennie. "Get a Sugar Rush with Hank and Cupcakes". Inweekly. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  36. ^ "Hank & Cupcakes Return To Boston!". Popblerd. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  37. ^ Chattman, Jon. "On the Rise: Brooklyn's Hank & Cupcakes' Enroute to 'Pleasure Town'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  38. ^ "Interview: Hank and Cupcakes". StarBeat Music. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  39. ^ "Dynamic Album Review: Hank & Cupcakes". The Soul Dynamic. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  40. ^ "Hank and Cupcakes and Belikos at Cameo Art Gallery/". Nevermind The Posers. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  41. ^ Zakharenko, Olga. "Shows on Sale". My Social List. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

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