Bear Hands take a break from their US tour to chat about their forthcoming album

Here FAULT catch up with the lovely Ted Feldman from Bear Hands, who took a break from driving across America to have a chat. Bear Hands have been rocking the electro-indie scene for a while now, garnering some serious praise for their debut single “2am” and the follow up, “Boss”. They are currently a few weeks into a US tour with FOALS, and are releasing their new album, “You’ll Pay for This” on the 18th of November.



So, how’s the tour going, where are you right this second?

Yeah it’s been good so far, we’re in Tulsa, Oklahoma right now, about to drive up to Arkansa. But it’s a dreary day, we had a good show but we’re about to hit up some Midwestern cities, see what happens, but things are good.

I heard you had some issues with stolen gear, is everything back on track with you guys now?

Oh man, it was painful, it is painful. We were in Houston, we did fairly well in most American cities, we’ve been touring for a long time and things are good, getting better, but we’ve never really had a good show in Houston, but we did the other days opening for Foals, we had a great show, we hung out and it was a top Houston night. But somewhere between 5 in the morning, when one of us came back from a “top night”, discovered that our van trailer had been broken into and whatever assholes decided to do that took 6 guitars. Y’know, it coulda been worse, they could have taken everything or the whole trailer I guess, who knows. But it was all locked and “safe”, we thought it was safe. But I lost a guitar that means a lot to me.

But we’re okay, we’re cool to carry on. Y’know it’s one of those things, you always read about bands getting their stuff stolen and I feel like it’s almost a cliché to complain about it, we’re just another band that got their shit taken. But it does hurt, it sucks.

I guess you have that now though, at least it’s part of the story…

Yeah, I mean the other side of the coin is that everyone we’re with like the Foals guys, their whole crew have been really generous and offering to use their gear and stuff. A lot of friends reaching out, it’s been really kind. The positive is that people are generally y’know, kinda nice.

2am is such a cool track, really slick and it reminds me of the Sopranos intro. Boss is more raw, with that guitar hook that sounds like Gimme Stitches by the Foo Fighters – Is the rest of the album so diverse?

Yeah we tend to go all over the place and try to give every song its own flavour and the opening track of the album mixes those things pretty well and I hope that it sorta acts as an announcement or a warning for the rest of the album. We touch on a lot of different sounds and styles, I think.



So what was it like working with producer James Brown (Foo Fighters) and mixer Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Foals) was it intimidating working with people who have worked with some truly massive acts?

Oh it didn’t bother me at all, it was exciting. James, we’ve worked with him before for a few years. He mixed our first two records, so he’s been a friend and involved so it wasn’t intimidating at all to work with him as a producer. And he’s also ust the friendliest, best dude to be around. That I spent 18 hours a day, every day for like 2 months was a pleasure, I love that guy. He also brought a lot of expertise and smarts and worked his ass off for that and I can’t be more appreciative of that. And yeah Alan Moulder mixed and that was… we’re all huge fans of his work, I was able to sit in on the mixes. He’s also incredibly kind and a gentleman. I feel like I was able to learn a lot just by sitting there and watching his process. Yeah, totally positive, and I think the record was better for his work.

How did you write this album, was it all whilst touring or did you set aside time to just jam?

This was the first time we were off-tour, we knew we were writing an album. Before, it’s always been between tours and jobs but this time we actually set out to write a record, and so I started by trying to treat it like a job, like 9-5 kinda thing. That failed, hah, not the vibe.

So, Dylan and I do the bulk of the writing, we both sorta do things on our own and then come together. The best sessions were when we sorta went to the woods and isolate for 3 days at a time and kinda knock it out a lot in one sitting. I feel like that immersion is what brings the most successful stuff, and lets ideas flourish.

Speaking of which, do you guys get stir crazy at all from touring? Do you still hang out as friends when you’re not “working”?

Um… no? Hah, barely. We spend so much time together on the road, 24 hours a day. We do hang out a little bit but when we’re home we try to hang out with our significant others and try to keep friends that we’ve not seen for months. We get together from time to time, we’re all friends, some of our girlfriends are friends.

So 2am has nearly a million views now, and Boss, which came out yesterday just hit 3000, which is awesome. Where do these videos come from, who came up with the ideas?

Generally I have a lot to say about the videos, but the 2am video I left to the directors. I mean, we were at the party, but other than that I left to them. The “Boss” video, the director is a friend Ethan…. We talked about it a lot beforehand, and I was on set for the shoot, I helped him edit, I was involved as a “consultant” of sorts… He and I talk about music videos, whether they’re ours or stuff he’s working on, we talk about movies all the time so it felt very natural to do that. But yeah I’m pretty excited about it, I think he did an awesome job.


What’s the plan once this tour is over, are you looking to get back into the studio or just keep on touring?

Um, no nothing lined up at the moment, I think I’m itching to write some new stuff, and that’s difficult to do on the road so I’m looking forward to doing that when I get home. But no er… no concrete plans for any new recordings, I think we’ll be doing some more touring in the spring. Soak in some home life, spend time with my girl and my friends and uh absorb the real world for a second. Try and write some new shit.

I ask everyone this, but it’s interesting to hear what comes out – who would you like to collaborate with?

There are definitely people we admire… There’s a lot of people I’d love to work with but I’m trying to think of someone the band are all excited about, we all have different opinions. I’d like to do something off-brand, out of our world and work with a producer like more like Flying Lotus, or someone totally out of the rock realm.


Words Morton Piercewright