Following on from the release of their second album ‘Distraction’, we sat down with Bear Hands’ Ted Feldman ahead of the Brooklyn quartet’s appearance on the Festival republic stage at this year’s Reading Festival.
So what was your first festival experience?
My first festival experience when I went as a kid with my family to the ‘HORDE’ tour. It was Neil Young, Blues Traveler, Ben Folds Five, and I remember seeing Beck. It was awesome! I didn’t really know what was going on, I was like 9 years old, but it was a formative experience.
Who would be your ideal line up?
Back then that was probably my ideal line up, cause I was just listening to what my parents told me to listen to! Now I mean I don’t even know… It’s killing me! Mine would be all over the map. John Coltrane headlining… Actually yeah, basically just him for like 8 hours with different musicians going in and out – that would be awesome!
Do you have any advice for festival goers?
Hydrate, carry round some almonds – I hear that almonds can keep you going in battle, so that’s probably a good idea – and meet somebody! Meet people, talk to people, be friendly, be nice. If everyone is just nice at festivals it will go well!
Would the whole band be able to camp together or are there any bad habits?
We’re in a van, and we’re all bad habits! We’re not camping but we still share beds in hotels, so yeah I know the ins and out of everyone’s eating habits, sleeping habits etc – it’s not pleasant. We’re way too close, we’re past close! There’s a scene in a Groucho Marx film where he’s dancing with a woman and she keeps drawing him to her saying ‘closer, closer’, and he says ‘if I was any closer I’d be behind you.’ That’s what it’s like!
Reading is your first festival you’ve done this year? How’s it going?
Well we just got here, but it hasn’t rained yet! It’s cool. Everyone’s very sweet and it looks like people are trying to have a good time.
So what’s next for Bear Hands after Reading?
After this then we’re going back home and touring for the rest of the year in the states. We’re playing some radio festivals and club shows, and trying to write some new songs.
Bear Hands’ album Distraction is out now.