Bear Hands Playing at Ace of Spades Halloween Night!
● By Brenna McGowan
Bear Hands, the post punk Indie rock band, will be playing at Ace of Spades in Sacramento this evening. Doors open at 7 p.m.
After releasing their sophomore album last February, Distractions, Bear Hands has seen major success. Touring for the last 10 months playing both festivals and venues in the United States and Europe, Bear Hands is on the final leg of their tour for 2014. They will be heading home to Brooklyn, NY, soon after tonight's performance, so you are not going to want to miss it--I promise! I spoke with Val Loper, the bassist for the band, this week.
For our readers who may not be familiar with Bear Hands, how would you describe your sound?
Rock 'n roll mixed with guitars and keyboards.
Where did the name Bear Hands originate?
It was a really bad idea I had. I was going to use it for another band I had… When we needed a name I suggested it, and no else came up with anything better so we stuck with it.
The band formed in 2006; did you guys envision this level of success for yourselves?
All of us wanted to be serious musicians. I’m not sure if we specifically knew this was going to be the band but we knew early on we had chemistry. We are professionals; we work really hard and well together.
What is your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Where do I begin? Breaking strings is always terrible. I play bass – you very, very rarely break strings. If you break a guitar string no one notices. If you break a bass string all the rhythm stops, so I will just stand there paralyzed on stage till the end of the song. When you are on stage a second feels like a minute, and a minute feels like ten minutes and I’m just sweating bullets waiting to run over to my case to see if I have a bass string --that’s pretty much the worst.
Weirdest thing you’ve received from a fan?
We get weird stuff all the time now. We got something crazy--it was really weird but cute. A couple nights ago, in Fresno, these girls gave us personalized pill bottles full of candy. They wrote their own description, but it had our names on them and they had each written a name of one of our songs and a description for the song and how to ingest the candy. It was pretty cute.
Sounds very creative.
Yeah, I had never seen something like that before.
Is there one performance this year that sticks out for you?
I would say playing Conan O’Brien’s show a few nights ago.
What inspired you to start playing the guitar?
I grew up playing guitar but I would say…Nirvana, Metallica – getting into rock music as a kid. I played violin when I was really young and I kept turning my violin sideways and strumming it like a guitar. I was taking lessons and my teacher called my parents and said, “He’s playing the violin like a guitar, you should probably get him a guitar.” They did and I never picked the violin up again.
What do you miss most about being away from home?
My girlfriend and my bed.
If Bear Hands could collaborate with another performing artist/band who would you want it to be?
That is a great question. Freddie Gibbs, he’s my favorite rapper. He has a lot of good stuff to say.
Are you guys in the process of writing your next album?
We are; it has been hard cause we really haven’t been home. We demoed a few songs a couple months back and we have sketches of another five or six so we are getting there.
Where are you playing after Sacramento?
We are headed to Salt Lake City, and after that we are making a loop to go back home.
Are you excited to be heading home?
Oh my God, I’m so excited!
Interview written by Cait Herrera. Photo by Nina Westervelt; courtesy of Bare Hands.