Read over at Meet The Bands HERE
The Name “Bear Hands”
I guess we had started the band while I was still in college with Ted. We recorded a bunch of demos right off; like I had already had the songs written and I was just looking for a band to get together to record them. And as soon as we did that we gave them to a little indie label that Ted had known the owner of, and he really dug it, and he wanted to take a meeting like really quick and we didn’t have a name. You know, we had like 3-song demos that this dude really liked but we didn’t have a name. So literally on the drive to this guy’s house in New Jersey we had to name the band. And Val our bass player had the name Bear Hands hanging around from a previous band, like rolodex of potential names and we settled on it.
“Giants” (single) – Where did the name come from?
That song name just fit. I remember writing both the verses in a spree. I don’t think I’d written the chorus yet – the “loving you more” line. But I had written both the verses like immediately just after having a really skeletal beat and for some reason the word “giants” came to mind when I was naming the Garage Band file or whatever and it stuck. That name just makes sense to me but it doesn’t really apply to the lyrics...There’s not a specific person that that “loving you more” line is about. But I have felt like that I loved someone more than the loved me. Universal experience.
Watch the Lyric Video HERE
If I had to name my pantheon – you know the greatest of all time – it would have to be Kurt [Cobain] and Bob Dylan and Notorious B.I.G. Those are the three gods of my music world.
Can't Read Music
No I don’t know how to do that. That’s embarrassing. At Wesleyan I took one semester of piano classes with this little Asian lady who was really not incredibly helpful. Didn’t learn so much there. I think I took maybe five guitar lessons when I was 12 or 13 from an overweight guy in some mini mall in Connecticut. Didn’t pick up much there. I started playing guitar like punk songs and stuff, and really once you learn the power chords you can play any punk song. I also was disinterested quickly in learning other people’s songs, so I really started to write my own even though they were really heinous and painful and awful in the beginning. It was just more interesting to me than learning what other people have done.
Distraction out February 18, 2014
bearhandsband.com - Facebook -Twitter
It all started in a church I grew up playing music in churches and stuff. That’s where I got my start, where I found equipment that was good enough to play on…I taught myself piano and guitar and then started writing songs at like 13. I met our drummer Hayden doing that stuff and then we met Jason because we were looking to be able to produce some songs. That quickly turned into us all writing music together once we were a little bit older. So Jason produces all of the stuff, he mixes all of it, and we work together on writing all the stuff together.
“Ghost” I think that was kinda the breakthrough for us of incorporating a lot of our other - a lot of the influences we had as far as electronic music goes. Some of the beats that you hear in there are from the hip-hop inspiration that I grew up with. So it was kind of a drawing of those influences. It was the first time that we felt free to explore all of the options we had in one kind of song.
Family Support My mom always wanted to be a writer though, so it was one of those, it was a classic case of she never totally got to do what she wanted to do professionally, I think. So she was also very supportive and I think the same thing happened with my dad. I grew up with him being an appliance repair man...all my family have always really liked music that I’ve made so I think it makes it a lot easier.
The Entity, Sir Sly 8:30 I wrote the name down on a piece of paper and it felt like - the way we talk about it now - is that it feels like this person that isn’t any of us but we’re kind of aspiring to be. Like you hear the name and it makes you think of the kind of music that we want to be playing, how hard we wanna be working to make the best music we can and do things that we’re proud of and I think that’s why the name stuck. It felt like something that wasn’t us but something that we wanted to become…It basically sounded like the name of a person, or the name of an entity, that we thought worked out. The word, “sly”, was a nickname but it’s also an adjective and it kind of describes a little bit of those darker sensibilities of the music.
All the bass sounds and stuff, the way we would listen to it and move to it in the studio, it always had a little bit of that slinky kind of vibe to it.
“Gold” I think I was driving from Starbucks, from my job at Starbucks to the studio that day. And I had that first line bouncing around in my head, that repetition line of, “my mouth is made of metal”. And that turned into kind of a play on that repetition. And then the lyrics are inspired by a lot of the stuff that you see around today, whether
Cameron the Public
Richie: Lets talk about this benefits show on Oct 15 at the State Room for the Tyler Robinson Foundation.
Cameron: Tyler Robinson was my cousin who passed away in March of cancer an we along with the band Imagine Dragons started a foundation, the Tyler Robinson Foundation to benefit children with cancer. The proceeds will go to help families who cannot afford treatment for their kids suffering with cancer.
Richie: I just think its kind of funny like you said you work tirelessly for four years, show after show, and then the opportunity comes that your song is featured on a TV station and that's the thing that launches your band.
Cameron: Yeah, that's the one little thing, then we have another song that I was called in to do this song for the Boxer Manny Pacquiao for his walk out song and to go along with this movie release he has going on, its just an incredible documentary. Randy Jackson from American Idol and Chad Hugo from the Neptune's called me into the studio to finish this Theme song for Manny, and it's just one call one person says something and your off so it's just amazing what's happening for us. Its been three years of working and then this year it has just exploded, it's just crazy how the business works.
Richie: What kind of person was Tyler?
Cameron: Oh man I get goosebumps, Tyler was one of the kids who no matter what happened in his life he was always positive. Tyler was one of these people who was always able to cheer other people up and make things okay for other people. He was one of those people who always kept positive, he was one of those rare souls on this planet that literally made people feel that not matter what they were going through in there life, they think of Tyler's life and say I got it good compared to what he is going through, and he always stay positive. He has inspired so many people and Imagine Dragons even dedicated their song Demons to him. In Moscow Dan was saying people where throwing these white roses on stage in memorial of Tyler when they preformed that song.
On having his daughter on the bus with him:
"Ever sine I was a teenager people would ask me what is your goal in life? To sell a bunch of records and be able get a bus that sits your wife and your kids one day so that when you go out you can go everywhere with them. So now I get to live that dream, it's hanging out with them and then going and rocking until three in the morning and then hanging out with them again."
On life right now:
"Things are amazing, I never knew that things could be so good ya know? I think back in 2008 when "Hate Me" blew up, that was a little crazy, that was real crazy. But now we're starting to feel that whole thing happen again with "Bleed Out" and I think I'm in a lot better place for it to happen. I enjoy life now, I enjoy every day."
"I came out with songs like "The End" and songs like "Dirt Room" which were great songs, they just- they weren't connecting. I was taking that depression and that honesty and I was pushing it up so far up everybody's face that it was like oh god, this guy's got some crazy ass issues. Which of course I did, but I could have stopped and gone, yeah that's the song not me. But what's really cool about now is that I can get on stage and I play them- man all that energy is so much more there and say (whining) look at me! Now it's just so much passion.
Gus Unger-Hamilton (of alt-J) sits down with Richie T for an interview after X96's private performance and their concert later that night at The Complex on April 22nd!
alt-J Private Performance: CLICK HERE!
alt-J Meet & Greet: CLICK HERE!
alt-J @ The Complex: CLICK HERE!
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