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Brooklyn’s Bear Hands just got done gracing the beloved Brighton Music Hall stage in Boston this past weekend alongside Miniature Tigers for a performance full of keen musicianship, pulsating energy, and above all else, an immense amount of heart. Ever the honest lyricist, lead singer Dylan Rau bares his soul (as well as his acid tongue) for a quick Q&A and gives fans a glimpse behind his thought process behind the band’s latest album, Distraction.
“Giants” is unlike anything you guys have done before, lyrically and musically. Is this Bear Hands’ earnest attempt at a love song, or should it be taken with a grain of salt?
RAU: Salt in a wound opened by the trauma of unrequited love. Or something like that—I try to never be earnest ’cause it grosses me out.
Based on the singles “Giants” and “Agora,” would you say that Distraction is veering in a more experimental direction than Burning Bush Supper Club?
RAU: Not sure. It’s hard to tell being in the band as I am. No, on second thought I think this record is more line-towing and less experimental.
You guys are scheduled to play South By Southwest this year. Are you feeling antsy going in? Totally prepared to lose copious amounts of sleep?
RAU: We’ve played SXSW three times before, so generally I feel pretty comfortable with the shows/partying/lack of sleep. There’s always this vibe of, “Is this our most important show ever?” Usually, it’s just paranoia and it’s better to just treat all shows the same.
Bear Hands has steadily been converting nay-sayers into believers for years. How would you describe the relationship you have with your fans?
RAU: Mostly Twitter-based. I feel lucky to live in a generation where I can read responses to our new record essentially in real time. As long as people are digging the music, it can be fun – and maybe a little narcissistic – to interact with them over the Internet.