The Flaming Lips, Bassnectar and the guys down the street

MOVE talks music and the chance to play a massive music festival with Waka Winter Classic contestants.

It seems the growing trend for teenagers is to bestow nearly all of their money, time and conversations onto one thing: music festivals.

For those who have attended one in the past, this is no shocker. An environment in which you can turn to your neighbor while passionately sobbing after witnessing your favorite song live with nearly 300,000 equally astonished fans behind you? It’s simply the teenage dream.

Some fests even hold the chance for up-and-coming bands to share the stage with acts ranging from the Flaming Lips and Dr. Dog to Adventure Club and Bassnectar.

This chance is granted courtesy of the Wakarusa Music Festival, a massive music fest that supplies six stages and more than 150 acts, which will span from June 5-8 at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Ark.

The Waka Winter Classic tour, a battle of the bands competition touring the country (and stopping at Mojo’s on Feb. 8), holds the golden ticket for one band to go from playing in the basement to a slot at Wakarusa. According to the fest’s official page, five bands in each city along the tour will compete for a chance to play at Wakarusa Music Festival.

MOVE got the chance to chat with three of the local competing acts; the Havana Honeys, the Flood Brothers and Driving Wheel, about their influences, sound and the opportunity of a lifetime.

The Havana Honeys’ Josh Deal

[MOVE]: Who are some of your biggest influences? [Josh Deal]: Some of our biggest influences would be the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and many others.

[M]: How have you worked toward preparing for this upcoming performance? [JD]: We will choose a selection of our best songs, and bring them to the stage with as much energy and life as we can. We put a lot of work into our music, so we try to show that.

[M]: What are some of your band’s favorite experiences while attending a music festival? [JD]: At Bonnaroo, everyone is extremely friendly, and there is just a different kind life in the air. Not to mention, the music is amazing.

Driving Wheel’s Jeremy Hunsaker

[MOVE]: What genre would you say your band falls under? [Jeremy Hunsaker]: We're definitely a blues-rock band with southern, country influence, but we also like hooks and melodies, so… like, anything. You'll find a pretty large cross-section of people at our shows.

[M]: What sort of sound does your band strive for? [JH]: Something that's raw and immediate, but yet tight, polished and defined. Something timeless, classic. Hopefully (laughs).

[M]: What was your favorite personal experience while attending a music festival as a fan? [JH]: Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Bonnaroo may take the cake — hard to beat Neil.

The Flood Brothers’ Gabe Meyer

[MOVE]: What sort of sound does your band strive for? [Gabe Meyer]: We're very comfortable with our own distinct sound, thumpin' out heavy grooves like a two-headed dog with nothing to lose. Our sound is always evolving and can differ quite a bit depending on which instrument I play. Ultimately, we just want people to have a good time and dance, so if our sound can provide that escape for people, we feel accomplished.

[M]:: What is your personal favorite experience at a music fest? [GM]: As for me, my heart literally stopped 12 years ago at a Bob Dylan show. Luckily it started again — I woke up on the ground after passing out. (Fellow Flood Brother Jacob Best and I) both went to Lollapalooza ’97 and rocked out to Snoop, Prodigy and Tool. My neck's never been so sore.

More Stories